The Providence Bruins schedule this weekend is packed with three games in less than 72 hours.
- Friday, November 8 @ Hartford Wolf Pack (New York Rangers affiliate), 7pm
- Saturday, November 9 @ Worcester Sharks, 7pm
- Sunday, November 10, vs Hartford Wolf Pack, 3 pm
The team is looking to rebound from two tough losses to the Manchester Monarchs last weekend, when they were outscored 9-3 and came away with zero points.
Tonight: P-Bruins @ Wolf Pack, 7pm
Tonight will mark the first time this season Providence (4-4-0-2) faces Hartford (7-3-0-2), who were known as the Connecticut Whale last year. The Wolf Pack are in first place in their Northeast division and third in the Eastern Conference; Providence is third in the Atlantic division and 11th in the East.
- At home, Hartford is 4-1-0-1. On the road, Providence is 2-2-0-1.
- Both teams are on losing streaks; Providence has lost two in a row and Hartford is coming off a regulation and shootout loss to Springfield.
- Last season, the two teams met six times, which Providence getting the upper hand (4 wins, 2 losses).
- Providence has a goal differential of -7; Hartford has a goal differential of +2. Both teams have allowed 37 goals against.
- Hartford has not had a lead after the first period, and only one lead after two periods this season. They are good in close games, posting a 6-2-0-2 record in one-goal games.
- Slow starts have plagued Providence, but when they are able to lead after the first period they are 2-0-0-0, and 3-0-0-1 when leading after two periods.
- Providence has a losing record when out-shooting the opposition. Both teams have winning records when getting out-shot - 3-2-0-1 for Providence and 5-2-0-2 for Hartford.
- Confusing: both teams are led in scoring by Johnsons (Aaron Johnson leads Hartford, Nick Johnson leads Providence).
- Hartford's power play is 12th in the AHL with a PP success rate of 18.0% (9-for-50). At home, Hartford's PP is 21.4% (6-for-28).
- Providence's PP has actually been a vaguely bright spot in an otherwise rough patch recently. They are fifth in the league with a 24.2% PP (8-for-33), although only 20.0% on the road (3-for-15).
- Providence's overall 33 power play opportunities are the fewest in the league.
- Providence remains dead last in the AHL with an embarrassing PK rate of 64.5%, allowing 11 PP goals against on 31 penalty kills.
- Hartford's PK is 19th in the league at 81.0% (11 goals on 58 PKs). At home, they have a 66.7% success rate on the PK (5 goals against on 18 PKs)
- Hartford has given up two shorthanded goals against, but also scored two shorthanded goals themselves. Providence has given up zero SHGA, and scored one shorthanded goal (Justin Florek).
- Hartford's PK is ranked 19th at 81.0%, allowing 11 goals on 58 penalty kills.
Line-ups and Leading Scorers: Hartford
- Familiar face from last season Aaron Johnson is kicking scoring prolifically right now. He is leading the Wolf Pack in scoring with 15 points (3 goals, 12 assists), which puts him tied for fourth overall in the AHL point scoring leaders. Johnson's 12 assists are tied for first in the AHL as well. Among defensemen, Johnson is tied for first in points and first in assists.
- Of Johnson's 15 points, six have some on the power play, and two (1 goal, 1 assist) have come while shorthanded.
- Johnson is in the midst of an eight game point scoring streak. In that span, he has 3 goals and 8 assists.
- Wolf Pack rookie Danny Kristo is tied for 10th in the league point-scoring leaders with 13 points (8 goals, 5 assists). Kristo is third in AHL rookie scoring, second in rookie goals, and second in rookie power play goals (4).
- Defenseman Dylan McIlrath is a league leader in penalty minutes (45 PIM, 5th place) and major penalties (5, tied for 3rd).
- As far as Hartford's projected line-up, I can't even pretend to have a clue. But don't forget that little brother of contract-abandoner Chris Bourque, Ryan Bourque, still plays for Hartford.
- Hartford gets an absurd amount of scoring from their defense. Of their top seven scoring leaders, four are defensemen, including Johnson, who leads the team with 15 points, and Danny Syvret, who has eight points (all assists).
Line-ups and Leading Scorers: Providence
- Ryan Spooner will be back in the line-up after being unavailable last weekend due to being awesome and called up to Boston.
- Alexander Fallstrom will also return to the line-up after missing a game with an upper body injury.
- Rob Flick and Anthony Camara will join Tyler Randell as the healthy scratches at forward.
- Ben Youds will return to the line-up in favor of Tommy Cross, who will sit as a healthy scratch. Chris Casto will remain in the line-up after having a strong game last weekend upon return from several games as a healthy scratch. Zach Trotman is still out with a hand injury.
- Carter Camper still has zero goals and only four points on the year.
- Rookie Seth Griffith has been impressive in his seven games this season; he has been held without a point only once, and otherwise has three goals and four assists, giving him a point per game. Griffith leads the league in shooting percentage
- Nick Johnson leads the team in points (9) and is tied with Matt Fraser for most goals (6). Fraser has a team-high 3 power play goals.
- Fraser, Griffith, and Spooner are all tied with 7 points, followed by Joe Morrow (2-4=6), Jared Knight (2-3=5), and Alexander Khokhlachev (1-4=5).
- Niklas Svedberg will get the start in net tonight. He got pulled for the first time this season and sustained his first regulation loss of the season in his last appearance which was one week ago.
- Svedberg's record is 4-1-2. He has no shutouts. He has faced 235 shots and allowed 20 goals. Save percentage: .915. Goals against average: 2.97.
- As Head Coach Bruce Cassidy said after last Saturday's loss to Manchester, it's really important to get Svedberg back on track, so look for him to have a big game.
- I am unsure of who will start for Hartford; tallest goalie to ever make an NHL appearance Jason Missiaen or Scott Stajcer?
- Missiaen has played four games and has a 2-1-1- record, .892 save percentage, and 2.96 GAA.
- Stajcer has a 1-1-0 record, .882 save percentage, and 2.64 GAA.
- Hartford's go-to guy in goal would be Cam Talbot, but he is currently with the New York Rangers. The team is 2-3-0-1 without him.
Keys to the Game
- Goaltending: Svedberg needs to get back to his normal perfect form. If he can play his usual game, he gives his team a decided advantage.
- Offense from the defense: Hartford has 69 points from their defensemen, Providence only has 17. That's a little ridiculous. Team Captain Mike Moore and Chris Casto both have zero points. Ben Youds three points in five games may be why he is playing tonight over Tommy Cross, who is also without a point this season.
- Discipline: Since this team can't kill penalties, Providence needs to not take any. I'm glaring at you, Bobby Robins.
- Faceoffs: Apparently the team spent a lot of time working on faceoffs in practice this week, which is good, because they've been awful in the dot this year.
The infusion of Spooner back into the line-up will hopefully do wonders. Otherwise, I have no idea what ot expect as I have not watched Hartford yet this season, but will be watching on AHL Live and live-tweeting over at @cupofchowdah.