Central Division foes face off tonight as your Toledo Walleye start a three game road trip by taking on the Indy Fuel! The two teams are having completely opposite seasons thus far; with the Walleye still holding on to the top spot in the league while the Fuel are second to last in the standings. Due to this, tonight may be a lopsided affair, but one should never underestimate an opponent at home. Coming out of the All-Star break may have also given Indy the time they needed to regroup for tonight. Prior to the puck dropping, let’s examine how far apart the Walleye and Fuel are stat wise.
League Standing: 1st place at 29-7-0-1 and 59 points
Western Conference Standing: 1st out of 14 teams
Central Division Standing: 1st out of 7 teams
Goals Scored Average: 4.11, with 152 goals scored tied for 1st
Goals Against Average: 2.76, with 102 goals allowed ranking 3rd
Power Play: 23.0%, 1st ranked percentage and have scored 37 Power Play goals
Penalty Kill: 83.6%, 11th ranked percentage with 19 Power Play goals allowed
League Standing: 26th place at 12-23-1-2 and 27 points
Western Conference Standing: Last (14th) out of 14 teams
Central Division Standing: Last (7th) out of 7 teams
Goals Scored Average: 2.58, with 98 goals scored ranking 24th
Goals Against Average: 3.84, with 146 goals allowed ranking last (27th)
Power Play: 13.5%, 20th ranked percentage and have scored 14 Power Play goals
Penalty Kill: 83.3%, 15th ranked percentage with 21 Power Play goals allowed
Since Toledo’s last game against Wheeling on the 15th we have received Tylor Spink back from the Albany Devils of the AHL. As a result of Spink’s return we released forward (F) Daniel Gentzler from his Standard Player Contract (SPC). On the 19th it was also announced that forward Tyler Sikura was loaned to the Iowa Wild of the AHL.
The Fuel’s most recent roster changes occurred on the 12th of January, when two players were dropped and three were signed. The Fuel released Collin MacDonald (F) from his SPC, and traded Nick Betz (F) to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Paul Zanette (F) was acquired from Greenville in return for the trade, while defenseman (D) Adam Phillips was acquired from the Norfolk Admirals. Nick Mattson (D) was also added to the roster via a loan from the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL.
If you happen to be an Indy Fuel fan then it certainly doesn’t look promising heading into tonight’s match up. An offense that has trouble scoring, along with a defense that can’t prevent scoring, is a sure recipe for defeat against any team. When that team is also Toledo, who has the best offense and third best defense, then you better get ready for a long night. Now anything can happen when it comes to hockey, but as long as Toledo comes out for the first skating and energized then we should get some points out of tonight’s match up. Interdivisional play is crucial for playoff appearance and seeding, so a win tonight and on the 22nd against Kalamazoo would greatly help Toledo stay ahead for the playoff race. Tune in tonight at 7:35 to see the action, and let’s go Walleye!