Tag Archives: Chris Block

Hawks 8-game win streak snapped by Islanders

By Chris Block

The Blackhawks 8-game winning streak came to an end on Long Island on Saturday night.

Dan Carcillo put the Hawks ahead for exactly six seconds in the second period when Jaroslav Halak stopped his shot but had the rebound pop high in the air and come down bouncing off the back of his head and into the back of the net. But a bad Duncan Keith giveaway in front of Scott Darling handed Cal Clutterbuck the tying goal six seconds after the Hawks took the lead.

Patrick Kane later notched his team-leading 14th goal of the season. Then the tide turned once again after a Kris Versteeg penalty midway through the third. Kyle Okposo nailed a Darling rebound on the ensuing New York power play. On the next shift the Hawks watched Isles’ defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky dance through their zone and rip a shot by Darling’s stick to take a 3-2 lead, one Halak and the Islanders would not relinquish.

Darling was the star of the game for the Hawks. He stopped 38 shots in taking the 3-2 loss. Halak faced just 25 shots at the other end.

The second period was one of the Hawks’ worst periods of the year, but that’s not to take anything away from the Islanders, who were the better team overall in the latter two-thirds of Saturday’s contest. Read more »

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More on Jeremy Morin’s AHL “Conditioning” loan, his trade demand, possibilities; Rockford injury, coaching updates

By Chris Block

Jeremy Morin agreed to a maximum 14-day conditioning loan with the Rockford IceHogs for the dual purpose of getting the 23-year old left winger some game time and showcase the beleaguered now 5-year pro for a potential trade.

Morin had been designated a healthy scratch for 8 consecutive games leading up to the conditioning loan. He last played on November 20th in Calgary.

Rockford embarks on a 6-game road trip starting in Milwaukee tonight (Dec 10th). Thus it’ll be 19 days between games for Morin. He is expected to be in the IceHogs’ lineup tonight.

Should Morin remain with the Blackhawks’ organization for the duration of this loan, he’d have to be recalled from the loan on December 22nd, the day after Rockford’s road trip concludes. The Blackhawks can also recall him at any time before then.

There’s some interesting aspects to this move.

Morin’s agent, Pat Brisson (who also represents Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews) went to Stan Bowman in the middle of last week essentially requesting a trade on behalf of his client. Mark Lazerus of the Sun-Times reported on Sunday (Dec 7) Morin’s side presented it as a “play me or trade me” type of proposal. Read more »

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Phillip Danault talks NHL call up, Experience playing for coach Joel Quenneville

Danault_2014Oct11_IceHogs_500x333Phillip Danault battles with Joe Piskula on Opening Night
Photo credit: Rockford IceHogs


By Chris Block

On November 20th, Phillip Danault got the call he’d been working toward for a decade.

That night, while the Blackhawks were in Calgary skating against the Flames, Danault received a call from Rockford IceHogs GM and Blackhawks’ director of minor league affiliates, Mark Bernard.

The news was good. Danault got word he was being called up to the NHL. He immediately began packing his bags and was to be on the first flight out of O’Hare airport to Edmonton the next morning. Danault arrived in northern Alberta just in time to join his new teammates for the final seconds of that Friday morning’s practice.

Danault, 21, made his NHL debut the very next night, on November 22nd in Edmonton. He centered the Hawks’ fourth line and even got in a few power play shifts after the game got out of hand at Rexall Place. Danault didn’t make it onto the scoresheet, though the Hawks won 7-1. Read more »

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Hawks win 3-1 in Nashville, overtake Preds for 1st in Central; A look at possible roster moves with Sharp returning

By Chris Block

The Blackhawks kept the recent string of dominance over their top competition in the West on Saturday. Chicago skated through Music City taking a 3-1 victory from the Nashville Predators before the typical Blackhawks fan-laden crowd at Bridgestone Arena.

Brandon Saad was the offensive darling of the night, scoring his 6th of the season in the first period to get the Hawks going. Saad then set up Marian Hossa for an easy goal in the second that proved to be the game-winner. Starter Scott Darling and the Hawks withstood a strong third period Predators pushback to preserve the win.

Darling stopped 32 of 33 shots in earning his 3rd win in 4 NHL starts. Pekka Rinne made 28 saves against 30 shots in taking the loss. Hossa potted an empty-netter with 1:11 to go to seal the win. Hossa had just 1 goal in his previous 16 games going into Saturday night in Nashville.

Chicago (18-8-1, 37pts, .685) jumped over Nashville (17-7-2, 36pts) and into 1st place in the Central with the victory, though the Predators do have a game in hand and own a better points-earned percentage (.692) still. It caps a week that saw the Hawks pass the Preds and Blues in the standings both by head-to-head wins as well as beating Montreal, one of the top teams in the East right now as well. Read more »

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Kane, Bickell lift Hawks to 3-2 win in Denver

By Chris Block

The Blackhawks ran over a depleted Colorado Avalanche roster in Denver on Wednesday night, outshooting the home team and dominating the action from the opening to final minute. But Chicago needed a great individual effort from Patrick Kane, and a brutal play by Alex Tanguay, leading to a Bryan Bickell tally with 5:17 remaining in the third period to take a 3-2 win out of Colorado.

Avalanche starter Calvin Pickard made 42 saves in the losing effort. The Blackhawks fired 76 shots in all at Pickard, according to the official scorers, as opposed to Colorado’s 48. Corey Crawford made 27 saves in his 12th consecutive start for his 10th win of the season.

Jonathan Toews and Andrew Shaw netted power play goals for a Hawks power play that was 2 for 6 on the evening. The Avalanche went 0-2 in the game and the head coach and Colorado players were stewing after the game about the discrepancy in power plays.

“I thought 5-on-5 we were the better team,” asserted Patrick Roy. “I thought they got away with things we couldn’t,” Roy went on to say, speaking about the difference in power play opportunities. Read more »

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A look at Rockford atop AHL at quarter mark; Ted Dent comments on PIMs, fighting: more on Blackhawks Analytics position

2014Nov22_Schnell_Liambas_Fight_Pic_IceHogsRyan Schnell (38) fights Milwaukee’s Michael Liambas Nov 22 in Rockford
photo courtesy of Rockford IceHogs

By Chris Block

Rockford IceHogs have rolled off four consecutive wins, all without their captain Joakim Nordstrom, veteran goaltender Michael Leighton and leading scorer Mark McNeill. The latter three wins also came without Adam Clendening and Phillip Danault.

In the process, the depleted IceHogs grabbed three wins from divisional foes this past weekend to solidify Rockford with the best record (14-4-0-1, .763) in the AHL. It started with 4-3 come-from-behind overtime win over Iowa on Friday.

The only games Rockford has lost this season have been to Milwaukee (3 times) and Rochester. Their shootout competition loss came in Toronto on October 19th, after 67 minutes of scoreless hockey.

The IceHogs snapped an 8-game losing streak, stretching back to last season, when they finally defeated the Milwaukee Admirals on Saturday night in Rockford by a 3-2 score in what may have been the best 60 minutes of hockey Rockford’s been a part of all season. Read more »

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Hartman snaps drought: Injury updates on Mark McNeill, Leighton; More info on McNeill

Hartman_Brennan_OTW_2014Nov21_RockfordIceHogs
Ryan Hartman (24) and T.J. Brennan (7) hug out their OT winning-goal  connection on Fri Nov 21st in Rockford
Photo credit: Rockford IceHogs

By Chris Block

Blackhawks 2013 first round draft pick Ryan Hartman got off to a good start offensively this season, then fell off the scoresheets for a few weeks.

On Friday, Hartman snapped a 9-game pointless streak. He tallied twice for the IceHogs, including the game-tying in the third period, then the overtime game-winner in a 4-3 win over the Iowa Wild in Rockford. The goals were Hartman’s 3rd and 4th of the season.

The local product was originally credited with two goals in a 3-2 Opening night loss to Milwaukee on October 11st, but one of those would later rightly be given to defenseman Zach Miskovic.

Following his two-goal performance on Friday, Hartman said he was never concerned about his drop off in offensive production.

“It’s part of hockey. I’ve done that plenty of times before,” said Hartman. “There’s times when the puck’s not going your way. Read more »

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Hartman snaps 2, drought, in IceHogs 4-3 OT win over Iowa

By Chris Block

Playing without four of the team’s top regulars, including their leading scorer (Mark McNeill) and team captain (Joakim Nordstrom), the Rockford IceHogs returned to action Friday night with the AHL West’s last-placed Iowa Wild visiting northern Illinois.

The IceHogs saw their roster stripped of last year’s leading scorer in defenseman Adam Clendening, who made his NHL debut for the Blackhawks in Calgary on Thursday night, notching his first NHL goal in the contest.  Then, after that game, the IceHogs’ parent club recalled center Phillip Danault, who will now also be making his NHL debut in Edmonton on Saturday.

Danault and Clendening joined IceHogs’ captain Joakim Nordstrom, who was recalled by the ‘Hawks last Saturday, the same day McNeill limped off the ice at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee after blocking a shot off his knee.

Yet without four of their best players, the IceHogs found a way to pickup two points against Iowa on Friday.  Ryan Hartman scored twice, and left winger Ryan Schnell posted a ‘Gordie Howe’ hat-trick in Rockford’s 4-3 come-from-behind OT victory over the Wild. Read more »

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News on Blackhawks roster moves Saturday; Mark McNeill injured in IceHogs game in Milwaukee

2014Nov14_Darling_Scott_vs_Milwaukee_IceHogsScott Darling, November 14, 2014 vs Milwaukee Admirals
Photo courtesy of Rockford IceHogs

By Chris Block

The Blackhawks made a series of roster moves on Saturday that were released over the course of the day out of necessity ahead of their next game, Sunday night at the United Center.

First, Peter Regin was reassigned to the Rockford IceHogs (AHL) prior the Blackhawks Saturday morning practice. In 4 games played with the Blackhawks, Regin averaged 8:20 of ice time. He had one assist and three shots on goal.

This move wouldn’t come as a surprise, as Joel Quenneville also announced on Saturday that Dan Carcillo (knee) would return to Chicago’s lineup on Sunday when the Blackhawks host the Dallas Stars. Since Regin had to clear waivers to go to Rockford in October, he’ll have to go through the process again if he’s played in ten NHL games or spent 30 days on the NHL roster. Thus, Regin’s demotion was inevitable.

Carcillo, 29, was injured on October 25th in St. Louis. He’s missed the past 10 games.

Later in the day, however, the Hawks then announced the recall of forward Joakim Nordstrom from Rockford. Nordstrom was named Rockford’s team captain last month. In 14 games this season with the IceHogs, the 22-year old Swede has 5 goals and 3 assists. Nordstrom is averaging a little better than 2 shots on goal per game and has a minus-1 rating. He’s mostly skated on the right wing with Dennis Rasmussen and Teuvo Teravainen being his primary centers.  The Nordstrom recall indicates there’s likely a need for a healthy forward that’s more urgent than the upcoming road trip.

The more newsworthy transaction (for now) came at 11pm central, when the Blackhawks recalled goaltender Scott Darling from the IceHogs. In doing so, Chicago also reassigned Antti Raanta back to Rockford.

We can report independently that the decision to recall Darling and send Raanta to Rockford was made earlier in the day on Saturday, and prior to Rockford’s game in Milwaukee. Read more »

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Gibson, Ducks shutout Hawks 1-0 at the UC

By Chris Block

Tuesday night brought the Blackhawks’ biggest litmus test of the young season as the Western Conference leading Anaheim Ducks landed in town.

Joel Quenneville rolled out a mild surprise, revealing Scott Darling would get a second-consecutive start in goal after getting the win in his NHL debut against Ottawa on Sunday.

Darling was solid again, stopping 24 shots but the one he couldn’t get wound up being the difference in the game as the Ducks, behind rookie John Gibson, shut down the vaunted Chicago shooters, 1-0.

The Blackhawks power play went 0-3 on the night, but also surrendered a short-handed goal in the 3rd period that eventually determined the loss. It was the second time in six home games the Hawks power play has gone a ‘0-for’ this season. It was also the second consecutive game the Hawks gave up a short-handed tally and third time this year at home. The 3 shorties the Hawks have given up this season ties for the league lead. Read more »

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