Author Archives: Chris Block

Gibson, Ducks shutout Hawks 1-0 at the UC

By Chris Block

Tuesday night brought the Blackhawks’ biggest litmus test of the young season as the Western Conference leading Anaheim Ducks landed in town.

Joel Quenneville rolled out a mild surprise, revealing Scott Darling would get a second-consecutive start in goal after getting the win in his NHL debut against Ottawa on Sunday.

Darling was solid again, stopping 24 shots but the one he couldn’t get wound up being the difference in the game as the Ducks, behind rookie John Gibson, shut down the vaunted Chicago shooters, 1-0.

The Blackhawks power play went 0-3 on the night, but also surrendered a short-handed goal in the 3rd period that eventually determined the loss. It was the second time in six home games the Hawks power play has gone a ‘0-for’ this season. It was also the second consecutive game the Hawks gave up a short-handed tally and third time this year at home. The 3 shorties the Hawks have given up this season ties for the league lead. Read more »

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IceHogs halt 2-game losing streak, top rival Wolves 4-3 in Rockford

By Chris Block

Coming home from a 4-game, 9-day road trip in which they collected five of a possible eight points, the Rockford IceHogs met a stiff challenge in MidWest Division rival Chicago Wolves on Saturday night.

The game was to include a subplot of the two Broadhurst brothers facing off for the first time in a regular season game, but that didn’t come to be as Alex Broadhurst was scratched from the IceHogs’ lineup on Saturday.

A crowd of 4,422 at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford saw the visitor’s light the scoreboard in the game’s first minute, but a strong, quick response from the IceHogs soon followed.

More of that resolve was needed later, as the IceHogs scored a goal in the last minute of the second period to tie the game, then Brandon Mashinter potted a rebound in the third period in what would stand as the game-winning goal as the IceHogs took the first meeting of the annual Illinois Lottery Cup by a 4-3 score. Read more »

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Milwaukee hands Wolves tough-luck OT loss in Rosemont on eve of Wolves-Hogs battle in Rockford

By Chris Block

One night before the Chicago Wolves make the quick trek up Interstate 90 on Saturday night to face off with Rockford at the BMO, John Anderson’s troops hosted another rival, the Milwaukee Admirals.

A crowd of 3,233 turned up at Allstate Arena in Rosemont for the first installment of what is referred to as the “Amtrak Rivalry.” The two teams will meet 12 times this season, just as will the Wolves and IceHogs.

The Wolves got goals from forwards Ty Rattie and Jeremy Welsh, as well as an assist from former Blackhawks’ product Terry Broadhurst, playing in his third game with his new team.

But a fluttering Anthony Bitetto snap shot late in overtime somehow got by Wolves’ starter Matt Climie, sending the home crowd for the exits in disbelief.

“It was a good hockey game, back and forth,” Brent Sopel explained after his team’s second home loss, both coming via overtime. “Both teams had some opportunities there in overtime. Their guy just…We can call it a good miss. [Bitetto] flubbed the shot and it went in.” Read more »

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Odds and Saads: Whole Lotta Rosie?, Dent talks Teuvo; notes on signings, Chicago Stadium and Coliseum; great moments in Florida Panthers history and more

By Chris Block

Michal Rozsival hopes to be an everyday player again in Chicago. [Mark Lazerus, Sun-Times] Rozsival is expected to make his season debut Saturday in Nashville.

–Blackhawks have added Mike Sullivan to the player development staff. He most recently had been John Tortorella’s assistant for seven seasons. TTMI story here.

–If you haven’t, check in with our new Fantasy Hockey guru Lane Myer.

–Our detailed recap of Rockford’s 3-2 opening night loss to Milwaukee. Following up on the response to the paragraphs on T.J. Brennan, his $600,000 one-way deal is the reason the Islanders wanted him included in the deal. Brennan wasn’t going to make the Isles with Leddy and Boychuk around and the Isles didn’t want to spend that money on him as a player in Bridgeport.

In Brennan, Peter Regin and Drew LeBlanc alone, Stan Bowman has $1.825M in guaranteed NHL salary in Rockford right now. He had substantially more than that in the past when Steve Montador and Rostislav Olesz were stashed away in the AHL. The Hawks minor league team has become akin to a money pit since 2011.  You get the impression the Hawks have no plans for Brennan.

–Other notes reported from practice: Marian Hossa sat out practice today but will play Wednesday vs the Flames. Kris Versteeg could start skating this weekend and Joel Quenneville is disgusted with his third line so far. Read more »

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Hawks hire another new player development coach, long-time Tortorella ally

By Chris Block

Blackhawks have hired another Player Development Coach.

Recently the team hired Mike Sullivan, who last served as an assistant on John Tortorella’s staff in Vancouver. Tortorella and Sullivan were each fired by the Canucks on May 1, 2014.

Sullivan joins Yanic Perreault, Adrian Aucoin and Mark Eaton on the Blackhawks Player Development staff. This group reports to Barry Smith. Their primary role is to assist in the development of prospects.  Keith Carney was also apart of that team, but he’s currently on voluntary sabbatical from the organization.

Aucoin and Eaton are former NHL defenseman, Sullivan a forward, while Perreault a center who was one of the league’s best faceoff men in his day. Aucoin and Perreault both had stints with the Blackhawks in their playing days.

This new hire does bring a wide-range of experience, but also some baggage. Read more »

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Rockford drops Opener, 3-2 to Milwaukee: Full details; IceHogs, Ville Pokka injury notes

IceHogs_LockerRoom_2014_100214Photo credit: TheThirdManIn.com

By Chris Block

Rockford opened its season at home on Saturday night with a 3-2 loss to the Milwaukee Admirals.

Blackhawks 2013 1st round pick, Ryan Hartman tallied both goals for the IceHogs. Hartman benefited from skating hard in following up a Matt Carey shot late in the first period and then got a fortunate redirect late in the second when he threw a puck on net and watched it bounce off a Milwaukee defenseman and by Admirals’ goaltender Marek Mazanec.

Veteran Michael Leighton got the start for Rockford and was good, yet the tough-luck loser. Milwaukee’s game-winning goal came when Adam Clendening over-skated a puck Leighton had left for the defenseman behind the IceHogs’ goal. The puck was quickly snatched up by Milwaukee and Leighton had little chance to stop the immediate Joe Pendenza goal.

Rockford started the scoring late in the first. Read more »

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Rockford sets roster for Opening Night; a look at the IceHogs team, Blackhawks prospect lineup

2014Oct02_MarkMcNeill_IceHogs_Wolves_Preseason

Mark McNeill skates in a preseason game Oct 2nd in Rockford
Photo courtesy of Rockford IceHogs

By Chris Block

Rockford IceHogs open their season tomorrow night when they host Milwaukee at the BMO Harris Bank Center at 7pm.

The Blackhawks have finalized the AHL roster and it was announced today. The IceHogs will carry 24 skaters to start the season, which is allowed in the American Hockey League.

Scott Darling and Michael Leighton, as expected, will be the IceHogs goalie tandem. Mac Carruth should be given a chance to do the heavy lifting in Indianapolis, on the Hawks’ new ECHL affiliate, Indy Fuel. It seems as though the Rockford duo will split the workload evenly for now.

What’s going to be interesting is how Rockford coach Ted Dent handles his defense. Though, that may be dictated to him by the Hawks’ brass. The IceHogs start the season with 8 defensemen – Adam Clendening, Klas Dahlbeck, T.J. Brennan, Ville Pokka, Stephen Johns, Viktor Svedberg, Zach Miskovic and Dillon Fournier.

Politically, I could see Rockford dressing seven defensemen some nights until something gives on that body count.

The forward group will look something like this…. Read more »

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Audio: HockeeNight and Chris Block talk Blackhawks moves and preview the season

By Chris Block

Sunday night, I joined Krista, C.T. and “Forklift” from HockeeNight.com for our annual Blackhawks’ season preview “PuckCast.”

Of course, with the news coming down over the weekend, we spent considerable time breaking down the Nick Leddy trade as well as the controversial signing of Dan Carcillo.  We also discussed Teuvo Teravainen, the formulation of the Blackhawks’ roster, Brad Richards already being demoted from off the 2nd line, prospects, the Manitoba Two-Banger and much much more.

Listen here….

Or, Download the show by right-clicking here. (Talk Shoe free register required)

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Fantasy Chatter: TTMI’s 2014 Fantasy Hockey Primer: Part One – Undervalues and Deep Cuts

TheLeagueFX

Today we’re launching a new feature on the site – Fantasy Chatter.

That’s a working title. It’s what I could come up with at 3am on a Friday. This is an idea that’s been tossed around and has a few years of rust over it. But two year’s too late is how I’ve operated most of my life. Better late than never, though. At least here.

With the start of the NHL season less than a week away, we know a lot of folks have fantasy drafts right around the corner. Even if you’ve already picked your team, fantasy vets know it’s the roster moves you make along the way that separates the pretenders from the contenders.

So with that I’ve enlisted Lane Myer, who has been putting me to shame in our various TTMI Fantasy Hockey Leagues over five seasons now. Lane has emailed me after a live draft, mocking some of my prized selections. He’s lived to tell about it (because we’ve never physically met) and has now even parlayed that into a weekly space here on the site. And hopefully it will be both insightful and beneficial to our readers, whether you’re a fantasy player or not. I’m excited about this feature and the potential it brings to involve more ongoing statistical analysis and player prospectus on the site.

Before I turn it over to Lane, I do want to make mention that we have still have a few spots open in a TTMI league we are Live Drafting this Monday night at 9pm. If you’re interested, contact me at ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com – we’d be glad to have you aboard and you can shame me too. –Chris Block

Note: Part two of this week’s Fantasy Chatter, Hawk Factors and Goalie Wars, will reveal here at noon Friday 10/3.

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By Lane Myer

For a brief introduction, I’m Lane, and Chris has asked me if I wouldn’t possibly maybe mind writing a weekly fantasy hockey column for TTMI.  All you need to know is that I’m no expert but I do have a pretty good track record.   Probably luck, but if Block wants to point out that my current 87% Yahoo League performance rating is way better than yours – that’s ok, I guess.  I’m basically just the only guy who didn’t say no. Largely because the pay is decent.

This first post will not be a typical TTMI fantasy article.  They will not be this long in the future.   Read more »

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Afternoon Delights: Hawks at it again with Teuvo

By Chris Block

In this week’s news, the Blackhawks have a highly-regarded NHL prospect.

In fact, this prospect could be in line to earn a spot on the Opening Night roster, but the team says they don’t know for certain.

The problem is the player missed a week of training camp and three preseason games. So, they need to see more of him.

Fair enough. Makes sense… In other news, the team is chose not to see the aforementioned player last night when the Blackhawks host the Montreal Canadiens in the final home game of the exhibition season.

Teuvo Teravainen, despite getting into only one game thus far due to injury, didn’t dress in the Hawks’ second-to-last preseason game against the Canadiens.

“We haven’t seen him a ton this camp,” Joel Quenneville said Wednesday morning when speaking to reporters about the 20-year old prospect. “We liked him in the game he played. We like him in practice. I thought he was fine at Notre Dame. We see progress to his game. It seems like he’s a little stronger.” Read more »

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