AHL Playoffs Matchup Analysis: Chicago Wolves vs Springfield Thunderbirds

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.

Goalie Matchup

Chicago Wolves
GoalieGameSavesShotsSave %
Alex Lyon1 vs STK242885.7
Pyotr Kochetkov2 vs STK333594.3
Alex Lyon3 @ STK2323100.0
Pyotr Kochetkov4 @ STK343889.5
Alex Lyon5 @ STK323591.4
Pyotr Kochetkov6 vs STK2828100.0
Springfield Thunderbirds
GoalieGameSavesShotsSave %
Joel Hofer1 vs LAV414297.7
Charlie Lindgren2 vs LAV222684.6
Joel Hofer3 @ LAV374092.5
Joel Hofer4 @ LAV485194.1
Charlie Lindgren5 @ LAV252792.6
Joel Hofer6 vs LAV263086.7
Charlie Lindgren7 vs LAV3434100.0

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 1Sunday, June 193 PM @ CHI
Game 2Monday, June 207 PM @ CHI
Game 3Wednesday, June 226 PM @ SPR
Game 4Friday, June 246 PM @ SPR
Game 5*Saturday, June 256 PM @ SPR
Game 6*Tuesday, June 287 PM @ CHI
Game 7*Wednesday, June 297 PM @ CHI
*If Necessary

Published by Will McClaughry

Sports fan, data enthusiast and former division 3 college basketball player

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