Rockford continues its busiest week of the season tonight when they bus to Rosemont, Illinois for the 7th of 10 matchups this season with the Chicago Wolves. The two teams have split the games even so far.
As a team, the IceHogs have been nothing short of awful of late.
Rockford has lost 13 of their last 15 games (2-11-2-0). Seven of those losses have come on home ice. When this recent stretch of losses began back on January 21st, Rockford was three games above the .500 mark (19-16-1-4) having won seven of ten.
Today, the IceHogs (21-27-3-4) are deeply trenched in last place in the West division, trailing 7th place Chicago by 15 points. With only 25 games left in the regular season, the IceHogs would essentially have to run the table now in order to grab a spot in the postseason. Just two teams in the league (Adirondack and Bridgeport) hold fewer wins than Rockford.
The chief culprit in this recent swoon has been some inexplicable poor starts.
Dating back to Jan 21st, Rockford is being outscored 27-11 in the opening period. It gets a little better in the middle stanza (10gf-15ga) while the 3rd period rings dead-even (14-14).
On five occasions in the last 15 starts, Rockford has trailed by two or more goals after the opening twenty minutes. Three times, they trailed by three or more. On Feb 13 at Milwaukee, the IceHogs trailed after the first period 5-1.
While the goaltending of Alec Richards and Hannu Toivonen has been less than adequate at times over the downturn, Rockford’s defense has largely been to blame.