Fantasy Chatter: Week 16 – Replacing Rinne & Bobrovsky and First Line Roundabouts

ItsAlwaysSunny_WrestlingRumbleWho will win The Royal Rumble the starting job in Minny?

The Week Ahead: Jan 26 – Feb 1

4 Game slates: ARI, MON, NASH, PIT, WASH
3 Game slates: ANA, BUF, CAL, CAR, CHI, CLB, DAL, DET, EDM, FLA, MIN, NJ, NYI, NYR, PHI, STL, TB, TOR, VAN, WINN
2 Game slates: BOS, COL, LA, OTT, SJ
Back to Back games: ANA, ARI, BUF, CAR, CHI, MON, NASH, NJ, PIT, STL, TOR, WASH (x2)

By Lane Myer

In recent vintage we’ve covered first half over and underachievers as well as TTMI’s Top 50 Keeper/Dynasty League Under 25 Rankings for those fledgling teams who are looking towards next season and have no alternative other than undergoing a rebuild.

Hopefully the amount on goalie info won’t be quite as daunting and time consuming as it was this week, so we hope to concentrate on those owners in redraft leagues who are in the middle of the pack in their respective league’s standings and need to start making their move now with some high risk/high reward trade targets. By that measure we’re talking about selling high on some first half over performers and targeting first half underperformers who may be primed for a second half market correction. Read more »

IceHogs’ shooters get one, enough; Leighton shuts out Iowa 1-0, sets IceHogs record

Leighton_2015Jan13_Charlotte_320x309_IceHogsMichael Leighton – Photo credit: Rockford IceHogs Hockey


By Chris Block

Rockford IceHogs accomplished something Thursday night they had not before this season – score 1 goal and win.

Matt Carey blasted a power play goal by Iowa Wild goalie John Curry with 6:44 remaining in the third period to give the IceHogs a 1-0 lead, a score that stood as the final.

The IceHogs have scored 1 goal or less in 12 of their 43 games. That’s 27.9 percent of the season to date.

Previously Rockford had found ways to earn points without scoring a goal. They’ve lost 1-0 in overtime, another time in a shootout. But until Thursday they had not figured out how to win a game by a 1-0 score.

Michael Leighton stopped 23 shots in picking up his 11th win and 4th shutout this season and 40th of his career. Read more »

Rockford’s goal troubles: Numbers and numbers; Mark McNeill says no more raking leaves

Hartman_Ryan_2014Dec30_IceHogsRyan Hartman – Photo credit: Rockford IceHogs Hockey


By Chris Block

Thanks to a terrific start to the season, the Rockford IceHogs still sit atop the MidWest Division a little past the halfway point of the AHL season.

But the past six weeks have been a struggle for the IceHogs. The team’s offense some nights is almost non-existent and the gap between Rockford and nearest contenders, Milwaukee and Chicago has narrowed.

When the IceHogs win they’re averaging 3.7 goals for versus 1.7 against.

In Rockford’s 19 losses (23-13-4-2), they’ve scored just 1.4 goals per game, while the goaltenders allowed 2.9 against.

“We got four goals [Friday, a 4-0 home ice win over Iowa], which was nice,” said IceHogs’ coach, Ted Dent.

“We haven’t had four goals in a long time. So, we’ll just keep chipping away at it.”

Since Thanksgiving, Rockford has put up 4 goals or more just 4 times. That represents a total of 22 games in which the IceHogs have averaged 2.09 goals for per game. Rockford’s record since Thanksgiving is 8-9-4-1. Two of those wins came via the shootout. Read more »

Hawks beat depleted Penguins squad in Shootout

By Michael Calvert

HOSSA, RUNDBLAD SCORE IN 3-2 SHOOTOUT VICTORY AT PITT

Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang were both hurt for last night’s game. Fleury has been so bad the last 11 games he may has well been hurt, but played fairly well last night.

1st period: The first started out pretty slowly with neither team putting up any real scoring chances. At right around 14:00 the Hawks began to turn it on, jumping all over the Penguins for a whole minute finally scoring on a Rundblad rocket slapper.

The Hawks committed the game’s first penalty at 11:21 with a hook by Oduya, it looked like a Pittsburgh penalty to me. The Penguins weren’t able to capitalize; in fact, the Hawks had more opportunities on the PK. Read more »

Stephen Johns returns only to be sidelined again; Dent says 2-3 weeks, Johns talks prior injury

Johns_Stephen_2015Jan19_IceHogsPicStephen Johns (#4) battles Jeremy Welsh in front of Scott Darling Monday Jan 19
Photo credit: Rockford IceHogs

 

By Chris Block

Rockford had only begun to realize how much they missed the steady and physical play of Stephen Johns when injury struck the rookie defenseman again on Monday.

Now the IceHogs will again be without their big rookie blue liner for a stretch.

Johns will miss the next 2 to 3 weeks, according to the team.

“When you can’t do something you love and you enjoy every day, it hurts and it’s frustrating.”

Those were Stephen Johns’ words this past Saturday night, having just completed his second game back from a concussion that kept him out of action for seven weeks.

Now, a left knee injury, suffered Monday afternoon in a game against the Chicago Wolves, will force Johns to miss more time. Read more »

Ryan Hartman suspension details, Mark McNeill gets Nordstrom’s spot at AHL All-Star Game, Blackhawks add member to Equipment Staff

By Chris Block

RYAN HARTMAN SUSPENDED

American Hockey League on Wednesday suspended IceHogs forward Ryan Hartman for 1 game as result of a high-sticking incident in Monday afternoon’s 4-1 loss to the Chicago Wolves.

The incident took place at 18:44 of the first period along the half wall in the IceHogs’ zone nearest the Rockford bench.

Hartman was looking to play a puck off the wall when Wolves’ forward Colin Fraser converged. Hartman appeared to be looking to lift Fraser’s stick, but what wound up happening was the blade of Hartman’s stick forked Fraser in the face.

There was no immediate penalty called by referees Jarrod Ragusin or Tom Chmielewski (who referred the Blackhawks-Coyotes game in Chicago the next night) as play continued and Fraser returned to the Wolves’ bench. Read more »

Shaw strikes twice, Hawks find stride in 6-1 stomping of the Coyotes

By Brad Vandenberk

After dropping two straight divisional games at home, the taste of losing was on the Hawks’ tongues. It just took a quick stir of the drink to make everything better, and a visit from the Arizona Coyotes also helps.

Coach Q, coaching his 500th game in the Hawks organization, tinkered the line up just slightly to get certain players going. Andrew Shaw got the message, scoring two goals on route to a 6 -1 routing of the desert dogs.

Teuvo Teravainen (1G, 1A) and Bryan Bickell (2A) added to the newly third line. Patrick Sharp (2A) also helped ignite the second line alongside Brad Richards (2A) and Patrick Kane (1G, 2A). That lined combined for 9 points with Kane scoring his 200th career goal all with Chicago, being the 20th player in Blackhawk history to achieve that mark. Even the defense core received a face lift with Duncan Keith mentoring David Rundblad, forcing Brent Seabrook to partner with Niklas Hjalmarsson. Johnny Oduya and Michael Rozsival rounding out the bottom pairing. Read more »

Blackhawks Outgunned by Stars, 6-3 at the UC

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks dropped a wild one to Dallas Sunday night. The visiting Stars pulled away with three goals in the third period to break open a back and forth game. The Hawks found themselves on the short end of a 6-3 decision for their second straight loss.

First Period-The Hawks did not want for opportunities in the early going, firing 11 shots on Kari Lehtonen in the first six and a half minutes. The first goal, however, belonged to Tyler Seguin, who scored on the Stars fifth shot.

The goal came off a faceoff win by Jamie Benn over Marcus Kruger in the Chicago zone. The puck got to Seguin in the slot and his shot beat Corey Crawford at 6:33 in the opening period. Read more »

Lindbloom’s View: Symphony of a Goalie

Lindbloom_2015Jan16_pic1Maestro!

“The sound of the orchestra is one of the most magnificent musical sounds that has ever existed.” – Chick Corea

By Rich Lindbloom

I recall talking to RoseLee and Earl between periods of a game last year, by the pillar they lean against in front of Section 101. Lonnie, one of the two “brothers” who sit in the row directly behind them, was also in the vicinity, and joined the conversation. Lonnie obviously had made note of the numerous musical references in my musings, asking me if I ever listened to classical music. I’m not sure if he was trying to encourage me to broaden my horizons in musical taste, or was subtly critiquing my hockey references to The New York Dolls or The Village People.

It seems that classical music is more of an upper class, “hoity-toity” genre of music. You know, tuxedos, bow ties, champagne – the sophisticates. If the truth be known, I have a lot more in common with the “hoi-polloi” like Willie Robertson from Duck Dynasty, than the upper crust. (Hoi-polloi = dregs of society, masses, rabble, riff raff) Read more »

Rockford’s Slump Continues, Drop 3-2 shootout loss to Charlotte; Stan Bowman Talks Prospects, Teravainen; More notes

2015Jan13_MarkMcNeill_Charlotte_IceHogs_PicMark McNeill doesn’t beat Drew MacIntyre in the shootout Tuesday Jan 13th in Rockford
Photo: Rockford IceHogs Hockey


By Chris Block

On Tuesday night, the Rockford IceHogs began the second half of their season looking to punt their recent goal scoring troubles and get back on a winning track in the first meeting of the season with the visiting Charlotte Checkers.

A weeknight crowd of 2,515 saw their ‘Hogs go down 2-0 midway through the contest only to hustle back to tie, then miss out on the extra point in the shootout competition and lose the game by a 3-2 final score. It was Rockford’s third straight loss.

Phillip Danault and Ryan Hartman were the IceHogs’ goal scorers. It marked the 6th goal of the season for each player. Charlotte’s Drew MacIntyre stopped 41 of 43 Rockford shots while Michael Leighton stood tall at the other end, making 43 saves.

But the struggling IceHogs’ scorers couldn’t get over the two goal hump for the 9th time over the past 11 games. Rockford’s averaging 1.7 goals per game over that stretch while allowing 2.4. Read more »