AHL: Catching Up With the Chicago Wolves
by PlayNow Sports in ahl, hockey

BY THOMAS DRANCE

The Canucks’ AHL affilliate the Chicago Wolves enjoyed a hot start to the season. But as we pointed out at the time, their start was something of a mirage and some of their peripheral numbers (especially their special teams play, and goal differential) pointed to the forces of gravity rapidly bringing the club back down to Earth.

Of late the forces of gravity have come to pass, as the Wolves are currently mired in the midst of a three game losing streak and have only won three […]


AHL: The Hot Start Of The Chicago Wolves
by PlayNow Sports in ahl, hockey

BY THOMAS DRANCE

Through eight games played in the AHL this season, the Vancouver Canucks’ AHL affiliate the Chicago Wolves (+850 to Win the Western Conference) lead the Midwest Division with 11 points, good for second in the Western Conference. While the Wolves’ sparkling 5-2-1 record represents an auspicious start to the season, if we peer beneath the surface, the Wolves haven’t been performing at an elite level for an AHL club let alone a Calder Cup favourite (+1700 to Win the Calder Cup).

THE BAD NEWS
Because the […]


AHL: Chicago Wolves – Jordan Schroeder’s Slow Start
by PlayNow Sports in ahl, hockey, nhl

BY THOMAS DRANCE

This past weekend, the Canucks’ farm-team played two games in Abbotsford (the two teams split the two game series) and some of Vancouver’s teams young prospects impressed mightily.

For example, Zack Kassian had a monster series, scoring two goals, winning two fights and displaying some sick skill on his shootout winner on Friday evening. Eddie Lack looked like a star, and the fans (who are more familiar with him than they are with most prospects, thanks to Lack’s social media prowess) serenaded him with chants of “Eddie, […]


AHL: Chicago Wolves at Abbotsford Heat
by PlayNow Sports in ahl, hockey

BY THOMAS DRANCE A week ago, independent goaltending scout Justin Goldman (AKA The Goalie Guild) ranked the Chicago Wolves 1st among all AHL clubs in terms of the quality of their goaltending. Per Goldman: “Everyone loves Eddie Lack, and for good reason. Just like his predecessor Cory Schneider, and even if it takes him a few years to eventually get there, the Swedish prospect has “future NHL stud written all over him. Combine his skill with the reliance and steadying influence of veteran Matt Climie and newly-hired goalie coach Dan Cloutier, and there should be […]


AHL: Great Hockey Still Exists In North America
by PlayNow Sports in ahl, hockey

For now, there’s no NHL hockey to pay attention to. In its stead hockey fans are left with several options: you can find other things to do on game nights, you can pay attention to simulated seasons or you can obsessively follow (and be constantly outraged by) the tit-for-tat of labour negotiations between the NHLPA and the NHL… Or, alternatively, you can pay attention to hockey leagues that are still playing. The best such league in North America is the AHL, and locals might give the Abbotsford Heat and the […]


AHL: Eastern Conference Preview
by PlayNow Sports in ahl, hockey

AHL Eastern Conference Preview

Norfolk Admirals 3.70

The Norfolk Admirals are the singular favorite to repeat as Calder Cup Champions according to Play Now Sports, and why not? After their dream season last year, in which they won an AHL record 29(!) straight games on their way to the Calder Cup Finals, the Admirals seem unassailable.

But that’s superficial because, of course, over the summer the Admirals switched NHL affiliates from the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Anaheim Ducks. Gone is super coach Jon Cooper (to Syracuse) and the bevy of […]


AHL: Western Conference Preview
by PlayNow Sports in ahl, hockey

AHL Western Conference Preview

The Favorites:

The Oklahoma City Barons

The Oklahoma City Barons were the class of the Western Conference last season, and that was when their offense was paced by AHL veterans like Justin Keller and Marc Arcobello. Among AHL clubs, they’ll see the single biggest infusion of NHL quality talent as a result of the lockout this season. Joining their roster will be Calder finalist Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 70 point scorer Jordan Eberle, under-rated two-way force Magnus Paajarvi and

the most highly recruited prospect of last summer: […]