Tag Archives: Ben Eager

IceHogs extend point streak to 11, but blow 3 leads in process; Lose 5-4 in overtime at Oklahoma City

By Chris Block

Rockford capped off the best month of its AHL existence on Friday night, though in a 5-4 overtime loss before 3,853 fans at Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City.

The IceHogs picking up a point in the loss to the Oklahoma City Barons not only extended the team’s streak of consecutive contests earning at least a point to 11 games (9-0-1-1), but it also meant Rockford went unbeaten in regulation over an entire month for the first time since they joined the American Hockey League in 2007.

Rockford held and lost the lead three times on Friday.  Bobby Shea and Terry Broadhurst each scored twice for the ‘Hogs.  For Shea it was his 2nd and 3rd goals of the season.  Terry Broadhurst notched his 12th and 13th tallies. Read more »

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No Redemption: Oilers slip by Hawks 4-3

By Brad Gardner

The Edmonton Oilers captured their second consecutive win against the Chicago Blackhawks with a 4-3 win Monday night at the United Center.  Edmonton’s power play unit struck twice after a major penalty was called against Daniel Carcillo and the visitors were able to hold onto the lead despite a late push from the Blackhawks.

Jonathan Toews opened scoring at 12:54 of the first period. He did not get a lot on his shot from the slot, but it nonetheless slid on the ice and beat Dubnyk inside the post to the glove side. Carcillo set up the chance with a steal in the neutral zone and a pass onto the stick of Toews.

The tide turned when Carcillo was called for a five minute boarding major in the second period. Skating in on the forecheck, Carcillo threw Oiler’s defenseman Tom Gilbert into the boards head first before either player had touched the puck. Gilbert ended up rolling on Carcillo’s left leg, so both players ended up injured and would not return to the game. Read more »

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Lindbloom: False Summits and Surprise Lake

Are we there yet?

 “After climbing a great hill, one only  finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come.” – Nelson Mandela

By Rich Lindbloom

False Summits, as anyone who has ever backpacked in the mountains can attest to, are very similar to a mirage in the desert. Backpackers become painfully acquainted with false summits as they switchback their way up the mountain, stealing surreptitious glances around a corner – praying that the end is almost in sight. It seems I tend to start looking for the end of the trail about half way into a hike. For those of you who have strapped 50#’s to 60#’s on your back and headed upwards, you might agree with me that this is around the time we ask people headed in the other direction, “How much further to Surprise Lake?”

The first backpacking trip I ever went on was in the Tetons in Wyoming. We started out the day in great spirits, in total awe of the magnificent peaks set before us. I remember thinking, “this looks pretty steep and dangerous.” Day one of our 7 day expedition was a 4,000 foot climb covering a distance of 6 miles. As I quickly learned, that 6 miles was not exactly as the crow flies. The banter and songs seemed to diminish as we ascended higher and higher up the never ending switchbacks. With aching backs and blistering feet we trudged onward and upward, many times fooled by what appeared to be the apex of the trail. Read more »

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Toews, Montador each score twice, Hawks drive past Oilers 6-3; Seabrook injured

By Brad Vandenberk

The Chicago Blackhawks completed their 2 game home stand on Sunday night, before embarking on their annual 6 game circus road trip.  First, they had to get past the high flying Edmonton Oilers, who have completely turned their fortunes around from last season.  Edmonton entered Sunday’s contest in first place in the Northwest Division.  This game would end an Oilers’ 6-game road trip.

Corey Crawford started in goal facing off with his old mentor in Nikolai KhabibulinDave Bolland did not dress for the 3rd straight game with a foot injury, but will travel with his teammates and likely play on the upcoming road swing.

The opening period began with the Hawks pressuring the Oilers zone.  It paid off early as Jonathan Toews received a pass from Viktor Stalberg behind the net, then walked out in front and put a high shot over Khabibulin making the score 1-0 Hawks at 4:55 of the opening period.  This came after Taylor Hall went hard to the net and hit the cross bar at the other end of the ice surface.  Read more »

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Bowman interview, prospect camp changes; Winny coach news, Torchetti out, Yawney quits, Toews quips, Tallon troubles, NHLvsNBA and Wang news

Stan Bowman was interviewed on ChicagoBlackhawks.com’s podcast, Blackhawks Insider, in audio posted on Monday.  A portion of Bowman’s conversation with Adam Kempenaar is transcribed here.

The Blackhawks Way of playing hockey

One piece of news coming out of the audio portion pertained to July’s prospect camp.  Bowman is inviting fewer players and there will be less scrimmage time.  He’s looking at this year as less of a tryout (or evaluation) camp and more of a development camp.  They’re experimenting with a different ideas at the assistance and suggestion of Joel Quenneville and the coaching staff.  Bowman said there will be a bigger focus on “skills they’re going to need to have in order to eventually play for us.”  Just the idea of fewer players would seem to indicate one scrimmage per day instead of two.  On the topic of scrimmages, Bowman said “we are certainly going to have some of those but it was predominately scrimmages in the past.”

On the talent pool in this year’s draft, Bowman is optimistic that there is enough that he’ll get “good” future NHLers but he doesn’t see high-end goaltenders in this draft, which is consistent with the scouting reports.  Bowman said they “don’t necessarily have a one position” they’re focusing on.  He said in the past they had holes at center and defense but felt they’ve addressed those in the past couple of years.  He said he hadn’t had talks with any GM’s on moving up or trading down, but revealed those discussions between GM’s don’t typically come into play until the week and days leading into the draft.  He said they’re working at getting the best group of picks, regardless of position.

That taken, the Hawks are very weak on the depth chart at right wing.  Jeremy Morin is better on the left side.  Kyle Beach and Igor Makarov can play either.  Beach is probably better on the left but his game is a little far off to say for sure.  Makarov could Rockford’s top right wing by default if Morin and Beach keep to their off wing.

Longer-range, Bowman shared his thoughts and is high on Justin Holl’s skating ability; the toning down of Stephen Johns and Kevin Hayes taking the next step.

–Conflicting reports now coming out of Canada on the search for a new Winnipeg coach.  Today’s Winnipeg Sun is reporting there will be a second-round of interviews with finalists Claude Noel and Mike Haviland. Read more »

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Jan 12th Committed Indian Column

The following is my column which ran in Wednesday night’s Committed Indian.

One thing struck me going back and watching last Friday night’s broadcast of the Hawks-Senators game that I felt shined a spotlight on what’s wrong with the Blackhawks this season.

In breaking down and assessing blame for the Senators’ power play goal at the start of the first period, Eddie Olczyk put Fernando Pisani under the bus for doing the very thing that has been missing since June 9thbeing aggressive.

On Daniel Alfredsson’s goal, 49 seconds into the middle stanza, Olczyk ranted on and on over Pisani putting too much pressure on Sergei Gonchar as the top pointman quarterbacking the Sens’ power play.  How soon we forget how these things were done for the last three years.  Olczyk tried to make the point that Pisani’s over-pursuit of Gonchar disassembled the Hawks’ zone coverage.  If Joel Quenneville and his staff have instructed their penalty killers to sit back in a passive box, then Olczyk is factually correct in this case.

But I wouldn’t be so quick to take Olczyk’s word for it.  After all, what experience did he ever have playing in his defensive zone?  And ask Mark Recchi how much he thinks of Olczyk’s hockey acumen. Read more »

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