NHL Playoff Preview on HockeeNight PuckCast with Forklift and Chris Block

By Chris Block

Last night I joined Forklift of HockeeNight.com on his weekly PuckCast for their annual NHL Playoff preview and predictions show.

Forklift attended the Rockford IceHogs vs Chicago Wolves game in Rosemont on Sunday afternoon, so we covered the ‘Hogs, Teuvo Teravainen as well.

Check it out here.

 

Regular season wraps in wild 7-5 Hawks loss in Nashville

By Brad Vandenberk

Game 82 is upon us, finally!  Not that this season has been a bad one, but after mailing it in against the Capitals last night, it’s hard to get excited for this game.  As I stated last night, Chicago can’t move up from their current third seeded position.

Even though most fans and players are looking toward the post season the Hawks are looking to avenge some pride with the season series owned by the Preds 3-1.  It’s amazing to think – would the Preds be making the playoffs if Pekka Rinne played the entire season?  Several players may be playing their final game tonight in the likes of Jeremy Morin and Joakim Nordstrom.  Once Toews and Kane return those two seem to be the odd men out.  It does prove the depth that Chicago does have available if needed to be called upon.  Another situation that will be solved on Sunday evening is who is the Hawks first round opponent?   After both Avalanche and Blues taking a loss last night, it seems that it will come down to the final day of the NHL.  The Avs finish their season against the Ducks while the Blues have an afternoon affair against the Redwings at home.  Read more »

Hawks wash out in our Nation’s Capital

By Brad Vandenberk

With the last weekend of the NHL season upon us, it is reassuring to know that the Hawks will be going to the playoffs and cannot get into a higher spot than the 3rd seed.  Over the past few weeks it was the Avalanche that the Hawks thought they would face for the first round, but with the Blues latest slide it could be either opponent.  Being the third seed means that they will not have home ice for the first round.  So now it’s time to sit back and let me be your host for the final 2 games of the year.  The question now is, do the Hawks rest a few players, Olympic athletes, or do you ride the momentum you are currently on?

The ‘Hawks are on a 4 game winning streak without 2 of their stars, Kane and Toews.  Good news is both players are skating and look to be 100% for the first game of the playoffs.  Read more »

Lindbloom’s View: Natural born lover man

Morin_Jeremy_Lindbloom_viewJeremy Morin flashes the Vulcan gang sign to Bicks

“After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting.” – Spock

By Rich Lindbloom

After Tazer went down to an illegal hit by known Penguin assassin Brooks Orpik, the inner meatball button in me was triggered. Winning the hockey game became secondary to exacting just retribution on the nozzle who obviously was attempting to injure Tazer. I heard several Hawk players defend their lack of response by saying , “It was a 2-1 game and we didn’t want to take a penalty…” type excuse. Apparently there were no mirrors in their locker room in Pittsburgh. Read more »

Hawks win a thriller late in Columbus

By Michael Calvert

The Hawks stole at least one point from the Blue Jackets last night.  The Jackets came into the game clinging to a one point lead for the second wild card spot in the East, and with one game in hand.  With that being said the Jackets needed these points badly and came within 2.5 seconds of getting at least one.  This, two days after Colorado erased a 2-goal BJ lead in the 3rd period and beat Columbus in the shootout.   I suppose it’s a tough week to be a BJ fan, tougher than usual anyway.

Typically sporting the IceHogs jersey, Jeremy Morin and Jokim Nordstrom suited up for this game.  I suppose we can count on the Hawks not burning a contract year on Teuvo Teravainen.   I am a little disappointed personally, but it’s likely for the better. Read more »

Odds and Saads; Stephen Johns signing notes, Hartman debuts; Bollig, Raanta, Blackhawks and IceHogs bits

By Chris Block

This is way later than I targeted for this week, but better late than never.  Today was my first chance to get to this.  And just in time now to start working on next week’s… Anyhow, on with it.

Stephen Johns Signs

On Wednesday (April 2) the Chicago Blackhawks inked Notre Dame senior defenseman Stephen Johns to a two-year entry-level contract that will begin with the 2014-15 season.

Johns has also agreed to a professional try-out contract for the remainder of this season with the Rockford IceHogs.

He traveled with the IceHogs to Abbotsford, British Columbia on Thursday for Rockford’s big 2-game set with the Heat this weekend.

Johns is expected to make his professional debut tonight in Abbotsford.  It looks like he’ll wear number #36, which was Maxim Shalunov’s number earlier in the season. Read more »

Blackhawks recover, down Wild 3-2 in shootout

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks were looking at the daunting task of breaking a three-game skid without the services of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. Hosting Minnesota Thursday night, Chicago survived a late goal by the Wild and posted a 3-2 shootout win.

With the lineup lacking its usual star power, Ben Smith and a returning Bryan Bickell provided the offense for the Blackhawks. The result was a key victory as the regular season winds down.

First Period-Kris Versteeg got off a shot in the first minute after Wild goalie Ilya Bryzgalov misplayed the puck in front of the crease. However, Chicago found the going tough in terms of getting the puck to the net. Minnesota outshot the Hawks 9-5 in the opening period and scoring chances were few for the home team. Read more »

Blackhawks lose game, Captain in Pittsburgh; Quenneville says Toews not serious

By Brad Vandenberk

With over 40 family and friends attending the Consol Energy Center, Brandon Saad better hope his game is better than his outing in Ottawa where he posted a minus-3.  Sunday was Saad’s first regular season game in his hometown of Pittsburgh since turning pro with the Chicago Blackhawks.

This recent Eastern Conference road trip has not been kind to these Hawks going a disappointing 0-2.  The return to the scene of the Cup win was not so eventful being manhandled 3-0.  Then to Canada‘s capital to be embarrassed against one of the conference’s worst.  Now to complete the trip it’s a Sidney Crosby versus Jonathan Toews match up.  Read more »

Lindbloom’s View: The conversation box

Lindbloom_2014Mar29_BambiSkates“Are you the new second line center?” – Thumper

“If you can’t say something nice,
don’t say nothing at all.” – The Thumperian Principle

By Rich Lindbloom

I’m not sure why I’m even bothering to write another synopsis of the vicissitudes of Blackhawk hockey. According to the criminally insane, the Hawks season is officially over after getting trounced against Boston and Ottawa. The malicious maelstrom of fans voicing their discontent with the Blackhawks the last two games has reached disturbing heights.

I like to go to the ESPN NHL Hockey Scoreboard each night to see how my Fantasy players are doing. I click on the box score of all the games to keep track of all the goings on. One box I’ve never checked is the Conversation box, so on a whim I clicked it after Friday’s game. Talk about Pandora’s box! Read more »

IceHogs overcome rocky start and finish, defeat division-leading Grand Rapids 5-4

By Chris Block

If the AHL playoffs were to begin this weekend, the first round would include a matchup between the Rockford IceHogs and Grand Rapids Griffins.

Those two clubs were set to face off Friday and Saturday in a home-and-home set that will be their final two meetings in the regular season.

Rockford prevailed in a roller-coaster affair on Friday night before a crowd of 5,223 at the BMO Harris Bank Center.  The IceHogs topped the Midwest Division leading Griffins 5-4 behind goals from Brad Mills, Mathieu Brisebois, Brian Connelly and two from Adam Clendening.

Friday’s game got off to a clumsy beginning with the IceHogs guilty of several icings before the first scheduled television time out.  Their struggles got worse after Mathieu Brisebois bumped Colin Campbell down as the two chased a loose puck in the ‘Hogs zone and was sent off for tripping. Read more »