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Two Minutes for Thoughts: January 27th, 2022

January 27, 2022 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Hartford Wolf Pack News Release


27. That's the number of transactions that have involved the Hartford Wolf Pack since last Saturday. In that span, the club has played three games and gone 2-1-0-0. Outside of Saturday night's 5-0 loss to the Hershey Bears, the Wolf Pack have been finding ways to get results. Their reward? They'll enter the weekend sitting atop the Atlantic Division.

Now, of course, things can change quite quickly. The Pack will host the Providence Bruins on Friday night and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Saturday, but through 35 games things have gone quite well for Hartford's team. The final 37 games will determine if Hartford can not only claim it's first playoff berth since 2015, but also their first division title.

Young Defensemen Emerging

The strengths of this Wolf Pack team were obvious in training camp. The club was always going to have good goaltending and was always going to get impact performances from their veteran forwards. One area that stuck out but was less certain was the defense. That's not because they are bad players, quite the opposite in fact. This group of defensemen, coming into the season, was a young group with a lot of potential. So far, they have lived up to the potential and then some.

Zac Jones leads all Wolf Pack defensemen and rookies in scoring with 18 points (4 g, 14 a), while Tarmo Reunanen leads the club in +/- with a +13 rating. Yes, it's an antiqued stat, but it matches up with what we see on a nightly basis from the young Finnish defenseman. The Wolf Pack are rarely in danger when he is on the ice.

Matthew Robertson is another young defenseman who has impressed this season. His play in the defensive zone has been among the best on the club, and he's been trusted with a larger role as players move up and down between the Rangers, the taxi squad, and the Wolf Pack.

The future on defense is insanely bright in Hartford. It's been shining since opening night and is only getting brighter.

Brodzinski Leading Offensive Charge

The captain is supposed to be the leader off the ice. Jonny Brodzinski is certainly that for this Wolf Pack team, but he's also the team's offensive leader on the ice. In his second year with the Rangers organization, Brodzinski has been an offensive weapon for the Pack in all 26 games he has suited up in. He leads the club with 28 points and 13 goals as we approach the midway mark.

Brodzinski is also on the run of his career right now. He's scored in six straight games, becoming the first Wolf Pack player to do that this season. It's the longest such stretch of his career, and just two games off the franchise record for a goal scoring streak. Ryan Callahan scored in eight straight games during the 2006-07 season, lighting the lamp ten times in that span. There could be some history on the horizon for the captain if his stick stays hot.

This N' That

Throughout the month of January, there has been a common theme in our intermission interviews with players and coaches. Starting games better has been an area of emphasis for the Wolf Pack in 2022, and their hard work is starting to pay off. The Pack have struck first in seven of their January games and gotten points in six of ten overall. When scoring first this season, Hartford is 10-4-1-0. They are 5-1-1-0 in January.

Anthony Greco's powerplay goal on Wednesday night was Hartford's first on the skater advantage since January 8th, a 2-1 victory in Utica. Later in the period, Brodzinski scored the club's second powerplay goal of the night. It was the first time that Hartford's powerplay struck multiple times in a game since December 18th at Springfield. When the Wolf Pack hit the month of December, they were in the top five in the AHL when it came to the powerplay. Since then, the club has dipped to 25th.

With key components like Brodzinski, Jones, Greco, and Tim Gettinger back in the fold, expect Hartford's powerplay to get back on track in the second half of the season. There's a lot of talent on this roster, and with more continuity and consistency there should end up being more success when up a skater. We saw it earlier in the season, and there's no reason to expect it not to rebound.

Want to be here for the action? Tickets for both Wolf Pack home games this weekend are available at www.hartfordwolfpack.com. We'll have $2 beers and $1 hot dogs tomorrow night when the Bruins are in town, followed by 'Star Wars Night' on Saturday against the Phantoms! Can't be here? I'll have you covered on AHLTV and Mixlr! Pregame starts at 6:50 p.m. both nights!


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American Hockey League Stories from January 27, 2022


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