Monthly Archives: December 2012

I90 Octane – Reflections on a night in Hog Wild

Collage of Sound

“What’s it all about, Alfie?
Is it just for the moment we live?
What’s it all about when you sort it out, Alfie
Are we meant to take more than we give…:”

- Burt Bacharach, Hal David, Bastos Ribeiro

By Rich Lindbloom

Roughly two months ago, I once again ventured into what most of you would probably think of as the minor league of music. It seems every concert I go to at The Old Town School of Folk Music, I’m surrounded by old fogies like myself. Definitely an “I knew the bride when she used to rock and roll,” type crowd. This time around we were there to see a tremendous (I’m going to call it Jazz – although I’m not sure that’s quite accurate) guitarist by the name of Earl Klugh. I’d guess one would say this was settling for the second tier of musicians, as far as concerts would go. Read more »

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Waiting on Mikita: Frozen thoughts from outside the BMO

By Jon Fromi

With Stan Mikita gracing the Forest City (more specifically the BMO Center) Saturday, my pal and I made it our goal to be among the first go-getters to cue up in the signing line. I’ve found myself waiting outside the season-ticket entrance on occasion, most notably an extended wait on Tony Esposito last February. Three hours? No problem. Yeah, right.

Mother Nature provided an optimal day on that February afternoon, with sunny skies and spring-like temperatures. I didn’t expect to be so lucky Saturday, and of course the weather told a different tale.

Did we have to be there at 1:45 p.m. to wait for the doors to open at 5:45? Of course not, but think of all the conversation I would have missed.

The odyssey (or not, since we stood in the same place for the bulk of it) began with our arrival to find that five individuals had beaten us to the front of the line. As the line began to lengthen over the course of the afternoon, conversation naturally fixated on the IceHogs. Read more »

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Ted Dent says some supposed NHL guys not pulling their weight; Blackhawks brass forcing more lineup changes; Tonight’s game preview

By Chris Block

Riding a four game losing streak (0-3-1-0), the Rockford IceHogs drive 93 miles northeast tonight where they’ll visit the BMO Harris Bradley Center to face off with the Milwaukee Admirals for the second time in six days.

The lone point Rockford has picked up in those four contests came in a 4-3 overtime loss in Milwaukee this past Friday.  Rockford trailed the Admirals 3-1 midway through that game until goals by Brandon Pirri and captain Martin St. Pierre forced an overtime session.  However, a breakdown in the IceHogs end resulted in Kevin Henderson surprising Carter Hutton with the game-winning shot a minute and forty-five seconds in to send the IceHogs back to Rockford with only the one consolation standings point.

Although the IceHogs (13-12-1-1) have lost both of their games since dropping first-place to the Griffins in Grand Rapids on December 9th, that one point earned in Milwaukee has been enough force Rockford back into a tie with Grand Rapids for the top spot in the Midwest Division.  The Griffins has also lost their past two games since moving into first in the division.  Grand Rapids hosts the Rochester Americans tonight at Van Andel Arena.

The Midwest division race is as tight as it could possibly be, now a third of the way through the 76 game American Hockey League season.  One point separates last-place Milwaukee (12-11-2-1, 27 points) from Grand Rapids and Rockford in the top spot. Read more »

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Video: Brandon Bollig fights ex-teammate Kyle Hagel this past Saturday in Rockford

Former teammates Brandon Bollig and Kyle Hagel, drop the mitts and engage in a classic battle on December 15th at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford.

Bollig and Hagel were teammates on the IceHogs in the 2010-11 season when Bollig was in his rookie season after spending two years at St. Lawrence University.  Hagel, a Princeton University (2004-08) graduate, handled the bulk of the team’s enforcer role that season, fighting 31 times to Bollig’s 13.  After that season, Hagel signed a two-way deal with the St. Louis Blues organization but his 2011-12 season was cut short in late October by major shoulder surgery.  Hagel signed an AHL contract with his hometown Hamilton Bulldogs this past off season.

“He’s a tough kid,” Bollig said in respect of his former teammate following Saturday night’s contest.

“I’ve seen [Hagel] fight a lot of really tough guys. Those are the kind of fights that are fun when you’re in my position.”

 

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Lindbloom’s View: Song and Reflections on better days

“I want to bite the hand that feeds me,
I want to bite that hand so badly,
I want to make them wish they’d never seen me…” – Elvis Costello

By Rich Lindbloom

I heard a great definition of philosophy recently:  “A blind man, in a dark room, looking for a black cat, that doesn’t exist.”

Tell me that doesn’t describe the excruciating labor negotiations between the NHL owners and the players union in a nutshell. Quite frankly, I don’t think I’m alone in my burgeoning apathy in this greed laden, rapacious process. Waves of intense anger may belie my apathy, but I’m doing my best to cope with the situation. Trying to pretend I could care less is easier said than done. Read more »

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Chris Block joins the Hockeenight Puckcast for a special Holiday podcast

On Sunday night I had the pleasure of joining CT and the “Forklift” on their groundbreaking, award-winning HockeeNight PuckCast.

As always when Hockeenight and TTMI join together, we ran the usual gamut of topics.  We review the NHL’s class action complaint filed against the NHLPA in a New York court on Friday and the damning quotes from Jonathan Toews and Troy Brouwer cited in the motion.

We discuss all the latest on Blackhawks prospects including Brandon Saad, Andrew Shaw, Ben Smith and Fork’s favorite, Jeremy Morin.  Also, we broach the Blackhawks directive to IceHogs coach Ted Dent to move Andrew Shaw back to center, and what may have gone into that decision – the Jeremy Roenick autobiography, “torpedoing” Jimmy Hayes, Malort~!, Gary Bettman’s standing in the face of his third work stoppage, how the 5% variance would effect teams should it be realized, George “the Animal” Steele and some professional wrestling history.

You can Right-Click to Download the MP3 file here

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PuckChatter~Radio, e.122, Rockford IceHogs week in review, the NHL’s Monkey Business & review of the Jeremy Roenick book

By Chris Block

This week on PuckChatter~Radio we review the controversial as-told-to autobiography of NHL and Chicago Blackhawks legend, Jeremy Roenick.

We also detail the Rockford IceHogs three-game weekend, in which they started the weekend in first place in the Midwest Division but then fell behind the Grand Rapids Griffins after losing two-of-three including the 4-2 loss in Grand Rapids on Sunday that dropped the ‘Hogs down into second place.

Then we assess the latest in the NHL – NHLPA collective bargaining standoff and take a deeper look than you’ve probably read or heard elsewhere into a few of the key issues the two sides are at odds over.

All this and much more, including a special Christmas jingle, on this edition of PuckChatter~Radio.

Click the player below to listen here in your browser

Or, Right-Click to Download the MP3 file

 

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***I want to make mention….

I’ll be joining CT and the “Forklift” of Hockeenight.com fame this coming Sunday night, December 16th on their show, the Hockeenight PuckCast for a special Holiday Season podcast.  I can’t think of anything that could possibly be more fun.

PuckChatter~Radio will return next week as well at a date, time and with a guest to be determined later in the week.  (Read that, whenever I get around to figuring all that out.)

Full TTMI/PuckChatter~Radio Archive – Show feed
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ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com
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Injuries starting to pile up for IceHogs; Blackhawks prospects Morin and Lavin out of action; Update on Olesz

By Chris Block

Injuries are beginning to pile up for the Rockford IceHogs.

While the team had been able to avoid everything but a few nagging injuries here and there, the IceHogs lost another key player this weekend.  For how long though, we’re not yet certain.

Jeremy Morin missed Sunday’s loss at Grand Rapids with an undisclosed injury.  Not sure of the extent of the damage other than the IceHogs saying Morin was “dinged up.”  Morin got the worse end of a third period scrap with Chicago Wolves’ defenseman and higher end Vancouver Canucks prospect Kevin Connauton on Saturday night.  Though Morin did make a return for the game’s final moments he was unavailable for Sunday’s road contest with the Griffins.  Here is a link to video of the Morin-Connauton fight from Dec 8, Morin’s first fight of the season.

Morin has been held without a point in the last three IceHogs games he’s suited up for.  Over his last 15 games, Morin has 7 goals and 2 assists to go along with a minus-2 rating.  He’s second on the IceHogs with 9 goals total on the season, one behind team-leader Ben Smith.

–Defenseman Joe Lavin broke his right wrist in a game at Lake Erie on Nov 24th.  The injury should sideline Lavin for 5-6 weeks, putting Lavin on schedule to return sometime after Christmas.  Lavin was still wearing a cast this weekend. Read more »

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Simpson, Froese and Broadhurst star in Toledo Walleye Christmas video promotion

Blackhawks ECHL affiliate Toledo Walleye gets the whole team involved in a special Christmas season video promotion.

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IceHogs 3rd period rally answers coach’s challenge

By Chris Block

Looking to build on recent winning ways and retain their first place standing in the Midwest Division, the Rockford IceHogs played host to division rival Milwaukee Admirals, winners of three of its last four games.  Milwaukee also entered Friday’s contest riding a five-game point streak (3-0-2-0) as they recently have welcomed Ryan Ellis, Gabriel Bourque and Taylor Beck back into their lineup.

The IceHogs rose atop their division in winning 7 of its last 9 games, going from two games under .500 on Nov 16 to three games above .500 and in first place on Dec 2nd.

Friday also was the first of five meetings between the two clubs this month.  Milwaukee came into Rockford on Nov 10 and skated away with a 4-2 victory.  That night, the first of 12 times these two clubs will face off this regular season, Alec Richards was between the pipes for Rockford.

On Friday, Carter Hutton, the starter in the IceHogs last three games, all wins in which Hutton allowed a total of five goals, was back to face a Milwaukee team he went 8-1 versus last season.

Hutton was strong early Friday night but struggled to bail his teammates out when miscues and mental lapses plagued Rockford during a three-goal Milwaukee 2nd period. Read more »

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