E-Mail Subscriptions to the Blog

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Tougher Stars; Wolves must win one to advance

As the Iowa vs Chicago playoffs for the AHL move into the final weekend, change seems to be in the air. This is bad news for the Chicago Wolves, who lead the series 3-2, but are closing the series at home. The unmistakable smell of trouble occurred in the fourth game, a big win on paper for Chicago, but without any power play goals.

Then in game five, the Chicago power play was shut down again, the Dallas Stars send-downs of Joel Lundqvist and particularly Loui Eriksson found their skates again in the AHL. They were outstanding. Iowa played its game well. Chicago seemed to flounder and lose sight of how to play its game. The result was a shelling of the Chicagoans by Iowa 5-1.

More bad news for Chicago. One of the team’s better defensemen, Boris Valabik, has a hard-on for the entire Iowa team. His penalties have cost the Wolves a number of goals over the playoffs. Now, however, every game he is sitting in the sin bin while his team is losing points.

There isn’t a single agitator on the Iowa bench who anyone can point to either. It is just the entire Iowa bench has managed to get under Valabik’s skin.

This raises a number of questions about Valabik. First, how is he going to react as the pressure increases? And does he have a future in the National Hockey League, if he reacts like this to any agitation?

The keys to the game remain unchanged. Play at the Wolves pace, keep the tempo up, put shots on Ellis, who seems to be committing early. Stay out of the sin bin. The Wolves play game six of the best of seven series on Saturday night at the Allstate in Rosemont. Game seven, if necessary, is planned for Monday at 7 PM at the Allstate Arena. Any win by the Wolves advances them to the Western Conference finals.

No comments: