Holy smokes! For starters, it's been too long. It feels good to be back talking about the Chicago Wolves. I won't get into the details of the absence, but everything is back to running normally.
On Tuesday night, the Wolves punched their ticket to the postseason. In fact, the Wolves' 40th win clinched the 21st playoff appearance in the team's 28-season history. Talk about impressive numbers for an AHL franchise.
Now, the Wolves are moving forward. The team is primed for a run with an elite season from Andrew Poturalski, solid contributions from Stefan Noesen and C.J. Smith, and incredible contributions in net. In addition, the team has battled through roster shuffling and injuries to remain one of the AHL's best.
The Wolves are also loading up. Three trade deadline deals add a well of depth and experience to an already strong team. General manager Wendell Young said the team is all about development while winning championships, and this team seems like it can accomplish the latter.
As I mentioned, I'm so happy to be able to cover this team again. Some changes in my personal life have prevented me from being able to follow the team as closely. However, we're back in time for the charge to the playoffs. The Wolves still have 15 games left in the month of April before the Calder Cup playoffs begin. This is the time for the team to mesh with some of the new depth and gear up for the run.
There will be a number of players who can fill in admirably at key positions. At forward, the team added a former NHLer in Richard Panik and will receive newly signed Carolina Hurricanes prospect Noel Gunler for the remainder of the season as well. In addition, all the goaltenders still on the roster have done really well this season. This gives the Wolves four legit goalie options for the playoff run.
I can't wait for this Wolves team to perform in the postseason, and I hope the Wolves fans reading will tag along for the ride.