Back on a pleasant evening in early October, I took the dogs for their customary evening walk. My black neighbors a few houses down, the Wilkerson’s, were sitting in their driveway basking in the evening shadows. In a way, they reminded me of my youth when it seemed everyone sat on their front porch. With no air conditioning back then, I suppose we were left with little choice but to enjoy the evening breeze.
Of course that was before the plethora of TV stations that DirecTv blesses our homes with. (Tongue firmly in cheek.) Actually, a good game of Ghost in the Graveyard probably was more entertaining than flipping through 300 stations trying to find something of interest. Read more »
“Hockey captures the essence of the Canadian experience in the New World. In a land so inescapably and inhospitably cold, hockey is the dance of life, and An affirmation that despite the deathly chill of winter we are alive.” – Bruce Kidd
By Rich Lindbloom
Admittedly, two robust victories on the road can have an inordinate impact on one’s enthusiasm. Yet, after almost four months of saying I don’t care if they play or not, it’s truly great to see that the boys are back in town. (“Remember that chick that slapped Kaner’s face? Man… we fell about the place-if that chick don’t want to go forget her.”) Actually, it seems all the stars are lining up at the moment for Chicago hockey fans. Hockey and single digit temperatures go together like soup and sandwiches. There’s even a smidgeon of that white stuff on the ground. Hopefully Sam Fels and his street urchins will not develop frostbite while peddling ‘The Indian’ tonight. That lamppost doesn’t offer much protection from a bitter Northwest wind. Dig a little deeper and tip them tonight bucko’s! Read more »
As I awoke on the morning of January 6th 2013, it was like Christmas all over again. I learned that the National Hockey League and the NHL Players Association had announced an agreement was in place and a condensed season was on the horizon.
The first thing I thought of was when do the Blackhawks play? I immediately used every possible angle to let the world know that hockey was back! Will the fans be coming back to watch their favourite teams?
Well, I believe that question was answered when arenas all over North America filled up to watch their favourite teams practice. That’s right, I said Practice! Fans will come back and watch the game because hockey is a culture. I didn’t realize how much the sport of hockey has involved in every aspect of a fan’s life until I began to change my daily routines to get prepared for the upcoming 48 game season. Adjusting my work schedules to be able to watch each game as well as waiting online to purchase tickets to a few of the road games.
Growing up In Niagara Falls Ontario, I have only made a few trips to Chi Town to see my beloved Blackhawks play at the Untied Center, however when they make the flight to Buffalo, Toronto or Detroit, I always head to the rink. Read more »
After two consecutive first-round playoff exits, the entire Blackhawks organization has a lot at stake heading into the abbreviated 2013 season. For better or worse, the club entered training camp with a roster that was very similar to the 45-win team from a season ago. The only new additions – defensemen Michal Rozsival and Sheldon Brookbank – do not figure to see huge roles during the upcoming season. If the Blackhawks are going to put the last two seasons behind them, they will need bigger contributions from the following groups of players with something to prove this season.
The last time the Blackhawks entered a season with the same goaltending tandem as they utilized the year before was 2007-08, when Nikolai Khabibulin and Patrick Lalime returned to the Chicago crease for a second season together. Both Corey Crawford and Ray Emery will be relied upon to secure wins this season, something that is even more important out of the gate as the skaters get back into game shape and adjust to the breakneck pace of the compacted schedule. Read more »
While it can’t officially be announced until after the NHLPA membership ratifies the new CBA on Saturday, the Chicago Blackhawks have jumped the gun a bit by recalling four players from AHL Rockford.
Nick Leddy, Marcus Kruger, Andrew Shaw and Brandon Bollig were all recalled by the Blackhawks on Monday January 7th. This, one day after the NHL and Player’s association hammered out the framework for a new collective bargaining agreement to end the NHL Lockout.
All four players were held out of Rockford’s home game Wednesday night against first-place Grand Rapids. The transactions will be made official this weekend. Three of the four were in Chicago skating with most of the other Blackhawks players at informal on-ice workouts beginning Tuesday. Nick Leddy joined in on Thursday.
One player who was surprisingly left out of the initial group of four call-ups is Rockford IceHogs alternate captain, and the team’s leading goal scorer, Ben Smith.
Smith, 24, scored his 15th goal of the season on Wednesday night. He also ranks second in points scored by an IceHogs player, 26, seven behind team captain Martin St. Pierre. Read more »
“What’s it all about, Alfie?
Is it just for the moment we live?
What’s it all about when you sort it out, Alfie
Are we meant to take more than we give…:”
- Burt Bacharach, Hal David, Bastos Ribeiro
By Rich Lindbloom
Roughly two months ago, I once again ventured into what most of you would probably think of as the minor league of music. It seems every concert I go to at The Old Town School of Folk Music, I’m surrounded by old fogies like myself. Definitely an “I knew the bride when she used to rock and roll,” type crowd. This time around we were there to see a tremendous (I’m going to call it Jazz – although I’m not sure that’s quite accurate) guitarist by the name of Earl Klugh. I’d guess one would say this was settling for the second tier of musicians, as far as concerts would go. Read more »
Riding a four game losing streak (0-3-1-0), the Rockford IceHogs drive 93 miles northeast tonight where they’ll visit the BMO Harris Bradley Center to face off with the Milwaukee Admirals for the second time in six days.
The lone point Rockford has picked up in those four contests came in a 4-3 overtime loss in Milwaukee this past Friday. Rockford trailed the Admirals 3-1 midway through that game until goals by Brandon Pirri and captain Martin St. Pierre forced an overtime session. However, a breakdown in the IceHogs end resulted in Kevin Henderson surprising Carter Hutton with the game-winning shot a minute and forty-five seconds in to send the IceHogs back to Rockford with only the one consolation standings point.
Although the IceHogs (13-12-1-1) have lost both of their games since dropping first-place to the Griffins in Grand Rapids on December 9th, that one point earned in Milwaukee has been enough force Rockford back into a tie with Grand Rapids for the top spot in the Midwest Division. The Griffins has also lost their past two games since moving into first in the division. Grand Rapids hosts the Rochester Americans tonight at Van Andel Arena.
The Midwest division race is as tight as it could possibly be, now a third of the way through the 76 game American Hockey League season. One point separates last-place Milwaukee (12-11-2-1, 27 points) from Grand Rapids and Rockford in the top spot. Read more »
“I want to bite the hand that feeds me, I want to bite that hand so badly, I want to make them wish they’d never seen me…” – Elvis Costello
By Rich Lindbloom
I heard a great definition of philosophy recently: “A blind man, in a dark room, looking for a black cat, that doesn’t exist.”
Tell me that doesn’t describe the excruciating labor negotiations between the NHL owners and the players union in a nutshell. Quite frankly, I don’t think I’m alone in my burgeoning apathy in this greed laden, rapacious process. Waves of intense anger may belie my apathy, but I’m doing my best to cope with the situation. Trying to pretend I could care less is easier said than done. Read more »
As always when Hockeenight and TTMI join together, we ran the usual gamut of topics. We review the NHL’s class action complaint filed against the NHLPA in a New York court on Friday and the damning quotes from Jonathan Toews and Troy Brouwer cited in the motion.
We discuss all the latest on Blackhawks prospects including Brandon Saad, Andrew Shaw, Ben Smith and Fork’s favorite, Jeremy Morin. Also, we broach the Blackhawks directive to IceHogs coach Ted Dent to move Andrew Shaw back to center, and what may have gone into that decision – the Jeremy Roenick autobiography, “torpedoing” Jimmy Hayes, Malort~!, Gary Bettman’s standing in the face of his third work stoppage, how the 5% variance would effect teams should it be realized, George “the Animal” Steele and some professional wrestling history.
Looking to build on recent winning ways and retain their first place standing in the Midwest Division, the Rockford IceHogs played host to division rival Milwaukee Admirals, winners of three of its last four games. Milwaukee also entered Friday’s contest riding a five-game point streak (3-0-2-0) as they recently have welcomed Ryan Ellis, Gabriel Bourque and Taylor Beck back into their lineup.
The IceHogs rose atop their division in winning 7 of its last 9 games, going from two games under .500 on Nov 16 to three games above .500 and in first place on Dec 2nd.
Friday also was the first of five meetings between the two clubs this month. Milwaukee came into Rockford on Nov 10 and skated away with a 4-2 victory. That night, the first of 12 times these two clubs will face off this regular season, Alec Richards was between the pipes for Rockford.
On Friday, Carter Hutton, the starter in the IceHogs last three games, all wins in which Hutton allowed a total of five goals, was back to face a Milwaukee team he went 8-1 versus last season.
Hutton was strong early Friday night but struggled to bail his teammates out when miscues and mental lapses plagued Rockford during a three-goal Milwaukee 2nd period. Read more »