Monthly Archives: January 2013

Lindbloom: I Can’t Feel My Toes

Lindbloom_CantFeelMyToes

“Hockey captures the essence of the Canadian experience in the New World.
In a land so inescapably and inhospitably cold, hockey is the dance of life, and
An affirmation that despite the deathly chill of winter we are alive.” – Bruce Kidd

By Rich Lindbloom

Admittedly, two robust victories on the road can have an inordinate impact on one’s enthusiasm. Yet, after almost four months of saying I don’t care if they play or not, it’s truly great to see that the boys are back in town. (“Remember that chick that slapped Kaner’s face? Man… we fell about the place-if that chick don’t want to go forget her.”) Actually, it seems all the stars are lining up at the moment for Chicago hockey fans. Hockey and single digit temperatures go together like soup and sandwiches. There’s even a smidgeon of that white stuff on the ground. Hopefully Sam Fels and his street urchins will not develop frostbite while peddling ‘The Indian’ tonight. That lamppost doesn’t offer much protection from a bitter Northwest wind. Dig a little deeper and tip them tonight bucko’s! Read more »

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Blackhawks trade for goalie Karlsson, send him to Rockford; Carter Hutton uncertainty; Flick could get minimum of 6 games

By Chris Block

On Monday, the Chicago Blackhawks traded a 7th round draft pick in 2013 to the Calgary Flames in exchange for 29-year old goaltender Henrik Karlsson.

The Stockholm, Sweden native served as Miikka Kiprusoff’s backup in Calgary during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons.  Over that span, Karlsson appeared in 26 games posting a record of 5-9-8 with a 90.5% save percentage and a 2.79 goals against average.  Karlson was 1-4-2 last season in Calgary.  His only victory came on the final day of the regular season and he posted a 3.17 GAA and 90.0% save percentage in his nine appearances overall.

The Blackhawks then immediately assigned Karlsson to their AHL affiliate, Rockford IceHogs.  The pick used by Chicago general manager Stan Bowman in this deal is one he had previously acquired from Ottawa on December 2, 2011 when the Blackhawks traded forward Rob Klinkhammer (who was struggling mightily in Rockford at the time) to the Senators for a 7th round pick.

The 6 foot 6 inch Henrik Karlsson is expected to be in Rockford this week and suited up for the IceHogs next game on Friday when Rockford plays host to the Chicago Wolves.

We’ll know more soon, but it seems as though there is concern Rockford has an immediate need for a dependable AHL goaltender.

Karlsson joins Carter Hutton, 27, and Alec Richards, 25, on the IceHogs roster. Read more »

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Hossa, 2nd line again ignite Blackhawks offense; trip to desert yields 6-4 victory

By Brad Vandenberk

The Blackhawks continued their back-to-back opening weekend road trip on Sunday night in Phoenix.  A dually important matchup to Chicago, as these were the same Coyotes that put them out in the first round of the playoffs last season.

After a convincing 5-2 win in LA on Saturday, the Hawks were looking to keep the momentum and emotions high to start the season.  With only two home games in the next four weeks, it was important to get the wins on the road when they could.  Read more »

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Just Another Typical Parents Night at the BMO

By Jon Fromi

The fun thing about going to a hockey game is that you might get to see that puck bounce in any number of interesting directions. Saturday night at the BMO Center, it was pink ice, pink sweaters, and a charitable atmosphere that resulted in the IceHogs going Charlestown Chiefs on the Grand Rapids Griffins midway through the second period.

In full view of their parents no less.

I think back to the dustup last April 1 in Milwaukee and would have to say that this was probably several times more…er…interactive. Talk about Pink in the Rink… Read more »

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Details of the Brawl of 1/19/13

By Chris Block

There is still a lot more to come from Saturday night’s bench-clearing brawl between the IceHogs and Grand Rapids Griffins before a sellout crowd of 6,219 fans at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford. [Video of the brawl is posted again at the bottom of this post]

230 penalty minutes in all were dealt out in Saturday’s game.  202 of those came as result of the brawl.

Frustrations from an IceHogs perspective had boiled over at the 11:58 mark of the second period after Grand Rapids forward Landon Ferraro scored a power play goal to put the visiting team ahead 6-3.

The IceHogs had been assessed five-straight minor penalties by the officials in the first eleven minutes of the second period alone and the Griffins had capitalized on two of those opportunities with the man-advantage.  To that point in the contest, Grand Rapids was 3 for 6 on the power play.  Rockford had just one power play chance to that point and it resulted in a Dylan Olsen goal, giving the IceHogs a 1-0 lead at 3:57 of the first period.

No one on the Rockford side after the game was entirely blaming the refs for the lopsided power plays going in Grand Rapids favor.  The IceHogs players and coach admitted most of the calls against them were warranted.  Although, it was the hooking call referee Joe Sullivan gave Terry Broadhurst that gave Grand Rapids the power play that Landon Ferraro would use to put his team up 6-3 that had the IceHogs livid with the officiating. Read more »

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Video of Saturday night’s bench-clearing brawl in Rockford during the IceHogs-Grand Rapids Griffins game

Video of the long brawl that took place at the 11:58 mark of the second period between the Rockford IceHogs and Grand Rapids Griffins.

This video doesn’t capture the entire sequence of events.  A little after this footage ends, as the officials were about to begin the process of sorting out the penalties and game misconducts, Adam Clendening and Tomas Tatar somehow ended up together on the far side of the ice across from the IceHogs bench and those two squared off and fought.

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Blackhawks off to roaring start, blast through the defending champs 5-2 in LA

By Brad Gardner

Three months late, the Chicago Blackhawks finally kicked off the new season on the road against the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. The Blackhawks were sharp with the puck and got off to a quick start, eventually coming away a 5-2 victory.

Although badly out-hit in the game by the Kings (39-22), the Blackhawks managed to get off to the quick start and hold the lead. The PK unit turned in a perfect effort, killing off five penalties in the game (although the final Kings advantage lasted only the final 36 seconds of the game).

Less than two minutes into the game, Patrick Sharp drew the first penalty. Then 40 seconds into that man advantage, Trevor Lewis cross-checked Jonathan Toews into the corner boards to put the Blackhawks on a 5-on-3 power play. The first unit maintained the offensive zone throughout the two-man advantage, in part because of a hustle play by Marian Hossa to keep the puck in the zone, and Patrick Kane eventually cashed on a one-time blast from a sharp angle. Hossa, who lined up on the point for this power play, got the primary assist for putting the puck in Kane’s wheelhouse. Read more »

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Rockford hosting Peoria tonight; IceHogs PIM woes continue, Ted Dent considering benching players for bad penalties

By Chris Block

Rockford IceHogs (19-17-1-1) are hosting the Peoria Rivermen (17-17-2-2) tonight at the BMO Harris Bank Center.

It’ll be the fourth of twelve meetings between the two clubs this season.  The Rivermen have been victorious twice.  Rockford defeated Peoria 5-4 in a seesaw affair when the teams last met on November 21st in Rockford.  The IceHogs got off to a quick start when Adam Clendening scored his 3rd goal on the campaign 56 seconds in.  Rockford went up 2-0 eleven minutes later when Brandon Saad scored an unassisted short-handed goal.  Peoria though responded by notching three unanswered even-strength tallies in just under six minutes and led 3-2 heading into the first intermission.  Between periods Ted Dent changed some lines around and altered his top two defense pairings, pairing Nick Leddy with Clendening and Ryan Stanton with Klas Dahlbeck.  The rest of the game was controlled by Rockford.  Martin St. Pierre tied the game late in the second period and two power play goals from Jeremy Morin sealed the victory. Read more »

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Season Preview: Great Expectations

By Brad Vandenberk

As I awoke on the morning of January 6th 2013, it was like Christmas all over again. I learned that the National Hockey League and the NHL Players Association had announced an agreement was in place and a condensed season was on the horizon.

The first thing I thought of was when do the Blackhawks play?  I immediately used every possible angle to let the world know that hockey was back!   Will the fans be coming back to watch their favourite teams?

Well, I believe that question was answered when arenas all over North America filled up to watch their favourite teams practice.  That’s right, I said Practice!  Fans will come back and watch the game because hockey is a culture.  I didn’t realize how much the sport of hockey has involved in every aspect of a fan’s life until I began to change my daily routines to get prepared for the upcoming 48 game season.  Adjusting my work schedules to be able to watch each game as well as waiting online to purchase tickets to a few of the road games.

Growing up In Niagara Falls Ontario, I have only made a few trips to Chi Town to see my beloved Blackhawks play at the Untied Center, however when they make the flight to Buffalo, Toronto or Detroit, I always head to the rink. Read more »

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Blackhawks preview: It’s Time to Step Up

By Brad Gardner

After two consecutive first-round playoff exits, the entire Blackhawks organization has a lot at stake heading into the abbreviated 2013 season. For better or worse, the club entered training camp with a roster that was very similar to the 45-win team from a season ago. The only new additions – defensemen Michal Rozsival and Sheldon Brookbank – do not figure to see huge roles during the upcoming season. If the Blackhawks are going to put the last two seasons behind them, they will need bigger contributions from the following groups of players with something to prove this season.

Goaltenders

The last time the Blackhawks entered a season with the same goaltending tandem as they utilized the year before was 2007-08, when Nikolai Khabibulin and Patrick Lalime returned to the Chicago crease for a second season together. Both Corey Crawford and Ray Emery will be relied upon to secure wins this season, something that is even more important out of the gate as the skaters get back into game shape and adjust to the breakneck pace of the compacted schedule. Read more »

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