Oct 202013
 

By Michael Calvert

Saturday night’s game is a feather in the hat of the NHL due to conference realignment.  All teams now play each other at least twice, so fans get to see some of the biggest teams in the league once a year in their barn.  This game featured two of the biggest teams in the League, one by name, the other by name and talent.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, the NHL’s only billion dollar franchise, were in the UC on Saturday.  My initial inclination is to compare them to the Yankees, but as much as I don’t care for the Yankees, that comparison is not fair to them.  The Yanks win consistently.  I think the Leafs are more like the Dallas Cowboys; it’s a big deal whether they are winning or losing, and mostly are losing. Continue reading »

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Oct 172013
 

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks took the visiting St. Louis Blues into a shootout Thursday night but couldn’t exact revenge on last week’s defeat in St. Louis. The Blues picked up their second win over the Hawks this season, besting Chicago 3-2 in a shootout.

First Period- The Hawks had six shots on net in the first three minutes. Marian Hossa set up Duncan Keith for a nice scoring opportunity that was stopped by Jaroslav Halak in the first minute. Soon after, Brandon Pirri got a good look at the net. Continue reading »

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Oct 152013
 

By Brad Vandenberk

After a weekend of beating two Eastern Conference teams in the Islanders and Sabres, the Blackhawks sent off to Raleigh, North Carolina on Tuesday to take on the Hurricanes.

The last time these two teams met was October 28th during the 2011-2012 season, when the cardiac Canes shutout the Hawks 3-0.  Coming into Tuesday’s contest, the Canes were coming off a weekend of disappointment, only grabbing 1 out of a possible 4 points.  The Hawks next seven games see them play four more Eastern teams before the month of November, when it is four weeks of Western conference foes.  Continue reading »

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Oct 132013
 

By Michael Calvert

Last night’s game started out almost laughably one-sided in the Hawks favor.  Buffalo was unable to generate any type of consistency in any facet of the game.  Fortunately, for the Sabres, Ryan Miller was spectacular.  Fortunately, for the Hawks, so too was Corey Crawford.

1st period:  The Blackhawks started the game with Brandon Saad on Jonathan Toews wing, along with Patrick Kane.  This line, up until jumbled again, was dominant on most every shift they were on the ice for.  One more interesting line change was Marcus Kruger playing second line center.  Kruger looked good in the second line center position, ending the night winning 45% of his faceoffs taken.  Continue reading »

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Oct 122013
 

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks gave up an early 2-0 lead in the last minute of the first period but rebounded to defeat the New York Islanders 3-2 at the United Center Friday night. Michal Handzus provided the winning margin with his first goal of the season. Also chipping in was rookie Joakim Nordstrom, who netted his first career goal in the win.

First Period: Nick Leddy got to the net and got off a shot in the second minute that goalie Kevin Poulin knocked away. A few minutes later, Patrick Sharp found Marian Hossa up the left side for another shot on Poulin. Early in the seventh minute, Brandon Bollig nearly pulled off a spin-o-rama from the left post. Poulin gloved the attempt after knocking it into the air with his blocker. Continue reading »

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Oct 102013
 

By Brad Vandenberk

The Chicago Blackhawks embarked on their first road game of the year, heading into St Louis to take on the Blues.  Their record going into this match was 1-0-1, meaning a certain ‘streak’ was still alive.

The Hawks have only played two games in the span of eight days.  Some of the players began to comment on how much of a difference it was from last season, when most teams played three games in four nights.  There was even a comparison to how it felt more like a football season than a hockey season.  This is great news for some of the Hawks players nursing injuries like Michal Handzus, who missed practise early in the week.  As well as superstar Marian Hossa, who is still not a 100% after taking the majority of training camp off.  Continue reading »

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Oct 072013
 

By Chris Block

Oftentimes when a good young player graduates a level there is at least a brief adjustment, or feeling out period.

And, in most cases, at some point, there are those moments or nights when you can almost witness that proverbial light bulb going off in the player’s head – when he, himself, becomes convinced his abilities do apply at that next level.  On a shift, or a moment of pure instinct, his skills take over and he leaves behind the indecisiveness and over-thinking that naturally occurs when adapting to a new environment.

Prior to game two of the IceHogs 2013-14 season on Sunday in suburban Austin, Texas, Mark McNeill had appeared in 13 games in an IceHogs sweater and was without a point.  Seven of those came at the end of his 18 year old junior season, and five more at the end of last season.  In those late season cameos, McNeill barely showed even brief flashes of the attributes that made him the 18th overall selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Continue reading »

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Oct 062013
 

By Chris Block

The Rockford IceHogs began the 2013-14 regular season on Saturday night with a porous performance in San Antonio, Texas.

A re-stocked group of young IceHogs led by now AHL veterans Brandon Pirri, Jeremy Morin and Dylan Olsen committed one careless turnover after another in route to a 3-1 loss to the Florida Panthers minor league affiliate.

The loss was also costly in that the IceHogs lost two players to injury.

Annti Raanta left the game at the 5:36 mark of the first period.  Raanta had taken an Eric Selleck 12-foot one-time attempt off the inside of his left knee at the 2:58 mark of the first.  Raanta smothered Selleck’s shot, but crumpled to the ice in obvious discomfort, favoring his left leg.  After consulting with IceHogs’ trainer D.J. Jones, Raanta opted to stay in the game.  He would stop one more San Antonio shot before deciding he couldn’t continue and Kent Simpson entered the contest with 14:24 to go in the opening period. Continue reading »

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Oct 062013
 

By Michael Calvert

The Blackhawks lost tonight to Martin St Louis, Steven Stamkos and some other guys.  This was a frustrating loss as the Hawks pretty much dominated this game, including the scoreboard until fairly late in the third.   Here’s how it happened… Continue reading »

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Oct 052013
 

By Jon Fromi

Saturday night afforded me a rare opportunity. With the Blackhawks hosting Tampa Bay and the IceHogs kicking off their season off in Texas, it was time for a little three-way action. Namely, the Hawks, the Hogs and me.

Could I handle two games at once? Here’s how the night shook out:

6:56 p.m.-The arena in Texas is playing Buddy Holly as I pick up the feed from AHL Live. I have Comcast Sportsnet on the big screen and the Hogs on the small screen via my laptop. I like to listen to the visitors broadcast to get the local flavor-isn’t that why the internet is so great?  However, I have to get my (Mike) Peck on for at least a while tonight. Continue reading »

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