Wolves, Eddie Lack on track after shootout win over IceHogs
BY SETH GRUEN For Sun-Times Media October 13, 2012 11:37PM
Chicago Wolves Vs Rockford Ice Hogs. Chicago Wolves fans enjoyed opening night at the Allstate Arena. October 13, 2012 I Scott Stewart~Sun-Times
Updated: November 15, 2012 6:51AM
Entering this season, Wolves goalie Eddie Lack wasn’t necessarily looking to add any particular skill to his repertoire.
The 24-year-old has shown that he has the talent to be a competent NHL goalie.
Lack needs to play at a high level consistently, something he struggled with during the 2011-12 season. Saturday’s season-opening 1-0 shootout win over the Rockford IceHogs at Allstate Arena was a good start as Lack turned away all 25 Rockford shots.
Jordan Schroeder, Bill Sweatt and Darren Haydar scored in the 3-1 shootout win for the Wolves. Lack stopped three shot.
“Pretty good start for me and the team,” Lack said. “Today, the most important thing was to just get the two points.
“I got really good help from my defenders, and the whole team worked really well in front of me to block shots. So just a solid win.”
While the Wolves would have liked to capitalize on opportunities during regulation, taking the game to a shootout had a positive effect on the team.
Last season, the Wolves lost their first three shootouts. They didn’t net a shootout victory until January.
It was somewhat of a demon for Lack last season.
“It’s a little bit different to get it in the first game,” Lack said. “It’s really good to just get it out of the way and focus from now on.
“Of course it’s better to get a shutout than to let six goals in, but that doesn’t really matter tomorrow. It’s a new game tomorrow, and we’ve got to be focused from the start.”
While Lack might have turned a corner, the Wolves still had some bad habits carry over from last season.
The Wolves were inept on the power play, failing to score on six chances.
The team won’t take an alarmist view, but it’s a problem that needs to be corrected quickly, according to new Wolves coach Scott Arniel.
“You get a game like that where you have that many power plays, you’ve got to try to find a way to squeak one in,” Arniel said. “It still is a work in progress, and we’ve got some new faces, guys trying to figure each other out.”
The Wolves had an aggressive attitude on the power play in the first period but failed to create much traffic in front of the net throughout regulation.
The IceHogs skated at least 10 players who played with the parent-club Blackhawks last season.
Carter Hutton stopped 31 shots in regulation and overtime but just one in the shootout.
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville and general manager Stan Bowman were in attendance.