Crawford, Hawks post shutout in South Florida; Teuvo scores in return, Q on his new 3rd pairing, full recap and more

By Chris Block

The reinsertion of Teuvo Teravainen into the Blackhawks’ lineup in the wake of Patrick Kane’s regular-season ending broken collarbone surgery proved to be a difference maker, at least for one night.

Teravainen scored on his first shift of the game on Thursday night and Corey Crawford returned to the nets to make 20 saves and post his 12th career regular season shutout in a 3-0 defeat of the Florida Panthers before an announced crowd of 17,387 fans (mostly Blackhawks fans) at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.

The Blackhawks defense and backchecking was in top form, limiting Florida to just five shots through the initial 31 minutes of Thursday’s rematch of the Hawks 3-2 shootout-deciding victory two nights before at United Center. Tuesday’s contest saw the Hawks take a 2-0 lead into the third period only to see the Panthers force extra hockey.

Joel Quenneville made one other lineup change from Tuesday’s game. It came as a surprise in that most people expected Dan Carcillo to draw back in as a response to Alex Petrovic’s push that has put Kane out of action for approximately three months. Instead, Quenneville scratched veteran Michal Rozsival for Tim Erixon, who had played in just six games since being acquired for Jeremy Morin in mid-December. Erixon was appearing in his first game action since January 18th against Dallas, a 6-3 Hawks’ loss at home. Read more »

Blackhawks trade Brennan to Toronto for Spencer Abbott; Analysis, what it means and more on trade rumor out of Sweden

Brennan_2015Jan16_IceHogs_333x500T.J. Brennan, Rockford’s leading scorer, dealt to Toronto
Jan 16, 2015 photo courtesy of Rockford IceHogs

By Chris Block

Thursday afternoon, the Chicago Blackhawks traded away defenseman, and Rockford IceHogs’ current leading scorer, T.J. Brennan to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for minor league right winger, Spencer Abbott.

Abbott, 26, is 5’9” right-shooting winger in his third pro season now. He spent four years at the University of Maine (2008-2012) where he posted 54 goals and 146 points in 152 career NCAA games with the Black Bears.

Brennan was a member of Toronto’s organization last season. He and Abbott ranked 1-2 in Toronto Marlies scoring during the 2013-14 regular season.

Last year with Toronto, Abbott set career marks in goals (17), assists (52) and points (69) with the Marlies, the Maple Leafs in-town American Hockey League affiliate. This season, Abbott has 7 goals and 17 assists in 46 games. His shooting percentage has dropped to 7.6% from 12.0% last regular season.

There are two keys to this move from a Blackhawks and Rockford IceHogs’ dual perspective. Read more »

Lindbloom’s View: Seeing Things In The Dark

Lindbloom_BadBadBad_20150225Bad, Bad, Bad

“I’m mad…and that’s a fact
I found out…animals don’t help
Animal think…they’re pretty smart
Shit on the ground…see in the dark

They wander around like a crazy dog
Make a mistake in the parking lot
Always bumping into things
Always let you down, down, down.” – David Byrne

By Rich Lindbloom

When a friend of mine once told me he had bought about his seventh Talking Heads album he said, “I don’t know why I keep buying these albums?” To say the Talking Heads have an inimitable style is grossly understating there zaniness. Quirky isn’t quite the right adjective, but sometimes I think David Byrne ain’t right. Something tells me that he and I could have about as engaging a conversation as Einstein and me. (I could always counter Albert’s, “What do you think of my Theory of Relativity,” with a “What do you think of the Hawks third defensive pairing?” Obviously there would be considerable confusion, although I think I’d have a better chance of finally figuring out the Theory.) Read more »

Hawks edge Panthers 3-2, but need a shootout; Kane leaves game with major injury

By Brad Vandenberk

After suffering an embarrassing loss on home ice against the Bruins on Sunday afternoon, the Blackhawks shifted the focus on Tuesday to the Florida Panthers, who are battling for a playoff spot, and would love to take full advantage of a depleted Hawks squad.

Scott Darling was recalled from Rockford on Sunday night with Joakim Nordstrom. Ryan Hartman and Antti Raanta were sent back down to what seemed to be a salary type move. Which can only mean one thing. Nothing, it means nothing. Darling was then signed to a 2 year contract extension.

Darling was also named the started for this game helping the Hawks edge the Panthers 3-2 in a shootout. Jonathan Toews and Kris Versteeg were the goal scorers with Patrick Sharp lending a hand in the shootout. This would be the last game for this 8 game home stand recording 3-3-2. Read more »

Teravainen Staying Up, Focused After Recent Demotion to Rockford

Teravainen_2015_Feb14_IceHogs_Rockford_vs_OKC_500x333Teuvo Teravainen skating back in Rockford, Feb 14, 2015 vs Oklahoma City
Photo courtesy of Rockford IceHogs

By Chris Block

The afternoon after an overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks, 20-year old Teuvo Teravainen got the call all rookie players dread.

“After practice Quenneville called me and said what was happening,” Teravainen recounted.

The news Joel Quenneville relayed was that Teravainen was being sent back to the minors. After 15 games, 2 goals and 4 total points, Quenneville informed Teravainen that he would be trading in his number 86 Blackhawks sweater for a Rockford IceHogs, number 21, at least for the time being.

“He told me to just get some ice time (in Rockford). Play my game. Try to be dominant on the ice. Play good. That’s all. Have some fun.”

It was a disappointing development for the confident Finnish center, but Teravainen isn’t allowing the demotion to get him down.

“Of course my goal is to be up [in Chicago], but right now I’m [in Rockford] and I’m trying to help this team out.” Read more »

Fantasy Chatter: Week 20 – Trade Deadline Rumblings & the Waiver Wire: Ottawa Bias Edition

EdONeill_MFAnd you may find yourself….

The Week Ahead: Feb 23 – Mar 1

4 Game slates: ANA, ARI, CLB, DET, FLA, LA, NJ, STL
3 Game slates: BOS, BUF, CAL, CAR, CHI, COL, DAL, MIN, MON, NASH, NYI, NYR, OTT, PHI, TOR, VAN, WASH, WINN
2 Game slates: EDM, PIT, SJ, TB
Back to Back games: ARI, BOS, CAL, CAR, CHI, COL, CLB, DET, FLA, LA, NJ, NYI, OTT, STL, TOR

By Lane Myer

TTMI’s Trade Central

Week two of the run-up to the trade deadline revealed…nothing. Not even a minor trade involving a role player. Even the rumor mongering from respectable insider types was largely hushed aside from some speculation that Bruins’ GM Peter Chiarelli could be on the outs if Boston were to miss the playoffs. That led to some new names allegedly hitting the trade block including Zdeno Chara, Loui Eriksson, Malcom Subban and Dennis Seidenberg. Seidenberg is largely irrelevant for fantasy purposes and I think there is next to no chance Chara moves before the draft. I’m also putting little weight into Jordan Staal’s return to Pittsburgh rumors. Read more »

Hapless Blackhawks Fall 6-2 to Bruins

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks came up with a cringe-worthy effort against the visiting Boston Bruins Sunday afternoon. Boston chased Corey Crawford from the crease and dominated in all phases of the game.

The Blackhawks were soundly defeated, losing 6-2 in front of a national audience on NBC. With the loss, Chicago is now 2-2-3 on a home stand that looked to be full of winnable games a couple of weeks ago.

First Period-Boston was the first to score three minutes into the game. Patrice Bergeron got behind Michael Rozsival at the left post and was right there to take a backhanded feed from Reilly Smith. Read more »

Odds and Saads: Notes on weekend, Sharp, Richards; Dylan Olsen MIA, Hayden’s suspension, the Stevie Moses sweepstakes and much more

By Chris Block

Big weekend starts tonight as both the Blackhawks and Rockford IceHogs are in action twice this weekend.

Blackhawks host Colorado at the UC tonight. I’m on recap duty for this one so that should be fun.   The Boston Bruins then come to town on Sunday afternoon for what should be another entertaining game against a top Eastern Conference opponent, the third in eight days at home for the Hawks.

Rockford is in Cleveland this weekend for a two-game set Friday and Saturday against the Lake Erie Monsters, who are the Colorado Avalanche minor league affiliate. The IceHogs missed out on an opportunity to move back into first place in the MidWest division on Wednesday when they were shut-out at home by San Antonio, 4-0. The IceHogs were terrible in that game until the third period when they outshot San Antonio 20-5, but by then it was far too late. Later that night Milwaukee earned a point in an OT loss at Grand Rapids, so Milwaukee sits 2 points up on Rockford. Both teams have played 52 games at this point, though Milwaukee is idle tonight.

–I was absolutely crushed Sunday morning as I walked into the United Center and got the news that Steve Montador had passed away overnight.  Montador was 35.

I covered wrestling for many years and became good friends with guys who would go on to die at an early age or take their own life, but now that I’m a bit older, you get a different feeling when someone dies young whose just a shade younger than you.

I had the pleasure of covering Montador in Rockford and speaking with him in his time with the organization. He was just honest and passionate about the game when we spoke. He was just a great person. That’s all there really is to say.  Its sad that his career ended the way it did and again now that he’s gone.

Read more »

Blackhawks Drop 3-2 Shootout Decision to Detroit

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks had responses for the visiting Detroit Red Wings on two occasions Wednesday night. However, the Hawks came up one response short after a nip-and-tuck affair that ended with Detroit taking the game 3-2 in a shootout.

First Period-Detroit nearly got a puck past Corey Crawford in the first 15 seconds on a shot by Tomas Tatar. Patrick Kane got off an attempt that was stopped by Jimmy Howard before Kane sent the rebound high of the net. Bryan Bickell had a nice chance from the left circle a few moments later by Howard made the stick save.

Bickell was called for slashing 9:15 into the period, putting the Red Wings on the man advantage. Late in the penalty, Marian Hossa entered the Detroit zone and hit Brandon Saad for a shorthanded opportunity. Saad was hooked by Justin Abdelkader, giving the Hawks a shot at some power play time. Kane and Brent Seabrook had several whacks at Howard. Although Chicago held the offensive zone for most of the time and sent nine shots Howard’s way, the puck remained out of the Red Wings net. Read more »

Fantasy Chatter: Week 19; TTMI Trade Central, Plus trade analysis, rumors, fantasy trenders, sleepers and more

Devito_ItsAlwaysSunnyPhilly

The Week Ahead: Feb 16 – Feb 23

5 Game slates: NYI
4 Game slates: BOS, BUF, CAR, COL, CLB, DAL, EDM, FLA, MIN, MON, NASH, OTT, PHI, PIT, TB, VAN, WASH
3 Game slates: ANA, CAL, CHI, DET, LA, NJ, NYR, SJ, STL, TOR, WINN
2 Game slates: ARI
Back to Back games: ANA, BUF, CAR (x2), CLB, DAL, EDM, FLA, MON, NASH, NJ, NYI (x2), OTT, PHI, PIT, STL, TB, TOR, VAN, WASH

By Lane Myer

It’s a busy NHL schedule (save for Arizona) this week with the rare 5 game schedule for the Islanders (get all your Islander players into your weekly lineup), as well as 17 other teams set for 4 games each this week. That of course provides a multitude of goalie streaming opportunities if one is in need of goalie counting stats. Of particular note, should your league be of standard size, Carolina has two back to back sets of games this week which should translate to Cam Ward and Anton Khudobin splitting those starts. For those in leagues where Andrei Vasilevskiy isn’t owned, he makes a nice late week pickup with Tampa facing a back to back in Colorado and Arizona. Also of note, Eddie Lack should face the offensively challenged New Jersey Devils next weekend as well. Read more »