The Wolves opened the 2012-13 season with four straight wins before dropping their fifth game of the year on Saturday; Chicago’s 4-0-0-0 start marked just the second time in franchise history it opened a season with four straight victories.
The Wolves back-to-back wins over Rockford on Saturday and Sunday marked the fifth time in franchise history they opened a season with two straight victories; Chicago has gone on to win a league title in three of the four previous times they started the year 2-0-0-0 (1998; 2002; 2008.)
Saturday’s game against Rockford marks the sixth time in the Wolves 19-year history, and just the second time in the last nine years, the team has opened the season at home. The Wolves have posted an 8-5-2-3 mark in regular-season openers, which includes a 3-1-1-0 mark at the Allstate Arena.
The Wolves return home for Game 3 on Tuesday, but face elimination after dropping the opening two games of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in San Antonio; Chicago has posted a 15-10 all-time mark when facing elimination in the playoffs, which includes an 8-6 mark on home ice.
Chicago will open its 15th postseason run in 18 years when it travels to San Antonio for Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 19; the third-seeded Wolves, who chose to start on the road due to the series being a 2-3 format, have never met the sixth-seeded Rampage in the postseason.
The Wolves enter the final week of the regular season one point shy of the 15th playoff berth in their 18-year history; Chicago, who sits in first place in the Midwest Division with 86 points (40-26-3-3), can clinch a spot in the 2012 Calder Cup playoffs by earning a point at Texas or any type of Rochester loss against Grand Rapids on Tuesday.
With seven games remaining in the regular season, the Wolves sit in first place in the Midwest Division with 82 points (38-25-3-3); Chicago holds a three-point advantage over second-place Charlotte, but the Checkers have one game in hand. Third through 12th place in the Western Conference are separated by just eight points.
With nine games remaining in the regular season, the Wolves sit in first place in the Midwest Division with 79 points (37-25-2-3); Chicago holds a four-point advantage over second-place Charlotte and Peoria, but the Checkers have one game in hand on the Wolves, while Chicago holds a game in hand on the Rivermen.
With 12 games remaining in the regular season, the Wolves sit in first place in the Midwest Division with 75 points (35-24-2-3) and lead second-place Peoria by two points; Chicago holds a three-point advantage over third-place Charlotte, but the Checkers have two games in hand.
With 15 games remaining in the regular season, the Wolves share second place in the Midwest Division with 71 points (33-23-2-3) and trail first-place Charlotte by one point, but the Checkers hold one game in hand; Chicago is tied for second place with Peoria, but the Wolves hold two games in hand on the Rivermen.
The Wolves snapped a season-high-tying five-game winless streak on Sunday with a 4-1 win over Western Conference-leading Oklahoma City; the Wolves sit in second place in the Midwest Division with 67 points (31-22-2-3) and trail first-place Charlotte by three points, and travel to North Carolina for a pair of tilts against the Checkers on March 10 and 11.