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

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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 »

Corey Crawford stops all the pucks and scores all the goals in Season Opener; Not exactly, but Hawks win 3-2 in the shootout

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks shook off a sluggish opening two periods in Dallas Thursday night, riding goalie Corey Crawford to a 3-2 shootout victory at the American Airlines Center. Crawford kept Chicago in the game in the face of a speedy Stars attack until the Hawks were able to rally in the third period with a Patrick Sharp tally. Patrick Kane potted the lone goal in the skills competition to get the 2014-15 campaign off on the right foot.

First Period-Marcus Kruger was called for the hook on Vernon Fiddler less than two minutes into the contest and the Stars kept Crawford busy on the resulting power play. The Hawks withstood the pressure and kept Dallas out of the henhouse. Chicago killed a second penalty in the 15th minute when Jeremy Morin was caught cross-checking Ryan Garbutt. Read more »

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)

Fantasy Chatter~Premiere: Part 2 – Hawk Factors and Goalie Wars

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Part One of this feature ran earlier today.

For the introduction – Fantasy Chatter: Undervalues and Deep Cuts

By Lane Myer

FANTASY ‘HAWK FACTOR

Not much in the way of undervalued Blackhawks this season unless Teuvo Koivu captures a top 6 role due to injury, or Jeremy Morin skates top 9 minutes all season long.   Nick Leddy would normally be a trendy target to peg for a break out season should he happen to come upon top 4 pairing minutes and a wealth of  PP opportunities, but it seems like Leddy may be bumped off of the second PP unit in favor of Richards and Seabrook if recent events come to fruition.   Perhaps an ill-advised trade is forthcoming which may in turn bump Leddy’s value back to where it should be.

The wildcard would have to be Brandon Saad.  See Breakout Candidates section above.   If there is one Hawk, health provided, who should easily out earn his draft position, it’s Saad.

Patrick Kane is typically overvalued in fantasy drafts by a round or two each year, but he’s a reliable star who sparingly misses games.   There is value in certainty.   Read more »

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

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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.

———————-

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 »

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 »

Puck Chatter~Radio, Road to the 2014-15 Blackhawks

By Chris Block

Al Cimaglia and I joined forces through the technologies Monday night to produce the first podcast this site has managed to push through in months.

Over the course of the hour we discussed some things.  I couldn’t hear some of it, myself.  The good news is, you can hear all of Al just fine.

You can listen through your web browser by punching the play button below.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Or, you can download the MP3 file at this link.

The show is also available for immediate download at the ITunes store in the podcast section.  Just type Third Man In into the search field and we pop right up.  I just checked because even I was wondering if we were still there.

If I can determine what’s causing the persistent clicking sounds and audio cutting out that only I hear on my end we’ll do another show next Monday night.

If not, I’ll be the guest on HockeeNight’s PuckCast on Sunday night to analyze the moves the Blackhawks made to get salary cap compliant and continue previewing the season there as well.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com
PuckChatter@gmail.com
Twitter.com/ChrisBlock

Blackhawks stone Oilers in Saskatoon; Teravainen notches first goal in Chicago uniform

By Chris Block

Teuvo Teravainen finally made his well-anticipated preseason debut on Sunday in the central Saskatchewan town of Saskatoon.

Delayed, because of a Cam Barker open ice hit on the Notre Dame campus seven days prior that left him with a non-specified upper body injury, Teravainen did not fail to deliver in his first taste of live game action. Teravainen scored late in the second period off a perfect Adam Clendening slap-pass into the slot that gave the Blackhawks a 3-0 lead over the Edmonton Oilers after 40 minutes. While only exhibition, the goal was Teravainen’s first in a Blackhawks’ uniform.

After all was said and done, the Blackhawks white-washed a thoroughly underwhelming Edmonton squad, trouncing the Oilers 5-0. Five different Chicago players scored and Scott Darling picked up a shutout, though he was barely tested in the game. When he was, his posts were large enough to save him. Read more »

Podcast news and updates; Fantasy Poolies, Audio talking Richards, Clendening, Dahlbeck, Teuvo, Hayes and more

By Chris Block

Just a few pieces of site business to start with here today…

TTMI Fantasy Hockey openings

–First, I do want to mention that we are doing another season of Fantasy Hockey that you can be apart of.

A few spots remain available for our leagues, and drafts are Tuesday night, so you don’t have much time to get in. Email me at ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com if you want in.

The draft will be held live, online on Monday night. Though, if you can’t join in for the live draft the Yahoo servers will auto pick your team for you. You can also pre-rank all NHL players prior to the draft so you have a better chance of getting the players you want if you can’t draft live.

Puck Chatter Radio

Also, Monday night – the return of PuckChatter~Radio.  We have a lot to discuss.

Al Cimaglia and I will be live at 7:30pm central at BlogTalkRadio.com/TheThirdManIn.

If you can’t listen in live, the show will be available for download almost immediately following the show at that same link, here on this web site and also on Itunes. Read more »

Hawks sloppy in 4-1 loss to Rangers: Danault, Carey, Johns, Barker cut from roster; Notes

By Chris Block

The Blackhawks reached the halfway point of the exhibition season on Friday night, dropping a 4-1 decision to the visiting New York Rangers before an announced sellout United Center crowd of 20,613.

Dennis Rasmussen, a Swedish free agent signing from over the off season, was the lone Blackhawks’ scorer. Corey Crawford saw a full sixty minutes for the first time this exhibition and stopped 25 of 29 Rangers’ shots. Each side saw three power plays, with the Rangers drawing the lone conversion, a J.T. Miller redirect that beat Crawford with 6:02 to go in regulation. That strike put the Blueshirts on top 3-1. A flukey goal 100 seconds later that went to Marek Hrivik after he stick-checked Marian Hossa near the Hawks’ net put the game out of the home team’s reach.

The night got off to bad start quickly when Brent Seabrook twice failed to clear the zone and Oscar Lindberg gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead just 50 seconds into the game. Read more »