Back to the Pack

Fairly eventful 12 hours or so for the organ-eye-zation, as the Wolf Pack identity returns here in central Connecticut and the Rangers complete their first-round comeback against Washington, with an exclamation point of a 5-0 win in Game Seven.

Logo - Wolf Pack - 05-13It had been 899 days, by my count, since the November 27, 2010 re-branding of the Hartford Wolf Pack to the Connecticut Whale, and on day number 900, it was officially announced that the name of the team would be returning to the moniker that was used for the first 12 seasons, and 22 games, of the team’s existence.  Those 12-plus years included some great times, most notably the 2000 Calder Cup and a couple of other nice playoff runs, and the Wolf Pack name will always be linked, in my mind, to people such as Ken Gernander, the late E.J. McGuire, Jim Schoenfeld, Mike Busniuk, Derek Armstrong, Brad Smyth, Terry Virtue, John Paddock and the like.  Those are terrific guys and great hockey people, and all gave a lot of blood, sweat and tears to glorifying the Wolf Pack crest.  That was my initial, visceral reaction to the name change, along with wondering what the over-under is on how many times I’ll say Whale by mistake on the air when I mean Wolf Pack.  Hopefully not too old a dog to learn this new/familiar trick.

How about the Rangers breaking out for a five-spot in Game Seven, more than the total they scored in Games One, Two, Five and Six?  And with no points from Brad Richards and one assist from Rick Nash?

It was none other than Chris Kreider who made the play to set up what turned out to be the only goal the Rangers would need.  Skating on the fourth line with Richards and Arron Asham, Kreider made a neat little drop pass just inside the offensive zone to Asham, who scored his second goal of the series with a well-placed shot past Braden Holtby’s catching glove.  Kreider also had five hits in the game, second only to Ryan Callahan’s seven among Ranger forwards.  If Kreider, who is as solidly-built a guy as you are going to see, can take a page out of Callahan’s book and start finishing every available check, he is going to be awfully hard to play against, with the momentum he can generate with his speed.

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