Mar 172011

As I had mentioned last week, I’ve been getting more email than usual of late regarding Hawks’ prospects in Rockford. So I decided to throw some of these up on the site with the emailers’ consent. We’ll break this up into parts since there are quite a few.

Enjoyed your (Kyle) Beach q&a. Be nice if he practiced the things he says though. Another Dale Tallon miss if I may say. Tallon had some nice late round picks and a few good trades but his overall body of work is vastly overrated. Beach is an eyesore, just as Cam Barker, Tuomo Ruutu and Jack Skille. Seriously, I have no faith Dylan Olsen will do anything given Tallon’s draft history. Unless he’s drafting 1st or 3rd. Who can miss then?

Aside from attitude, what’s the major hold up in his development? Who would you compare him to? Beach is one of two players in the top 15 in his draft class who’ve yet to reach the NHL and the other, Colton Teubert, just changed addresses. Cody Hodgson was picked one spot ahead of Beach and he’d probably been in the NHL for some time now had he not been injured severely a year ago. Josh Bailey was picked 10th by the Islanders (one spot before Mr. Beach) and he’s played in almost 200 games now. Its probably high time we chalk Beach up to a first round bust. Don’t you agree? Continue reading »

Mar 162011

The title isn’t probably what you’d think.

On this week’s show we review the Blackhawks 6-3 possible statement win over the visiting San Jose Sharks on Monday night.  As well as the three-game losing streak, which we did predict on last week’s show, leading up to Monday night’s win.

Also on this week’s show:

-Kudos to Joel Quenneville’s recent handling of the goaltending position and why
-Change in Quenneville’s philosophy
-Stan Bowman acknowledges team fortunate
-Potential playoff matchups and which favor the Hawks
-Why a series with Vancouver may not favor Chicago
-Toews for MVP
-Ridiculous reasoning for ruling out other Hart candidates
-A GM doing his job
-This site celebrates a 5th year
-Updates on Dave Bolland and Brian Campbell injuries
-Florida game
-Playing Crawford every night
-More on Campoli acquisition and his value
-Trouble if Bolland’s out
-Handicapping the week ahead
-Convincing Marcus Kruger & Alexander Salak to move to N.A.
-No success explaining new standings tie-breaker method
-Superstar hits the road, and the water
-Someone visits temporary sobriety
-Hossa & Kane get their Awesome on

We didn’t get to everything, but that’s nothing new.  The title of this show is a reference to the last two years of this web site.  Thanks to everyone as always for visiting and listening.  And for your incredible patience with us.  The show returns next Tuesday night, March 22nd @ 8pm central with Dieter Kurtenbach joining me as guest-host.

Right-click to download this show here

Click the player below to listen to the show here in your browser tab….

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser. ~ For out entire archive

Mar 142011

You can put your pencils and notepads down.  The only thing left to learn about these 2010-11 Chicago Blackhawks is how bad the “core” wants to win at this point. Too, how far they can drag the dead weight Stan Bowman has anchored to what remains of the 2010 Stanley Cup champs.

One look at Cpt. Scowl-face and the ever-present expression tells the story.  This team can’t accomplish much if 50, 19, 10, 88, 2 and 7 aren’t hovering near perfection.  Throw Marian Hossa into the mix and you might have something, but those who remember last spring and have paid close attention this season should know better than to count on him.

Brian Campbell has sacrificed some offense to be a little more dependable in his own end.  He’s needed to.  His partner for most of the season, Niklas Hjalmarsson, has been a mess for the most part.  Good luck out East next year Nik.  Campbell’s plus-28 rating is second best in the NHL right now.  It’s a little misleading since his pairing draws the opposition’s secondary scoring line, but that’s no different than last year and Campbell’s offensive production has remained steady and his defense has improved, while Duncan Keith has gone backwards in both cases.

It’s about time we call a spade for what it is.  Outside of the aforementioned, adding Dave Bolland and maybe Troy Brouwer, there’s a bunch of guys in this locker room who should consider themselves lucky to be Blackhawks for the time being. Continue reading »

Mar 102011

–Our next radio show will be Tuesday night, March 15th @ 8pm central.  You can listen live here or at your convenience later in archive form on ITunes, here or at that same link.

Ben Smith is now riding a four-game goal streak, posting five goals in that span.  Rockford beat Hamilton 2-1 in a shootout on Wednesday night.  Brandon Pirri sealed the win in the shootout after Jeff Taffe and Smith also converted in the breakaway skills session.

Rockford will close out their 7-game road trip Friday night in Milwaukee.  They return home on Sunday afternoon to face the Chicago Wolves.  Its the Wolves final visit to MetroCentre this season.

The IceHogs have won five of their last eight games (4-3 on the road).  They’d gone three months without going to a shootout before having them in back-to-back games this week and splitting the outcomes.  Hannu Toivonen has a .948 save percentage over his last six appearances.

–I’ll be doing a Rockford Q&A in post-form here on the site this Monday.  For whatever reason I’ve been receiving a lot more IceHogs’ and prospect related emails than usual of late.  Typically I get those when the Hawks aren’t doing well or the IceHogs or individual prospects catch fire.  Anyway, I’ve responded to just about every one already person-to-person, but since so many were particularly thoughtful queries, I figured we’d put it up for everyone to read.  I’ve seen more IceHogs’ hockey this season than is probably good for my health, so I can help you with just about anything crossing your mind concerning that team.  So, if there’s any IceHogs’ topics or questions you would like discussed, email those to me by Sunday morning and I’ll include any that aren’t already covered. Continue reading »

Mar 092011

Rockford is back in action this week with four games.  The first, last night in Toronto, was an entertaining 3-2 shootout loss to the Marlies.

The IceHogs are wrapping up a seven-game road swing on Friday night in Milwaukee.  Before then, they’ll meet the Bulldogs in Hamilton tonight.

Ben Smith scored both goals in last night’s loss.  He now has goals in three consecutive games and five in his last six.   Obviously Smith is getting his legs back now after missing a month with a concussion.  With Ryan Potulny being traded to Ottawa, Smith has also now been moved up to the top line with Jeff Taffe, which also makes a big difference.  Smith had played what was probably his best game as a pro the night he suffered a concussion on January 8th against Grand Rapids.

Hannu Toivonen has been very good in his last five appearances (2.27 gaa, .940 save %) going 2-0-1-1.  He’s been, however, nasty bad in the shootout; allowing 14 out of 30 chances by in the skills competition.  On Tuesday, Toronto converted on three of their four shootout turns before wrapping up the extra point.

Brandon Pirri returned to the lineup on Tuesday after missing five games with an undisclosed injury.   We believe that was of the upper-body variety, but no one has confirmed as much to us.  Same goes for Ivan Vishnevskiy, who has now missed twelve consecutive games.

Vishnevskiy was originally expected to return to the lineup this week, but his return is currently uncertain.

Jeremy Morin is still out indefinitely with an upper-body injury.  As we’ve covered here before, no one is saying what his injury is officially, but its been rumored and written in other places as a concussion.

–Tuesday was “Clear Day” for American Hockey League teams.  Each year at this time, all AHL clubs must submit a “clear day” roster.  The significance of this is that only players listed on this roster can play for their respective clubs from now until the end of the regular season, continuing through playoffs. Continue reading »

Mar 082011

With Sidney Crosby apparently out for the rest of the regular season, is Jonathan Toews now the frontrunner for Hart Trophy?  Who is the real MVP of the 2010-111 Blackhawks?  Corey Crawford’s competition for the Calder?  Blackhawks on the road this week; Chicago sports talk radio personality in trouble, thoughts on Michael Frolik, Chris Campoli, the Hawks power play, numerous questions remain despite recent 8-game winning streak, an update on some injured IceHogs and much more on this week’s TTMI~Radio.

TheThirdManIn~Radio ~ Right-Click Here to Download
Monday March 7, 2011

Click player here to listen in your browser tab

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Show returns next Tuesday, March 15th @ 8pm central.  You can listen live here.

Mar 072011

Rich Lindbloom: The USS Seabrook

By Rich Lindbloom

Back in the early 70’s when I attended Hillcrest H. S., we used a phrase when we were about to drop the gloves so to speak. You and your adversary would bump into each other and at least one of the combatants would exclaim, “Bumping it up it up, Jack.” It was the hockey equivalent of “Do you want to dance?” I recall Rick (Andy) Anderson and Ronnie (Spooky) Williams bumping it up on the way to a high school basketball game, in the back of the bus. Who says basketball is a non contact sport!

During Wednesday’s battle with a surging Calgary team, Brent Seabrook played with such might and force he resembled an air craft carrier. Brent was bumping it up with anything that crossed his path. “I’m a steam roller baby, I’ll roll right over you,” appeared to be his game plan. Before you go pointing out that Seabrook is Canadian and wouldn’t have a US aircraft carrier named after him, get a clue. You think the Hawks meeting with President Obama next week is a formality? The President is going to announce the commissioning of our newest aircraft carrier. Do you really think the Taliban wants to see the USS Brent Seabrook cruising their way – Forget about it! The pirates in Somalia are already thinking about taking up fishing as a occupation.

The cantankerous Seabrook especially impressed me the way he cleared out the crease after the whistle blew. It’s about time someone else besides Kopecks gets a facial for lingering around the net. I was a bit surprised when I asked Chris Block what he thought about signing Seabrook about 3 weeks ago. Basically he said the #7 car was worth every cent of $5 million for what he brought to the blue line. When you think about it, unless Scott is pressed into emergency duty, he’s the only really physical d-man we have. Continue reading »

Mar 022011

Snoopy: It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

By Rich Lindbloom

“No more darkness no more night
Praise the lord I saw the light.” – Hank Williams Sr.

According to Audrey Williams, Hank Williams wrote the song I Saw the Light on his way home from touring in Alabama. As Snoopy would put it, “It was a dark and stormy night…” Hank and his band travelled in a car that kept breaking down on them the whole time they were gone. They were on their way to Montgomery, Alabama and the car was about to quit again. I doubt many of you have driven along a country road in the Deep South lined with tall pine trees, so it might be hard to describe to you just how dark that gets.  Let’s just say you can’t count the stars on a clear night.

Reportedly the night Hank and the boys were heading home, it was stormy and pitch black. Their car started acting up on them again, causing them to wonder if they were going to make it back home. All of the sudden, Hank spotted the beacon of light at the Montgomery Airport and hollered, “We’re ok now boys…we’re gonna make it…I saw the light” When he got home that night, those 4 words, I saw the light kept reverberating over and over in his head. Finally, he sat down and began writing, finishing the classic gospel song the next morning. Now this is just me thinking, (always a scary proposition), but I think Hank might have had a little divine help when he penned this song.

Although Jim Morrison of the Doors once angrily shouted, “You cannot petition the Lord with prayer,” how else can you explain our current 6-1-0 streak? I wouldn’t go so far as suggesting divine intervention as the cause for our sudden good fortune, however someone appears to have rolled the stone away from the tomb that read, Continue reading »