by Patrick Hoffman on 02/05/10 at 12:31 PM ET
Good friend of the blog, Scotty from Scotty Hockey, recently attended an AHL game at The Rock in Newark, NJ between the Lowell Devils (New Jersey Devils farm team) and the Hartford Wolf Pack (New York Rangers farm team).
While he was impressed with how inexpensive it was and how the AHL is a great way to grow the game, he wasn’t exactly impressed with the Wolf Pack’s play, even though they won the game 3-2 in overtime. Here are just a few of his thoughts:
*As I mentioned, the Wolf Pack power play was pretty damn bad. They ended up going 1-7 with the lone tally coming from Brodie Dupont working the slot.
*Dupont was the best Hartford player on the ice. He went to the net, he carried the puck, he backchecked, killed penalties ... he was all over the place and his effort was exceptional.
*Evgeni Grachev? Notsomuch. If this kid is the future of the franchise, then our franchise is f-ed. Grachev was abysmal and was kept off the ice in the overtime. He definitely has size, he definitely has hands but he just couldn’t get his act together out there. I saw him cough up the puck several times in the first period and then didn’t notice him at all.
*The game went to overtime because Hartford clung to their 2-1 lead late in the game and collapsed into their own zone. Lowell was able to move the puck around to get the equalizer in the last minute and had what would have been the game-winner go over the goal line inside the far post past the sprawled Matt Zaba just a second after the final buzzer. Talk about saved by the bell…
Click here for more thoughts on the game from our good friend.
Laurie, from Beyond The Blueshirts, provided a different recap of the game. Here are some of her thoughts:
Thus far, the 2009-2010 season hasn’t been a very remarkable one for Hartford Wolf Pack forward Brodie Dupont. The third year forward was moved out of his natural position at left wing early in the campaign in order to fill a gaping hole in the middle that was left when Patrick Rissmiller was banished to Grand Rapids and Tyler Arnason defected to Russia. A third round pick of the New York Rangers in 2005, Dupont has performed admirably in the role of checking center for the Pack, facing opposing team’s top scorers most nights. But it’s come at the detriment of his offensive numbers: through his first 49 games Dupont had scored only eight goals and eight assists, well off last season’s 42-point pace.
On Wednesday, he proved he hasn’t forgotten how to put the puck in the net, scoring once in regulation and then giving the Wolf Pack its league-best eighth overtime victory with a goal with only 19.9 seconds remaining in the extra period.
The 3-2 victory over the Lowell Devils broke the Wolf Pack’s five game winless streak and moved them into sole possession of fifth place in the AHL’s Atlantic Division, two points ahead of the idle Bridgeport Sound Tigers and three points behind the fourth place Portland Pirates, who hold two games in hand.
Click here to read more from Laurie, who really knows the Wolf Pack inside and out and provides great content For Rangers and Wolf Pack fans alike.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.