After eleven games in the season, it appears the new face of the franchise can’t come soon enough.
With the CT Whale switch looming on November 27th, the Wolf Pack are leaving a sour taste in the final games wearing the respective uniforms. The season has started 3-5-2-1 for 9 points, and good enough for 11th place in the Eastern Conference.
Yes, there are still more than sixty games to go in the season, and I know it’s much too early to be calling the season over. However, with last season’s disappointment in not making the playoffs for the first time in the Wolf Pack’s history, and the CT Whale franchise being dealt a nasty hand to start their reign in Hartford, it obviously worries avid Wolf Pack fans.
Here are ideas we’d hope the new brand changes will fix as Howard Baldwin sets his dream in motion in getting an NHL team back to Hartford:
First, the city of Hartford needs to get on board with this name change. Granted some people are for it, some are not. Regardless, it’s coming, so the only way to deal with it is to welcome with open arms. The Wolf Pack’s attendance is currently 23rd in the AHL, with just under 3,500 fans per game. The AHL average is 4,575, so more than one thousand fans under the average. There are several reasons over the upcoming games to attend a game at the XL Center. For one, the final home game under the Wolf Pack brand will be November 13th against Springfield, and at the game will be several events commemorating the Wolf Pack history, including the announcement of an “All-time Wolf Pack Team”. November 27th is the big day, as the Whale will face off against Bridgeport. There should be no reason why the XL Center wouldn’t be to capacity for that game.
Second, the Wolf Pack/ Whale need to take advantage of power play situations. Hartford is at 16.3%, good for 15th in the AHL. Seeing as the Wolf Pack are currently tied for 27th in the league for goals scored with just twenty, taking advantage of the extra skater would help in getting a few crooked numbers on the scoreboard. Looking at the top ten teams in power play percentage, eight of them would make the playoffs if they started today, and four would be getting home-ice advantage; Norfolk, San Antonio, Rochester and Peoria. Talk about initiative to get the new team running correctly.
So there are just a few ideas, one the fans themselves can help, and one the team should do. Hartford plays Manchester in Hartford on Wednesday, then in New Hampshire on Friday. The weekend is busy against Bridgeport and the CT Cup, as they play down in Harbor Yard Saturday, and in the XL Center Sunday.