A look at Rockford atop AHL at quarter mark; Ted Dent comments on PIMs, fighting: more on Blackhawks Analytics position

2014Nov22_Schnell_Liambas_Fight_Pic_IceHogsRyan Schnell (38) fights Milwaukee’s Michael Liambas Nov 22 in Rockford
photo courtesy of Rockford IceHogs

By Chris Block

Rockford IceHogs have rolled off four consecutive wins, all without their captain Joakim Nordstrom, veteran goaltender Michael Leighton and leading scorer Mark McNeill. The latter three wins also came without Adam Clendening and Phillip Danault.

In the process, the depleted IceHogs grabbed three wins from divisional foes this past weekend to solidify Rockford with the best record (14-4-0-1, .763) in the AHL. It started with 4-3 come-from-behind overtime win over Iowa on Friday.

The only games Rockford has lost this season have been to Milwaukee (3 times) and Rochester. Their shootout competition loss came in Toronto on October 19th, after 67 minutes of scoreless hockey.

The IceHogs snapped an 8-game losing streak, stretching back to last season, when they finally defeated the Milwaukee Admirals on Saturday night in Rockford by a 3-2 score in what may have been the best 60 minutes of hockey Rockford’s been a part of all season. Read more »

Fantasy Chatter: Week 8 double-down, bad goalies, a Dubnyk and a Klingberg

ItsSunny_Mac_Frank

THE WEEK AHEAD: WEEK 8, NOV 24 – NOV 30

4 Game slates: DET, MIN, NYI, OTT, PHI, PITT
3 Game slates: ANA, BUF, CAL, CAR, CHI, COL, CLB, DAL, EDM, FLA, LA, NASH, NJ, NYR, STL, VAN, WASH, WINN
2 Game slates: ARI, BOS, MON, SJ, TB, TOR
Back to Back Games: ANA, BUF, CAL, CAR, CHI, COL, CLB, DAL, EDM, LA, MIN, MON, NJ, NYI, NYR, OTT, PHI, PIT, STL, WASH, WINN

By Lane Myer

Chris Block, TTMI overlord, has added an extra comma to my paycheck. Thus, beginning this week we will be adding back to back games to the Week Ahead schedule. Now is the opportune time to do so as this week’s schedule will see an unusually high number of back to back games due to the real American Thanksgiving providing a slew of Friday and Saturday back to back contests. Read more »

Hansen nets 3; Hawks fall to Canucks 4-1

By Brad Vandenberk

After leaving Edmonton on Saturday night with a 7-1 victory, it was time to face a tougher opponent with a visit to Rogers Arena in Vancouver. The circus road trip has been great for the Hawks starting 2-0. This would be their third in four nights spanning across western Canada. The Hawks dropped this contest 4-1 on the back of Jannik Hansen’s hat trick. Corey Crawford made some acrobatic saves to keep the Hawks in the game, but it would be the momentum of Daniel Sedin’s 1000th game that would win out on Sunday. Read more »

Hartman snaps drought: Injury updates on Mark McNeill, Leighton; More info on McNeill

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Ryan Hartman (24) and T.J. Brennan (7) hug out their OT winning-goal  connection on Fri Nov 21st in Rockford
Photo credit: Rockford IceHogs

By Chris Block

Blackhawks 2013 first round draft pick Ryan Hartman got off to a good start offensively this season, then fell off the scoresheets for a few weeks.

On Friday, Hartman snapped a 9-game pointless streak. He tallied twice for the IceHogs, including the game-tying in the third period, then the overtime game-winner in a 4-3 win over the Iowa Wild in Rockford. The goals were Hartman’s 3rd and 4th of the season.

The local product was originally credited with two goals in a 3-2 Opening night loss to Milwaukee on October 11st, but one of those would later rightly be given to defenseman Zach Miskovic.

Following his two-goal performance on Friday, Hartman said he was never concerned about his drop off in offensive production.

“It’s part of hockey. I’ve done that plenty of times before,” said Hartman. “There’s times when the puck’s not going your way. Read more »

Hartman snaps 2, drought, in IceHogs 4-3 OT win over Iowa

By Chris Block

Playing without four of the team’s top regulars, including their leading scorer (Mark McNeill) and team captain (Joakim Nordstrom), the Rockford IceHogs returned to action Friday night with the AHL West’s last-placed Iowa Wild visiting northern Illinois.

The IceHogs saw their roster stripped of last year’s leading scorer in defenseman Adam Clendening, who made his NHL debut for the Blackhawks in Calgary on Thursday night, notching his first NHL goal in the contest.  Then, after that game, the IceHogs’ parent club recalled center Phillip Danault, who will now also be making his NHL debut in Edmonton on Saturday.

Danault and Clendening joined IceHogs’ captain Joakim Nordstrom, who was recalled by the ‘Hawks last Saturday, the same day McNeill limped off the ice at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee after blocking a shot off his knee.

Yet without four of their best players, the IceHogs found a way to pickup two points against Iowa on Friday.  Ryan Hartman scored twice, and left winger Ryan Schnell posted a ‘Gordie Howe’ hat-trick in Rockford’s 4-3 come-from-behind OT victory over the Wild. Read more »

Clendening Makes Most of NHL Debut, Hawks Win 4-3 In Calgary

By Jon Fromi

Adam Clendening showed his power play prowess to his new Chicago Blackhawks team mates Thursday night. The rookie defenseman struck twine in his NHL debut to help Chicago knock off the Calgary Flames 4-3 in the Saddledome. Patrick Kane scored the game-winner and set up another Hawks goal as Chicago picked up two points in the first game of a six-game road trip.

First Period-T.J. Brodie held Brandon Saad’s stick two minutes into the contest to provide an early chance to jump out to a lead. Thanks to the new kid, they did.

Adam Clendening took a return pass from Marian Hossa and blasted a one-timer from the point. The shot beat Jonas Hiller thanks in part to a screen by Kris Versteeg, settling into the net right at the four-minute mark to give Clendening his first NHL goal and the Hawks a 1-0 lead. Read more »

Lindbloom’s View: Where rubber meets the road

Lindbloom_2014Nov20_1Sailing Off To Distant Shores

I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harms way.” – John Paul Jones

By Rich Lindbloom

For those of you who need a brush up on US history, John Paul Jones was referred to as The Father of the U S Navy. You may recognize a quote of his I read on Wikipedia that is perhaps a bit more memorable;

“During his engagement with HMS Serapis, Jones uttered, according to the later recollection of his first lieutenant, the legendary reply to a taunt about surrender from the British captain: “Surrender, HELL, I have not yet begun to fight!”

This recollection of John Paul Jones was brought about while waiting in the lobby of a customer I was calling upon recently. I found myself intently gazing at a huge painting of a frigate navigating high winds and treacherous seas. Read more »

Fantasy Chatter: Week 7 – Pacing Yourself & the Waiver Wire: East Coast Bias Edition

ItsAlwaysSunny_PaceYourselfTTMI

The Week Ahead: Week 7, Nov 17 – Nov 23

4 Game slates: ARI, MON, NYR, STL, TB
3 Game slates: ANA, BOS, BUF, CAL, CAR, CHI, CLB, DAL, DET, EDM, FLA, LA, NASH, NJ, NYI, PHI, PIT, SJ, TOR, VAN, WASH, WINN
2 Game slates: COL, MIN, OTT

By Lane Myer

Chasing points stinks.   You’re fully aware of this because chasing wins from goalies in fantasy hockey or W’s from starting pitchers in fantasy baseball can be maddening. One of the follies fantasy hockey players might run into at this time of the year, at least for those of you in standard roto leagues (where there are games played limitations), is balancing chasing those points and trying to maintain your league’s games played pace. It’s even more difficult to restrain yourself if you find your drafted heroes well behind the leaders in your league’s current standings. Read more »

Hawks post 6 unanswered 3rd period goals on route to 6-2 win over the Stars

By Brad Vandenberk

After an abysmal game in Detroit on Friday, the Chicago Blackhawks returned home Sunday night to play division rival Dallas Stars. The final period saw an explosion of goals on route to a 6-2 victory behind 6 different Hawks players adding a multi-point night.

The new lines constructed by Coach Q combined for 13 points and a power play goal from Brent Seabrook. Corey Crawford stood strong for the home team including surrendering 2 Dallas goals within 39 seconds. Kari Lehtonen was the victim to all 6 Blackhawk goals. Dan Carcillo, Michal Rozsival and newly called up Joakim Nordstrom were inserted into the lineup with Jeremy Morin and Dave Rundblad watching from above.

Two scary moments during the game when Trevor VanRiemsdyk was hit in the left leg with a shot and left halfway through the first period, not returning. Jonathan Toews almost lost an ear when Tyler Seguin was falling to the ice getting his skate up on captain serious, just kicking his helmet. Coach Q stated that TVR could be out “awhile.” Read more »

News on Blackhawks roster moves Saturday; Mark McNeill injured in IceHogs game in Milwaukee

2014Nov14_Darling_Scott_vs_Milwaukee_IceHogsScott Darling, November 14, 2014 vs Milwaukee Admirals
Photo courtesy of Rockford IceHogs

By Chris Block

The Blackhawks made a series of roster moves on Saturday that were released over the course of the day out of necessity ahead of their next game, Sunday night at the United Center.

First, Peter Regin was reassigned to the Rockford IceHogs (AHL) prior the Blackhawks Saturday morning practice. In 4 games played with the Blackhawks, Regin averaged 8:20 of ice time. He had one assist and three shots on goal.

This move wouldn’t come as a surprise, as Joel Quenneville also announced on Saturday that Dan Carcillo (knee) would return to Chicago’s lineup on Sunday when the Blackhawks host the Dallas Stars. Since Regin had to clear waivers to go to Rockford in October, he’ll have to go through the process again if he’s played in ten NHL games or spent 30 days on the NHL roster. Thus, Regin’s demotion was inevitable.

Carcillo, 29, was injured on October 25th in St. Louis. He’s missed the past 10 games.

Later in the day, however, the Hawks then announced the recall of forward Joakim Nordstrom from Rockford. Nordstrom was named Rockford’s team captain last month. In 14 games this season with the IceHogs, the 22-year old Swede has 5 goals and 3 assists. Nordstrom is averaging a little better than 2 shots on goal per game and has a minus-1 rating. He’s mostly skated on the right wing with Dennis Rasmussen and Teuvo Teravainen being his primary centers.  The Nordstrom recall indicates there’s likely a need for a healthy forward that’s more urgent than the upcoming road trip.

The more newsworthy transaction (for now) came at 11pm central, when the Blackhawks recalled goaltender Scott Darling from the IceHogs. In doing so, Chicago also reassigned Antti Raanta back to Rockford.

We can report independently that the decision to recall Darling and send Raanta to Rockford was made earlier in the day on Saturday, and prior to Rockford’s game in Milwaukee. Read more »