PuckChatter~Radio, Ain’t No Party Like A Kyle Beach Party…

 By Chris Block

Puck Chatter~Radio returned Monday night to recap a full weekend of Rockford IceHogs hockey.

Kyle Beach, two weeks removed from being a healthy scratch for two consecutive games, emerged as one of the bright lights in an otherwise strange and alarming weekend for the IceHogs.  After posting 3 goals and 2 assists in two games over the weekend, Beach was named AHL Player of the Week on Monday.  We’ll discuss Beach’s weekend and his impact in Saturday’s huge comeback win over Lake Erie as well as listen to his own thoughts discussing Saturday night’s wild victory.

We also discuss Jimmy Hayes at his new position, how that came to be and what may be the thought process behind it.  You’ll hear Ted Dent’s thoughts on the officiating in Saturday night’s affair, in which the IceHogs were short-handed a total of nine times.

Also we delve into listener emails on topics such as Alexander Salak, the accurate story on Rostislav Olesz‘s current status, more on Kyle Beach, Jeremy Roenick‘s new book, big Birthdays upcoming, NHL13, update on bonertime~! and much much more.

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4 Responses to PuckChatter~Radio, Ain’t No Party Like A Kyle Beach Party…

  1. Blocker, I trust your eyes and analysis more than reading just the stats. What are you impressions of 2008 draftees beach and lalonde so far this early in the season. Also, clendening is just a pup so to speak. I know he’s getting ice time but with Stanton, lavin and lalonde all having pro experience, you would have to think if the lockout ends, there’s no way clenny and for that matter olsen get any type of look with the big club this year. Thoughts

    • We saw last year what a difference a month or so can make when it came to Andrew Shaw. For the first month Shaw was just a guy skating on the bottom two lines. Kyle Beach got hurt, Shaw got an opportunity on the second line and before you knew it, Shaw signed an NHL contract and was on the Blackhawks. That being said, right now, Clendening is nowhere near ready. Olsen had a rough start. He’s been a healthy scratch three times already, mostly because the coaching staff (and Blackhawks management) want to see more intensity out of him. The feeling is, if he’s simply going to be a defensive defenseman here and at the next level, Olsen must become harder to play against. I’d agree. The frequent scratches were more about tough love and greater expectations as they were a statement on him playing poorly. I think the organization should learn from the mistake it made with Cam Barker, who was rushed to the NHL because he was a high draft pick and Dale Tallon got antsy about waiting for him to develop. Olsen could use another whole season in the AHL regardless of what’s going on in Chicago. He needs to take charge back there, build a mentality that he wants to – and has to – dominate hockey games from his position. Be mean and nasty to play against. Not dirty. Just tough. He doesn’t have that makeup right now for whatever reason.

      Beach had one good weekend. And it was an impressive two games. But it was just one weekend. Actually, to be fair, he was alright in the two games the weekend prior, a Saturday game at Grand Rapids and a Sunday 5pm game I was at vs San Antonio. If Beach can get it in his head that he’s useless to his team trying to draw retaliatory penalties 150 feet from the opposition’s net, and focuses more on drawing penalties by driving to the net with or to pounce on a loose puck – we may have something. But until he proves on that path with some sustained consistency, I am just not ready to breathe any excitement for him. Throughout his career there’s been far too much of the former and not enough of the latter. We’ll see. I don’t think his teammates are all very fond of him either. When he’s focused and lets the game come to him Beach is effective. He has a really nice wrist shot.

      Lalonde has been hit or miss on the PK, which is an improvement. I thought he was pretty good on the PK against Milwaukee tonight. In general, first thing, to me, that stands out is how often he mishandles or turns over the puck around or south of his own blue line. Offensively, he’s doing a much better job of getting pucks through to the net. He’s got a big mountain of doubt to climb though with this coaching staff and the Blackhawks decision makers. I think a change of scenery would be best for his career.

  2. Excellent summary. What is your assessment of Joe lavin. He was drafted in 2007 which seems like ages ago. I can remember saying he was at his 5 th prospect camp last year. I believe he only signed a 2 year deal so this is a contract year for him as well. Does he have a future in the hawks organization or he is going to be one of those veteran ahl guys who bounces from team to team each year ?

    • Lavin is off to a rough start. A bit moreso than Stanton did last season but not so much that I’m that concerned about it at this point. Its quite normal for a second year pro even at the minor league level to find trouble picking up where they left off.

      The positives are Lavin is a really smart guy who works hard, wants to be a good player and knows the things he has to do to make it there. Unlike, say, some other defensemen who’ve passed through Rockford. So, that’s the good thing. Lavin spent the summer living with Ben Smith and the two are workout buddies and share a lot in common when it comes to their approach and work ethic. So, again, another positive you can hold onto. He is 23, which I wouldn’t take as a bad sign at all. I don’t think the contract aspect has any effect whatsoever since he was figured to spend all of this season in Rockford anyhow. What will matter is how he builds on his game throughout the season and especially where he rates and how well he does in the second half when the real decisions are made as the organization starts to plan forward. In previous seasons, because the IceHogs have fallen out of contention early, the key months of evaluation have been December through mid March probably at the very latest. I think little stock is put into how well certain players play in garbage time. Unless you’re a goalie or a prospect on a PTO in the last few weeks of the season, decisions have already been made by then.

      He skates well and when he’s at the top of his game he’s exactly the kind of dman the league is angling towards nowadays. Lavin’s been all over the place at times. Some of those times can just as much be attributed to the forwards allowing opposing teams time and space to come flying through the neutral zone. I think at times the Hogs’ D has been made to look a lot worse than it is simply because of this. That said, Lavin has struggled. It took Stanton a couple months last year to get back on track after really coming into solid form in the 2010-11 season.

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