Unfortunately, the Chicago Wolves just cannot stop losing. The Second City Canes have a 2-4 record since their 2-game ham fest where they tacked up 6 goals against both the Manitoba Moose and Rockford Icehogs back in mid-January.
Per usual, Pyotr Kochetkov seems to be the bright spot on a struggling Wolves defensive unit. In the Wolves’ 3-2 win over the Cleveland Monsters, Kochetkov got the win on 24 saves with a save percentage of .923. Inversely his 2-1 loss the day before was better everywhere but where it counts. He marked 27 saves for 93.1%. His other notable win came against the Rockford IceHogs where he kept the Wolves in the game through overtime with 17 blocks on just 19 attempts.
But Kochetkov is facing a bombardment nearly every night out. In the 6 game he has hit the ice back in Chicago, he has faced 20 or more shots all but once. In a 5-1 loss to the Tucson Roadrunner alone, the Beep-Beepers pasted him with 39 shots on goal. 34 stops in a single night ought to win any game but not that night. How his GAA is only 2.09 and his SV% is .921 on the season speaks to his ability to keep his head about him even when the rest of the Chicago Wolves defense seem to be losing theirs.
It is hard to tell from the stats just which is worse. Chicago’s defense or offense. In this 6 game slide, the Wolves have been outscored 20 to 12. That is not complete egregious but it is not great either. They seem to be losing big or not losing at all. Jack Drury and Malte Stromwall have 1 point a piece. Jamieson Rees managed 2 in the second game against the Cleveland Monsters. Max Lajoie has 4 and is leading the team during this slide. Besides that the Wolves have players going O for the slide.
Why the Wolves keep losing seems hard to nail down. Some nights it appears the offense can score enough to win (take their 3-2 wins over the Rockford IceHogs (in OT) and other nights that same effort loses (take the 5-3 loss to the Grand Rapid Griffins as your example here). On the other side of the puck, the defense is losing 2 games to the Tuscon Roadrunners by a combined 7 points while their goalie (Kochetkov in one and Zachary Sawchenko in the other) is being hammered with 39 shots a night respectively.
An overall lack of defense keeps strangles any offense while the lack of lamp lighting forces a defense to keep you in the game. Ether way you half it the Chicago Wolves are losing more than they are winning and currently in the basement of the AHL.