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 »

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 »

Fantasy Chatter: Analysis and Week 2 advice

TheLeague_2014Oct12_post_AutoDraftBluesGot the Auto-Draft Blues??

By Lane Myer

The Week Ahead: Week 2, Oct 13-19.  

4 Game slates: ANA, BOS, BUF, CGY, COL, SJ
3 Game slates: CLB, DAL, DET, EDM, FLA, LA, MON, NASH, NJ, NYI, NYR, OTT, STL, TB, TOR, WASH
2 Game slates: ARI, CAR, CHI, MIN, PHI, PITT, VAN, WIN

Hopefully you’re not one of those panicky owners who has been dropping solid middle round quality players that have an extended track record of production for bottom pairing quality players who happen to get off to a quick start. Make sure you’re checking player usage if you are one of those people.

For example, Olli Maatta is a hot pickup right now after his 3 assist performance against the Ducks in the opener, and he may end up being solid this season, but if you look at his usage, he’s only accrued 1 shift on the PP for all of 24 seconds. Read more »

Lindbloom’s View: Purgatory and Danny Carcillo

Lindbloom_Purgatory_2014_Oct12Purgatory, Plain and Simple

“I think God’s wrath and Purgatory are the only things keeping me on the straight and narrow. I like the idea of Purgatory. It’s like a cosmic do over.”

By Rich Lindbloom

Unfortunately, my mom broke her hip last week and required a hip replacement. At 86 years old, this is just another of a series of debilitating physical setbacks over the last few years. On a recent visit at the hospital, she told me she thought God was punishing her. I tried to reassure her that was not the case. In her weakened condition, I’m sure the devil is having a field day, filling her mind with doubt and fear. It’s hard to stand upon the Promises of God when you’re writhing in physical pain and mental anguish.

Somehow the subject of Purgatory came up. Personally, from my studies of God’s word, Purgatory seems to be a man made purification center, the cosmic do over. Although it certainly does try to address our inherent sinful nature with that of a Holy God. The two are highly incompatible. It’s as if we innately know we have to somehow try to pay for our transgressions, before we stand before the Creator of the universe on Judgment Day. Read more »

Another strong 3rd steamrolls Hawks past over-matched Sabres

By Michael Calvert

After an opening ceremony that lacked only a banner-raising, the Blackhawks opened the home season Saturday night against the quite-lowly Buffalo Sabres.

The Hawks scored two early goals in what looked like would be a blowout, then wasn’t, then ultimately ended up being so.

Buffalo was able to answer the Hawks two early goals with one in the middle of the first and one at the end of the first.

Scoring stalled in the second but the Hawks blew the doors off with 4 goals in the third. Read more »

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 »

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

Goldblum_Kroll

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

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.

———————-

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 »