Game Day Preview: Toledo Walleye (21-4-0-1) vs Wheeling Nailers (14-10-2-0)

Time for some T-Town Hockey at the Huntington Center Walleye fans! Tonight we play host to the Wheeling Nailers as Toledo looks to rebound from their first shootout loss of the year on Saturday. The Nailers will be the first opponent in a home and away, as tomorrow night we look to take down the Kalamazoo Wings. Focusing on tonight though, the rivalry between the Walleye and Nailers is one of my favorites. Highlighted by physical play and high octane action, the two teams always seem to put on a show for whatever crowd they are playing for. Stats are usually less significant in a rivalry game, but we’ll examine them anyway.

Toledo Walleye
League Standing: 1st place at 21-4-0-1 and 43 points
Western Conference Standing: 1st out of 13 teams
Central Division Standing: 1st out of 7 teams
Goals Scored Average: 4.38, with 114 goals scored ranking 1st
Goals Against Average: 2.85, with 74 goals allowed tied for 3rd
Power Play: 23.9%, 1st ranked percentage and have scored 27 Power Play goals
Penalty Kill: 83.7%, 16th ranked percentage with 14 Power Play goals allowed

Wheeling Nailers
League Standing: 16th place at 14-10-2-0 and 30 points
Eastern Conference Standing: 8th out of 14 teams
North Division Standing: 5th out of 6 teams
Goals Scored Average: 3.27, with 85 goals scored ranking 16th
Goals Against Average: 3.11, with 81 goals allowed ranking 10th
Power Play: 16.4%, 15th ranked percentage and have scored 19 Power Play goals
Penalty Kill: 76.1%, 26th ranked percentage (second worst) with 26 Power Play goals allowed

Player Transactions:

 Toledo Walleye
Released Toledo native Andrew Gedert (G) from emergency backup position with the team. The Walleye have brought back UM graduate Steve Racine (G) to serve as the backup to Jake Paterson as well. Also, we have brought in Michael Leone’s little brother Chris Leone (D) who has signed a Standard Player Contract.

Wheeling Nailers
Latest trade news comes from December 21st when Wheeling acquired defenseman Keevin Cutting from the Indy Fuel.

Rivalry games yields some of the best hockey to watch, because all bets are off and stats go out the window. Wheeling and Toledo have not been friends for some time, due in part to a grueling playoff series during the 2015 playoffs when the Walleye won in seven games. The former division foes are having rather different seasons as a whole, with Toledo leading the league and the Nailers out of a playoff spot right now. Expect Toledo’s Power Play to cause chaos if given the opportunity, as Wheeling’s Penalty Kill unit is one of the worst in the league. Though solid in our last game, Toledo still needs to tie up some loose ends on defense to prevent letting this game get away from them like the last. Hopefully we see Toledo get back on track begin another home win streak, let’s go Walleye!

Stats and Transactions acquired from the ECHL Website at:
http://www.echl.com

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