Wings vs. Fire Wolves: Preview, Odds, How to Watch

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Philadelphia Wings
Philadelphia Wings logo (Photo Credit/Alex McIntyre)
(Photo Credit/Alex McIntyre)

The Philadelphia Wings (1-1) split their road trip, defeating the New York Riptide, 13-10, before falling to the Toronto Rock, 11-7. Today, they host the Albany Fire Wolves (2-0) in their 2023-2024 home opener at the Wells Fargo Center at 1pm.

Paul Day knows his club is ready to return to their homefield. During the NLL Faceoff Weekend, Day saw the fans who took buses from Philadelphia to Long Island to support the team. There just isn’t a place quite like home, where the energy is pumping:

“We are definitely really excited to get home. It’s a fantastic place to play; great energy, the fans are great. A lot of fans came to New York on some buses, which was awesome.”

Paul Day; 12/15/2023

The Wings and Fire Wolves only clash once. There are only four teams Philadelphia plays more than once this season (Riptide, Thunderbirds, Roughnecks, Panther City). Today comes with critical stress toward the NLL standings throughout the season.

“We only play Albany once, and most of the teams we’re only playing once. We got four teams where we play twice, but, it’s an important game for tie-breakers at the end of the season. You can end up in those situations where you’re tied with the team, you want to beat the team, which is a tie-breaker. That’s our big focus against Albany, and obviously, we want to get them in the loss column as well. We take care of ourselves first and take care of our home field.”

Paul Day; 12/15/2023

Albany Fire Wolves

Albany defeated the Buffalo Bandits, 17-13, to remain undefeated. Currently, the Fire Wolves average 14.5 goals per game but are converting powerplays at an atrocious 14.2% rate and killing penalties at a not much better 25% success rate.

Tye Kurtz and Alex Simmons each contributed to a powerplay goal versus the Bandits, earning primary assists on goals to Ethan Walker and Marshall Powless. Simmons tallied eight points (5G, 3A) versus Buffalo. Kurtz added another five points (2G, 3A).

Joe Nardella and Mike Byrne stood out in the loose ball and caused turnover column. A combination of their defensive effort and overall hustle contributes to Albany being able to hold onto late leads en route to an undefeated, small sample size to begin the season.

Doug Jamieson earned two straight victories, saving a combined 63/86 shots on goal for a 73.2%SV and a 13GAA. He will receive the probable start for the Fire Wolves.

Philadelphia Wings

An added emphasis was put on the transition from defense to offense this week in practice from Day. A massive contributor to the success against the Riptide, but a huge detractor from the effort against the Rock.

“It was the transition game where we’re losing a lot of games [last season], and I think the same thing happened in Toronto last weekend.”

Paul Day; 12/15/2023

Ian Rubel and Jeff McComb received their flowers for keeping the special teams consistent. Day recounts the Wings scoring a six-on-five chance and two shorthanded goals, citing special teams as a high focus.

“Jeff McComb and Ian Rubel do a good job with our special teams, for sure. It’s some of our metrics. We want to win the special teams game every time we play, and the first two games, we’ve done that.”

Paul Day; 12/15/2023

Comparably, Philadelphia is keeping its nose clean in terms of undisciplined play. They only had six chances over two games to deploy the powerplay and penalty kill. McComb has his man-advantage unit converting at a 66.6% rate, and Rubel has hit unit turning down 50% of penalties. The Wings are equipped to win the special teams battle versus Albany.

Blaze Riorden and Holden Cattoni will miss extended time with upper-body injuries. Day confirmed Tanner Buck would make his Philadelphia debut. Buck is coming into the lineup to balance the forwards as a left-handed shot. Ben McIntosh, Joe Resetarits, Taggart Clark, and Sam LeClair still make up the right-handed shooting depth. Fun fact: Clark will battle his father, Glenn, the head coach of the Fire Wolves.

Mitch Jones leads the Wings with 12 points (3G, 9A). He led the team in points during both games to date, creating chemistry with Resetarits on the powerplay in Toronto.

Ian Llord, Chad Tutton, and Alex Pace are relied upon to push the defense and transition. Riorden said after the win in New York that he learned more from this group of veterans than he has from any other team, which speaks loudly about the leadership and support lingering on the roster. The leadership transcends the forwards for the Riorden, the team captain, and Day supported that notion, citing a lot of players, including those defensemen.

Head-to-head with Albany, Philadelphia can’t rely on firepower alone, averaging 10 goals per game. Zach Higgins saved a combined 88/109 shots on goal for an 80.7%SV and a 10.5GAA. He is the likely starting goaltender for the Wings.

Place Your Bets (via Bet365)

Philadelphia Wings (-165)
Albany Fire Wolves (+125)

Game Information

Today, the Philadelphia Wings will face off versus the Albany Fire Wolves at 1pm at the Wells Fargo Center. You can watch the game streaming on ESPN+.

(Photo Credit/Alex McIntyre)