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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Recently this blog has been riding on the efforts of the other half of the team, Powderhornhockey. ChiTownDailyNews.org is running Jane's pieces there. And, hopefully, we'll soon be joined there by someone watching the Chicago Blackhawk affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs.

It is sort of a metaphor for the Chicago Wolves. I am annoyed and disappointed by the performance of the Wolves so far this season. In talking to the CTDN editor, Geoff, about the Wolves, he said to try to attribute the collapse of the team to something.

The funny thing is, the team isn't necessarily collapsing. They just suck. While they were in the hunt for a long time, the losing ways of the past few weeks have taken their toll and the team is now in fifth place, this morning, in the West Division of the American Hockey League.

Attribute it? How about poor performance in net. The net is guarded by Dan Turple and by Robert Gherson. Maybe I've never given Gherson much of a chance. I've thought he was in over his head since I first saw him on a North Division swing last season. Maybe that's unfair of me. Gherson has a 5-3 record this season, leading the team.

Turple played in Gwinnett. He really didn't shine in the ECHL and is having problems in the AHL. Yet, I think he is a better goalie.

Meanwhile, the defense has let these two gentlemen down. They are leaving chances for the side to side movement of the puck, lots of disappointment here. Brian Sipotz is the old hand, he's a disappointment this season. There is promise here, I look to Chad Denny and Arturs Kulda in particular. But you might disagree on that and point to Jamie Rivers. Anyway, the blueline is young and in need of work. Who is there to work with them? I'm not sure. The defense has never been a strong suit of the Atlanta system.

There have been some real nice nights on the blue line. The defense rarely gets a star of the game. The job of these guys is to stop the puck after all. And, there has been a few times when I thought, hey, real nice play out there tonight, why not give a blue liner a star?

Blue liners have gone down. They have sacrificed the body to block shots. Jamie Rivers comes to mind in that regard. (He's a bit controversial. I keep hearing other fans say he doesn't have what it takes. I disagree).

Finally, the guns of the past are mainly gone. So, everyone needs to step up to win.

And that's not happening.

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