Tag Archives: Ryan Gropp

Wolf Pack Weekly: Bonding on the Road

This week, the Wolf Pack began a four-game road trip.  The journey began on Wednesday night in Bridgeport against the Sound Tigers with the Pack earning a 2-1 shootout win.  Off to a good start, Hartford is attempting to find their groove after sliding down the standings.  The road trip has Hartford playing four games in six days.  Entering the weekend, Hartford has gained a few additional key players that will turn the club around.  Filip Chytil returns to action on Wednesday night against the Sound Tigers.  Vinni Lettieri also played his first game back on Wednesday.  Hartford is seventh in the Atlantic Division with a record of 15-17-3-3 for 36 points.

Roster Moves

In an unusual move, Vinni Lettieri is assigned to Hartford after a brief stint with the Rangers.  The move helps Hartford.  I expect him to be back with New York eventually, possibly as soon as this bi-week is over for the Rangers.  However, that depends on Alain Vigneault but the only reason he was assigned down in the first place was to get some games and playing time in before returning to the big club.  The forward has been the most consistent player in Hartford and was rewarded with a call-up to Broadway when Chris Kreider went down with an injury.

Filip Chytil joins Hartford after the 2018 World Junior Championships. He returned last weekend and although he’s been a bit quiet offensively since his return, he will get back in the grove and dominate offensively in time. Chris Langkow was released earlier in the week.  The ECHL forward joined Hartford on a professional tryout agreement.  Hartford needed another forward when they were depleted.  Chris Langkow played in five games, recording one goal and one assist for two points. Caleb Herbert was also released from his professional tryout agreement and rejoined the Wolf Pack’s ECHL affiliate, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits.

One Timers

  • Peter Holland has goals in two straight games. From the looks of things, he’s getting hot and he could very well be in for a lengthy point streak. You can check out a recent article about him here by John Altavilla of the Hartford Courant.
  • Anthony DeAngelo is a streaky defensive player.  Since his point streak of six games, the prospect is quieter.  Defensively his game is still strong and is improving.
  • Ryan Gropp continues to work hard.  Despite not being dominant on the score sheet, the young forward is quietly progressing.  He gets goals in bunches and is useful in the shootout.  There is plenty to like about his game.  He plays hard and makes nifty passes.  In addition, he keeps his defense simple and is able to adapt to any situation.  In 31 games, the forward has 8 goals and 3 assists for 11 points.  Measuring a prospect’s growth is not just about the points they notch.  There is more to look at.
  • Gabriel Fontaine is another young prospect that is developing quietly.  In 35 games he’s notched 6 goals, 4 assists for 10 points.  Similar to Ryan Gropp, Gabriel Fontaine has a good two-way game.  He keeps his play simple and scores in bunches.  Both forwards are growing and both have potential to become big name players on the Wolf Pack down the road.
  • Dan Catenacci returns to the lineup from injury.  Prior to playing on Wednesday, his last action was against Providence on December 8th.  He is a good depth center to have.  In addition, Dan Catenacci plays with grit and is not afraid to get in the dirty areas.
  • Marek Mazanec stole the show against Bridgeport.  He stops 46 of 47 shots in the game.  He also stops all three Bridgeport shooters in the shootout.  He is a great pickup.  Well done by Chris Drury and the Rangers.

Upcoming Games

Friday, January 12th vs Laval Rocket (Montreal) at 7:30 pm,  Place Bell

  • Peter Holland returns to Place Bell since his trade.  The Wolf Pack will also see ex-Ranger Adam Cracknell in a Rocket uniform. They are fifth in the North Division with a record of 15-17-5-2, similar to Hartford.  This is the final meeting between both clubs as Hartford plays them twice.  Last time out, the Wolf Pack lost in overtime at the XL Center on November 12th in the first meeting with Laval.

Saturday, January 13th vs Belleville Senators (Ottawa) at 7:00 pm, Yardmen Arena

  • The second and final meeting of the season against the Senators.  Hartford lost the first game in the season series at home 5-1 on October 20th.  Belleville is sixth in the North Division with a record of 15-20-0-3.  The club is 4-6 in the last ten games.

Monday, January 15th vs Springfield Thunderbirds (Florida) at 1:05 pm, Mass Mutual Center

  • The last game of the road trip for Hartford.  Springfield is 5-4-0-1 in the last ten games.  They are below Hartford in the Atlantic Division for eighth.  This is the ninth meeting with Springfield out of twelve games.  The Thunderbirds have lost the last three of four games as well.

Wolf Pack Weekly: Point Streak to Losing Streak

This upcoming weekend features a three in three for the Wolf Pack. Unfortunately, the club lost three straight after going on a nine-game point streak. In their recent three game losing streak, the Pack gave up five goals. The offense has gone cold while the defense has turned into a hot mess. Entering the weekend, Hartford is ranked seventh in the Atlantic Division with a record of 13-15-3-3 for 32 points (a .471 point percentage).

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Wolf Pack Weekly: Pack Slumping Through Mid-November

Zach Sill & Tony DeAngelo

Last weekend was rough for the Wolf Pack. The club dropped all three games and struggled on both sides of the puck. This is their first big slump of the season and they experienced their first blowout of the season as well on Friday night against Bridgeport, losing 7-3. It will be interesting to see how they respond this upcoming week. The club last season did not respond well to slumps and they now have their work cut out for themselves. The team is currently 7-11-2-1, seventh in the Atlantic Division, with a point percentage of .405.
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Let’s Play The Blame Game

USA Today

There is something deeply engrained within the sports fan. Past passion, past excitement, past memories, past the ability to get oh so high from a trade that seems to go in your favor, right where irrationality meets frustration lays that dirty ugly five letter word, blame. The Rangers lose: polls run, who’s to blame? Beat writers search for the scapegoat, irrational fans go to their old favorites “That was definitely Girardi’s fault on defense and Stepan never put home that puck on the goal line.” But wait, it’s 2017. Those names are long gone, but still, the instinct is to blame and blame who or what’s comfortable.

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