Wolf Pack Play Well Enough to Win, but…

It was a classic good news/bad news situation for the Wolf Pack tonight in Norfolk.

The bad news first…the game ended in a 1-0 loss to the Admirals, a team that is now only three points off the lead in the East Division and has lost only three times in regulation in 18 games (12-3-0-3) since December 21.  The good news is, the Wolf Pack continued to play well, allowed a season-low 14 shots on goal to a very successful team on the road, including a 5-2 advantage in the third period.

David LeNeveu

David LeNeveu

I spoke briefly with Pack goaltender David LeNeveu in the locker room after the game, and despite the loss, his overall outlook on the evening was positive.

“If we play like that on a consistent basis all year long, you’ve got to be happy with the result,” the veteran netminder said.  “You’re not happy with the result tonight, but you’ll be happy with the overall performance of the team.  And that’s what it comes down to.  I know we need wins, we all recognize that, but just getting to play on a consistent basis at a high level is a big step forward for this team, and wins will come along with that.”

LeNeveu matched Norfolk rookie sensation John Gibson nearly save for save, beaten only by a Chris Wagner redirection with 6:29 left in the third period.  Wagner lost the puck in the left-wing circle, but then headed to the front of the net and had Kevin Gagne’s heave from the left point go off of him and get by LeNeveu.  An ugly, greasy goal, to be sure, but it ends up making the difference.

“I think it hit him in the side of the pants, or in the back of the pants,” LeNeveu said.  “I’m not exactly sure, but it hit him somewhere and changed direction.  The puck was going to miss the net.”

Seems like, for a lot of this year, if it weren’t for bad luck, the Wolf Pack would have no luck at all, as the old saying goes.  A strong effort went for naught tonight, so it will be very interesting to see how the group responds in tomorrow night’s rematch with the Admirals at Scope, before they get four days off for the AHL All-Star break.

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