The Chicago Wolves continue this incredible season all the way to the Calder Cup Finals! They beat Rockford, Milwaukee and now Stockton to reach the finals. They’ll meet the Springfield Thunderbirds in the Finals. Springfield beat Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Charlotte and Laval to get here.
The Thunderbirds finished second in the Atlantic Division in the regular season with a 43-24-6-3 record just behind the Charlotte Checkers. They’ll face a Wolves team that’s looked unstoppable this year: finishing with the best record in the AHL.
When we look at where these teams plot out on the graph above, we see that this looks like the Wolves are much better on both offense and defense.
|Alex Lyon||1 vs STK||24||28||85.7|
|Pyotr Kochetkov||2 vs STK||33||35||94.3|
|Alex Lyon||3 @ STK||23||23||100.0|
|Pyotr Kochetkov||4 @ STK||34||38||89.5|
|Alex Lyon||5 @ STK||32||35||91.4|
|Pyotr Kochetkov||6 vs STK||28||28||100.0|
|Joel Hofer||1 vs LAV||41||42||97.7|
|Charlie Lindgren||2 vs LAV||22||26||84.6|
|Joel Hofer||3 @ LAV||37||40||92.5|
|Joel Hofer||4 @ LAV||48||51||94.1|
|Charlie Lindgren||5 @ LAV||25||27||92.6|
|Joel Hofer||6 vs LAV||26||30||86.7|
|Charlie Lindgren||7 vs LAV||34||34||100.0|
Both teams used two goalies a lot in the previous series and I would expect the same in Calder Cup Finals. Alex Lyon was second in the AHL among qualified goalies in goals against average for the season (2.16) and is 4th in the Playoffs (1.96). Kochetkov only played 15 games in the regular season, but had a 2.09 GAA, so he would’ve been ahead of Lyon on that list. He sits third on the list for the AHL Playoffs (1.94).
For Springfield, Joel Hofer is currently 5th in goals against average for the Calder Cup Playoffs (2.08) and Charlie Lindgren is 13th (2.47). Lindgren was the much better goalie during the regular season with a 2.21 GAA vs 2.96 GAA for Hofer, but Hofer is playing much better in these playoffs.
Offensively, both teams have some players who can make things happen. Below we see each team top point-getters in this year’s Calder Cup Playoffs.
The Wolves have been the most dominate team in the AHL all season long and have continued to prove it in the playoffs. They should dominate this series on paper, but it is the Calder Cup Finals so you know Springfield is going to throw everything they can at Chicago. We’ll have to see if it’s enough to slow this Wolves offense!
Calder Cup Finals Schedule
|Game 1||Sunday, June 19||3 PM @ CHI|
|Game 2||Monday, June 20||7 PM @ CHI|
|Game 3||Wednesday, June 22||6 PM @ SPR|
|Game 4||Friday, June 24||6 PM @ SPR|
|Game 5*||Saturday, June 25||6 PM @ SPR|
|Game 6*||Tuesday, June 28||7 PM @ CHI|
|Game 7*||Wednesday, June 29||7 PM @ CHI|