Monthly Archives: December 2013

PuckChatter~Radio, e.138, Tis the Season

By Chris Block

A Saturday matinee edition of TheThirdManIn.com’s ~ PuckChatter~Radio dropped today.

On the show, we discussed the finality and fallout from the end of the Kyle Beach era, Brandon Pirri’s demotion back to the Rockford IceHogs, the future of Nikolai Khabibulin in an Indian head sweater and a few other Blackhawks related items.

The show typically veered off the tracks as well in various off-topic stories including the “only” two things Block hates these days, his dog freezing to the ice in the frigid Chicago weather and the recent California expedition.  Also, Block tries, and fails to identify common hand tools and his father’s response to it, and our “Pud of the week” award is dealt out as well.

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 **The Hawks acquisition of goaltender Jason LaBarbera was announced just minutes after we finished recording this show.  Thus, it is not discussed here.

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Hawks 2nd period explosion key to 7-2 rout of Flyers

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks were held out of the net for over 20 minutes Wednesday night. At that point, the Hawks offense shook off a sloppy first period, scorched the Philadelphia Flyers for five second-period goals and cruised to a 7-2 victory.

Seven different Blackhawks found the back of the Flyers net as Chicago won their third straight behind rookie goalie Antti Raanta. Last year’s back-up goalie, Ray Emery, had his homecoming ruined as the Hawks burned him for a six-pack of goals.

First Period-The tone was set early as Wayne Simmonds laid a hit on Duncan Keith in the left corner of the Blackhawks zone. In came Wade Brookbank to engage Simmonds barely ninety seconds into the contest. Read more »

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Hawks clobber lousy Stars, 6-2

By Michael Calvert

Well it can be said the Blackhawks own the Stars in their barn.  If the Dallas players give a darn, they should all be embarrassed.

The Hawks rolled out with the usual on the 1st line on Tuesday night in Dallas, and then everything thereafter was scrambled around.  Old man Zus and Versteeg joined Kane on the second line.  Saad, Shaw and Morin made up a 3rd line that would make most 2nd lines blush.  Smith, Kruger and Bollig round out the dirty line.  Mike Kostka was back in the lineup for the Hawks and appears to have come back a better player – convenient. Read more »

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Hawks special teams near perfect in Dylan Olsen and Jimmy Hayes’ return to United Center; Hawks beat Panthers 6-2

Corey Crawford leaves game in 1st period with “lower body” injury

By Brad Vandenberk

After losing a close affair against the Ducks on Friday, it was time for the Hawks to play their final eastern conference match against the Florida Panthers at the UC.  This would be the first visit for Jimmy Hayes and Dylan Olsen since being traded down south.  This was also Kris Versteeg’s first game against his old team playing for his old team.  Fatigue seems to be creeping its ugly head into the dressing room of the Hawks.  They are currently suffering from a 3-game losing streak.  Though, they have battled in all 3 games to try and stay atop the western conference.  There was some good news coming into this game.  Bryan Bickell has begun skating again and is close to a return.  Andrew Shaw did play in this game after missing the last 2 with an upper body injury.  Michael Kostka was back on the Hawks roster after being activated off the IR.  Finally Nikolai Khabibulin is working his tail off in the gym, but is still some time away from returning. Read more »

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One-on-one interview with Joakim Nordstrom

Nordstrom_Joakim_Photo_IceHogs_GregHamil_2013Nov09vsIowaJoakim Nordstrom battles for position with Iowa’s Tyler Graovac Nov 9th
photo courtesy of Rockford IceHogs, Greg Hamil

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By Chris Block

Joakim Nordstrom returned the Rockford IceHogs lineup on Saturday in Charlotte after being reassigned by the Blackhawks the previous day.

Nordstrom, 21, posted a goal and an assist in the IceHogs 5-3 victory at Time Warner Cable Arena on Saturday night.  He was also a stunning plus-4 in the game.  Overall this season with the IceHogs, Nordstrom has skated in 16 contests, notching 6 goals and 2 assists to go with a plus-4 (plus/minus) rating.  Modest offensive numbers, though the Swede is scoring at a 20.0% shooting percentage (6/29). Read more »

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Hawks pick up a point, but drop 3rd straight in shootout loss to Anaheim

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks twice pulled even Friday night against the visiting Anaheim Ducks but were not able to avoid their third straight defeat. Play went to a shootout but the Hawks were on the short end of a 3-2 decision.

First Period-Corey Perry opened the scoring at the 3:20 mark, tipping in a Ryan Getzlaf shot. Less than a minute later, the Blackhawks responded after Kris Versteeg’s drop pass got away from Patrick Kane. Ben Smith took control of the loose puck and wristed home the equalizer through Jonas Hiller’s wickets. Read more »

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Hawks victimized by late come from behind effort, fall 4-3 to Wild in Minnesota

By Michael Calvert

The Hawks came into St Paul riding a one game losing streak after dropping one in heart breaking fashion to the Stars.

Aside from the first, the lines looked much different.  Kris Versteeg played center for the second line, and I thought played fairly well.  Recent call ups Jeremy Morin and Joakim Nordstrom played on the third line with d man Sheldon Brookbank; you know Harding was shaking in his skates looking at that line.  The Hawks kept the 4th line of Bollig, Krüger and Ben Smith intact. Read more »

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Hawks fire 50 shots on Lehtonen, yet lose 4-3 to Stars

By Brad Vandenberk

Remember the phrase “Home sweet home”?  Well the Blackhawks have finally returned back to the United Center with faint smells of horse dung still lingering in the air.  The circus has travelled to its next destination and the Indian head shines bright at center ice once again.   The opponent on Tuesday was the same Dallas Stars that the Hawks played in Big D five days prior.  That game went to a shootout with Ben Smith grabbing the victory as the 11th shooter, ripping one over Kari Lehtonen’s glove.  The league leading Hawks completed their best circus trip going 6-1 and winning 6 straight after losing to Colorado to begin the trip.  I smell another streak on the horizon, better scent than horse droppings.  All four lines are clicking for Coach Q making it easier to have any given line out against any of the oppositions attack.  Duncan Keith is making a strong case for a Norris nod being named 3rd star of the week with 6 assists.   The Stars will be without one key element heading into Chicago.  Tyler Seguin is suffering from concussion like symptoms and was sidelined for this event. Read more »

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Beach searching for consistency, One more chance

BeachKyle_Photo_IceHogs_GregHamil_2013Nov30_2Teammates celebrate Kyle Beach’s 1st of 3 goals Nov 30th
Photo credit: Rockford IceHogs, Greg Hamil

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“It’s day to day.  This is Kyle’s fifth year here – or parts of five seasons.  It’s just him being a true professional in the way he conducts himself on and off the ice.  And when he crosses the line, then he’s not going to play, and he knows that.  And that’s why he hasn’t played the last (four games).” – IceHogs head coach Ted Dent

By Chris Block

No one in the Blackhawks organization knows Kyle Beach better than Ted Dent.  The current Rockford bench boss was an assistant when Beach first dipped his toes into the professional ranks at the end of his junior seasons in 2009 and 2010.  Dent was there when Beach and Akim Aliu’s off-ice antics got the duo banished from the IceHogs during a playoff series after an incident in a Milwaukee hotel in 2009.  Dent was an assistant working directly with the forwards in Beach’s first full pro season in 2010-11, and became Rockford’s head coach in the summer of 2011.

So when the word came in late October that Beach’s hockey excursion to Sweden had come to an end, and the Blackhawks 2008 1st round pick would be returning to the IceHogs roster, I asked Dent what he was expecting from Beach once he did return to the team. Read more »

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Lindbloom’s View: Road Stories

Lindbloom_TreeHigher_2013Dec02                                                 “I want to take you higher”
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By Rich Lindbloom

About 20 years ago, our friend, and town undertaker, suggested to my wife that I put lights on the pine tree in our front yard. At that time the tree was about even with the roof of our house. Now, I’m not sure Mike had the wherewithal to anticipate that I would be climbing up the center of that tree for the last 20 years to add and replace strands of C-9 bulbs – however the thought of subterfuge entered my mind while I hung on for dear life this year. (Reluctantly, last year I had to finally acquiesce and replace the C-9 bulbs with C-7′s so the circuits would quit blowing in the house.) Were Mike and my better half in cahoots?  Read more »

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