Pack among League’s Elite down the Stretch

OK, so it didn’t translate into a playoff berth, so maybe it doesn’t mean too much in the grand scheme of things, but in the last two-and-a-half months of the season, the Wolf Pack put together a record that stands among the best in the AHL.

After January 25, two games past the halfway point of the campaign, when the Pack were 13-22-0-5 for 31 points and last overall in the AHL, the team went 24-10-1-1 in 36 games.  That’s a points percentage of .694, which ranks sixth in the AHL, and third in the Eastern Conference, over that span of time.  Only St. John’s (.735) and Manchester (.717) had better points percentages among Eastern Conference teams than did the Wolf Pack.  What’s more, the Pack stood 29th among the 30 AHL teams in goals-against-per-game on January 26, with a mark of 3.35, and they were fourth-best in the league in that category from then on, with a GAA of 2.39.  On the offensive side, the Wolf Pack were dead last in the AHL in goals-scored-per-game on January 26, at 2.35, and they scored at a 3.00 goals-per-game clip the rest of the way, which ranked them 12th among AHL clubs and sixth in the conference.Action Shot for Blog - 04-24-14

If you take a snapshot from February 22 to the end of the season, the record is even more impressive.

On February 21, the Wolf Pack lost 4-3 at home to Bridgeport, seeing a 3-2 lead slip away in the last 2:25 of the third period in the process.  That ran the Pack’s record to 20-26-0-6, and they still stood last overall in the league.  The next night in Springfield, though, against a Falcon club that was tied for second overall in the AHL, the Wolf Pack scored three third-period goals to wipe out a 3-1 deficit and win, 4-3.  That was the start of a four-game winning streak, and Ken Gernander’s crew would only lose six more times in regulation the rest of the season, going 18-6-1-0 in the final 25 games.

That slate was good for a .740 points percentage, which was surpassed over that span of time by only three AHL teams, and among Eastern Conference clubs, only St. John’s, with a mark of .761, had a better points percentage.

And oh, by the way, the Wolf Pack reeled off wins in nine of their last ten games, with four of those victories coming by shutout, after the team hadn’t managed a zero all year through the first 66 games.

What does that all add up to?  Well, that’s a matter of debate, I guess, but I doubt that there would have been many teams eager to come across the Wolf Pack in the postseason, if they had managed to grab a spot.

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