Tag Archives: Colin Campbell

IceHogs overcome rocky start and finish, defeat division-leading Grand Rapids 5-4

By Chris Block

If the AHL playoffs were to begin this weekend, the first round would include a matchup between the Rockford IceHogs and Grand Rapids Griffins.

Those two clubs were set to face off Friday and Saturday in a home-and-home set that will be their final two meetings in the regular season.

Rockford prevailed in a roller-coaster affair on Friday night before a crowd of 5,223 at the BMO Harris Bank Center.  The IceHogs topped the Midwest Division leading Griffins 5-4 behind goals from Brad Mills, Mathieu Brisebois, Brian Connelly and two from Adam Clendening.

Friday’s game got off to a clumsy beginning with the IceHogs guilty of several icings before the first scheduled television time out.  Their struggles got worse after Mathieu Brisebois bumped Colin Campbell down as the two chased a loose puck in the ‘Hogs zone and was sent off for tripping. 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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Hawks-Ducks, Beach Benched, TTMI Radio, Comparing the Hawks to other recent Cup winners, Colin Campbell emails

First off a few notes on Rockford from the weekend.  The IceHogs dropped both games in San Antonio against the Coyotes’ farm team Thursday and Friday.  I’ll have more details later today after I have a chance to watch Thursday’s game.

Thursday was reported to be a lackluster affair.  Rockford lost 1-0.  Alec Richards stopped 37 shots in the loss.

Friday, which I have seen, wasn’t much different until the final twenty minutes.  The IceHogs entered the third period down 3-1 after giving up three even-strength goals (though one effectively was a power play tally – more on that in a moment) but were unable to overcome the whole they dug in the middle frame.

The story of Friday’s game was head coach Bill Peters‘ decision to bench Kyle Beach for the entire third period.  Beach took two penalties in the second period.  The first, a roughing minor after a whistle aside the San Antonio goal.  Beach had tried a wrap-around attempt but was thwarted by Chicago product Al Montoya.  With Beach whacking away for a potential rebound, he was aggressively shoved away by a Rampage defender.  Beach, unhappy with this, came back swinging and punched (glove on) the San Antonio player twice in the mouth.   Later in the period Beach was given an unsportsmanlike minor for saying too much as it appeared.  Just as that penalty expired and Beach was stepping out of the box, Mathieu Beaudoin scored to give his team a 2-1 lead.  Beach did not see the ice after that.

Whatever the motivation, Rockford came out for the third period a newly inspired bunch and carried the play for the most part.  Nick Leddy fired a slap shot through traffic and past a Hugh Jessiman screen to trim the deficit to 3-2 three minutes and twenty seconds into the period.  But the Hogs couldn’t solve Montoya again despite 14 third period shots and a late 6 on 4 power play with Alec Richards pulled from his net. Read more »

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