After a tough three weeks on the road, the Pack return home to put their nine game home winning streak on the line versus the Portland Pirates. The team went 2-5-0-0 on their longest road trip of the year, which, although it kept them in second place in the Atlantic Division with 67 points, dropped them to fifth overall in league standings with a record of 32-16-1-2. The team also dropped to fifth in penalty killing (87.93%) and stand seventh in the league on the powerplay (17.87%). The club has lost four in a row, and has not scored in its last two outings. After a couple of tough games on the road, the Pack is now the most penalized team in the league, with 1527 minutes, and the only club assessed more than 100 major penalties (101).
On the bright side, goaltender Steve Valiquette remains atop the goalie leader board with the best goals against average (1.78%) and is tied for the top saves percentage (.934). Defenseman Bryce Lampman is the league's top sharpshooter, with the best shooting percentage in the league at .137.THE WEEK AHEAD:
The team plays only one game this week before the All Star break, but off the ice, the club will be busy in the community. On Monday, the entire team takes part in the 2nd annual Tip A Player event for charity. Players will dish up dinner at Coach's Sports Bar and Grille in Hartford and earn "Puck Bucks" as tips. All proceeds go to the Gaylord Hospital in Wallingford. Then on Saturday, the club hosts the Portland Pirates in a game where funds will be raised for the Red Cross Tsunami Relief efforts.
Afterwards, the club will be off until February 18 for the AHL All Star Classic. Goaltender Jason LaBarbera and defenseman Lawrence Nycholat will represent the Pack at the game, which will be broadcast live on ESPN2 on Monday, February 14 at 7:00 p.m. The skills competition will be broadcast on ESPN 2 on Sunday, February 13 at 8:45 p.m.Monday, February 7
Wolf Pack "Tip-A-Player" at Coach's Sports Bar and Grille
The Second Annual Hartford Wolf Pack Tip A Player event at the Coach's Sports Bar and Grille to benefit Gaylord Hospital is sold out! All proceeds from the dinner will go to Gaylord Hospital. The players will sign autographs, and there will be an apron auction, silent auction and other prizes. Last year, $23,000 was raised for the charity.Tuesday, February 8
"Pack Talk" at Little Mark's Big Barbecue on ESPN Radio 1410
This week's scheduled guests Trevor Gillies and Martin Grenier will join the voice of the Wolf Pack, Bob Crawford, at Little Mark's Big Barbecue, 279 West Main Street (Route 44) in Avon from 7 to 8:00 p.m. Fans are invited to come down to Little Mark's to participate live, or to listen in on ESPN Radio 1410.Saturday, February 12
Hartford vs. Portland - Hartford Civic Center
The Pirates are currently 6th in the Atlantic Division with a record of 20-22-3-4. They are riding a three game winning streak and are 14-18-2-3 versus Atlantic Division rivals. Owen Fussey and Brian Sutherby are both on four game assist streaks for the Pirates. The Pack are 4-0-1-0 versus Portland, their last game a 7-2 shellacking of the Pirates at the Hartford Civic Center back on January 7. The Pirates are currently 5-11-3-1 on the road this year.
Jozef Balej is the Pack's top point-getter versus Portland (2-6-8), while Tomas Fleischmann is the top scorer for Portland versus Hartford with 2-3-5. This game is a fundraiser for the Red Cross Tsunami Relief efforts. Proceeds of "Chuck-A-Puck", a silent game-worn jersey auction, the 50-50 draw and a portion of ticket sales will go to the charity. It's also Torpedo Bobblehead Night. Every fan in attendance will receive a Torpedo Bobblehead. And Cox Media presents Jimmy Neutron, who will also be at the game.Radio - live with Bob Crawford on ESPN Radio 1410 and on the web at www.hartfordwolfpack.com.INJURIES:
* Ken Gernander (ribs) - day-to-day
* Jozef Balej (lower back) - day-to-day
* Jed Ortmeyer (broken left toe) - 2 weeks
* Trevor Gillies (broken left foot) - 2 weeks
* Martin Grenier (right thumb) - 5-6 weeks
* Blair Betts (right shoulder) - out indefinitelyRECENT TRANSACTIONS:
* Defenseman Rory Rawlyk recalled from Charlotte of the ECHL on February 5, 2005
* Steve MacIntyre and Ryan Cuthbert returned on loan to Charlotte on February 7, 2005
* Jake Taylor, David Liffiton, Dwight Helminen and Rory Rawlyk all assigned to Charlotte on February 7, 2005
* Thomas Pöck loaned to Austrian National Team (for 10 days), February 7, 2005 PACK TRACKS:
The new Hartford Wolf Pack "Pack Shop" is now open at its new location - 100 Allyn Street. The store is open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, as well as two hours prior to and one hour after each and every Wolf Pack home game, including Saturday and Sundays. A full line of Wolf Pack merchandise is available, while a limited selection of items will still be available in the Civic Center Mall before games.