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Wolves have business to finish
By Scott J. Powers | Daily Herald Correspondent
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Published: 6/10/2008 12:03 AM

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The Chicago Wolves aren't happy to be home.

Wilkes-Barre, PA, may not be the ideal place to celebrate much outside of an office marathon, but the Wolves do wish they had discovered more about the city's nightlife.

Instead of having carried around the Calder Cup in the streets of Wilkes-Barre, they have returned home with more business to do.

"I would have loved to finish it there," said Wolves veteran Steve Martins, who had his family travel with him in hopes of doing such.

But after once holding a 3-0 lead, the Wolves are now down to two chances at Allstate Arena (Game 6 tonight, Game 7 Thursday if necessary) to put away the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for good.

The Wolves don't want to become the first team in AHL history to choke away a 3-0 lead. The players believe they need to make more mental adjustments than any physical changes to their game.

The Wolves began losing their edge on the Penguins when they got caught up in what they perceived as questionable officiating calls in Game 4 and lost 3-2. With less than 24 hours between games, the Wolves weren't able to put away those feelings in Game 5 and fell even harder, losing 5-1.

"We can't let our emotions get the best of us," Martins said. "The officiating is what it is. It's not something we can control. Were there some questionable calls in Game 4? Sure. Should it have affected us the way it did? Absolutely not. A lot of it has to do with focus. We really need to understand what we need to do."

The lack of offense was the most notable difference in the back-to-back losses. The Wolves scored 14 goals in the first three games. They had a total of three in the last two.

Penguins goalie John Curry played a large part in that. He has stopped 50 of the Wolves' last 53 shots, and has shut them out in 4 of the last 6 periods. Despite Curry's play, Wolves captain Darren Haydar believes the Wolves' offense hasn't fallen apart.

"I think we had a lot of opportunities and we hit some posts (in the last two games)," said Haydar, who scored twice in Game 4. "Curry, he played great. He definitely stepped up his play, but we just missed some opportunities at key times."

Even though the series has changed over the past week, Haydar is not nervous heading into Game 6.

"I'm excited," he said. "Some guys get nervous. For me, I've been here before. Having won before and having lost before, you know the feeling of losing and you don't want that feeling again."