Tag Archives: Drew Leblanc

Odds and Saads: Morin’s shot, Teuvo plan, Carey signing, Hartman, Johns and more

By Chris Block

MORIN’s OPPORTUNITY

Don’t wait for the IceHogs’ leading goal scorer to be back in Rockford, at least for the time being.

Jeremy Morin was told he is up with the Blackhawks for the remainder of the season.

So, unless there is some major change in direction, don’t expect him to be back in Rockford before then, if ever.

I suppose there is a chance he’d return to Rockford in the event the IceHogs team makes the playoffs and the Blackhawks are healthy enough to the point Morin slides down the depth chart far enough.  But that would also have to mean Teuvo Teravainen would play outstanding enough that the Blackhawks would no longer care about burning a year on Teravainen’s slide-eligible entry level contract – which contrary to what is being insinuated publically, they are not planning to do so at this time.

–In case you missed it last week, Odds and Saads will be a weekly feature here on TheThirdManIn.com.  This is part one of two for this week.

TEUVO TIME

Teuvo Teravainen will make his NHL regular season debut for the Blackhawks when they host the Dallas Stars at the United Center. Read more »

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Thoughts on Brandon Pirri, the Tallon link and what’s become of the Hawks’ center depth

Pirri_Brandon_IceHogs_Flickr_ToddReicher_2014Feb21_WolvesBrandon Pirri handles the puck in his second-to-last home game as a member of the Rockford IceHogs vs Chicago, February 21, 2014
photo: Todd Reicher, courtesy of Rockford IceHogs

By Chris Block

I recall day two of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft in Montreal.  Then Blackhawks general manager Dale Tallon strained to holdback his excitement when talking to media types after drafting Toronto native, Brandon Pirri with the third-to-last pick in the second round of that draft.

“Terrific skills,” were the first Tallon gave when asked about Pirri.  “He’s really a good hockey player.  We’re very happy that we got him there.  It’s the old adage, ‘(we) can’t believe he was still there.’”

Pirri had just turned 18 two months prior and was a relatively untested commodity upon entering the draft, having stuck to the Canadian junior B level after committing to join Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in the fall of 2009.

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West-leading IceHogs can’t close another 2-goal deficit

By Chris Block

Over the initial ten games of this IceHogs’ season, on four occasions Rockford came back from 2-goal deficits to emerge victorious.  In one of those games, their home opener against Grand Rapids on October 19th, Rockford actually trailed by 2 goals twice in the contest only to eventually attain the two points.

There is something to note about the character of a team when 4 of its 7 wins have come in dramatic comeback fashion.  Although, it can also leave behind a trail of just as many questions as it does answers.  And one thing is for sure – at this level, no team is going to maintain a .700 record for very long when the team is consistently falling behind early in games.

In Rockford, on Thursday night, the IceHogs afforded the Charlotte Checkers a 3-0 advantage before staging three unanswered tallies of their own, only to lose to the Checkers, 5-3.

On Friday night, Rockford bused north to Milwaukee for the first of twelve matches this season with the Nashville Predators AHL affiliate.

The IceHogs got goals from rookies Mark McNeill and Alex Broadhurst in Milwaukee.  But the Admirals jumped out to an early lead and then stretched a two-goal gap on Rockford midway through the game that Rockford this time would not close. Read more »

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Audio: Chris Block joins the HockeeNight PuckCast

By Chris Block

On Sunday night, I had the pleasure once again of joining our friends CT and “the Forklift” over at Hockeenight.com for their PuckCast.

Over the course of the show we discussed the Blackhawks so-so start, Kyle Beach‘s recent claim about the role he was “forced” to play, Joakim Nordstrom’s game, whose behind him and whether or not he should be sent down to Rockford.  We also discuss Brandon Pirri, Jimmy Hayes, the second-line center position, what should be done and who are the other top candidates for recall at this point.

Rockford’s 2-2 start is covered in detail, all the prospects and Fork’s favorites.   We discussed off season changes; Maxim Shalunov‘s first AHL shift gone terribly awry, and a funny story about Maxim Shalunov’s first interaction with the IceHogs training staff gone terribly awry; Kent Simpson going for Rockford’s star player one weekend to bench warmer the next; which Blackhawks prospect is likely to jump straight from college into the NHL, the Islanders terrible future home, Mariano Rivera, the fate of MSG, Laschet’s Inn, some Russian military history, a Jock Callander sighting and much, much more.

Its the longest PuckCast in more than three years and second-longest ever.

Fun time as always talking to those guys.

Check it out by punching the play button below.

Or, Right-Click here to download the audio file.

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IceHogs Reckless in San Antonio

By Chris Block

The Rockford IceHogs began the 2013-14 regular season on Saturday night with a porous performance in San Antonio, Texas.

A re-stocked group of young IceHogs led by now AHL veterans Brandon Pirri, Jeremy Morin and Dylan Olsen committed one careless turnover after another in route to a 3-1 loss to the Florida Panthers minor league affiliate.

The loss was also costly in that the IceHogs lost two players to injury.

Annti Raanta left the game at the 5:36 mark of the first period.  Raanta had taken an Eric Selleck 12-foot one-time attempt off the inside of his left knee at the 2:58 mark of the first.  Raanta smothered Selleck’s shot, but crumpled to the ice in obvious discomfort, favoring his left leg.  After consulting with IceHogs’ trainer D.J. Jones, Raanta opted to stay in the game.  He would stop one more San Antonio shot before deciding he couldn’t continue and Kent Simpson entered the contest with 14:24 to go in the opening period. Read more »

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Audio: Rockford Season Preview interview with IceHogs head coach Ted Dent

Dent_Sweden_20120821Rockford IceHogs head coach Ted Dent

By Chris Block

On Saturday, we had a chance to chat with IceHogs head coach Ted Dent about the upcoming 2013-14 American Hockey League season.

Over the course of the interview, Dent discussed how he and his coaching staff are preparing for the season, working with the Chicago Blackhawks prospects, his team’s depth at center ice and on the blue line; and first round draft picks Kyle Beach and Dylan Olsen.

We also discussed Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman recently stating publicly that the development of their top players in Rockford is more important than actual wins and losses on the ice.

Its a good, informative conversation. Check it out.

Click the play button below (Flash player required) to listen,

Or, Right-Click here to download the 18 minute interview.

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You can follow the IceHogs coach on Twitter… @TDent10

[Note: This interview was conducted on Saturday September 28th, prior to Kyle Beach being assigned to play for the HV 71 club in the Swedish Hockey League (formerly Swedish Elite League).  With HV 71, Beach will be teammates with former Chicago Wolves forwards Brett Sterling and Jason Krog.  We'll have much more on this on Monday.]

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Exhibition recap: Hawks fall short to Sid, Pens 4-3 in the shootout at United Center

By Michael Calvert

In a game that would be a premiere regular season matchup, the Hawks took on the Pens at home in preseason game #2.  Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, and Evgeni Malkin did not suit up for this game, so it lacked a lot of the star power this matchup normally would present.  Toews was out again with injury and is expected to be back for preseason game #3 against Washington on Friday.

1st period:  The Hawks opened the scoring with a very nice Leblanc takeaway and feed to Patrick Sharp.  Sharp put a beautiful wrister past Voukun.at 5:19 in the first.  Roughly four minutes later the Pens evened the score 1-1 on a Derrick Pouliot shot that 5 holed Khabby and could possibly be described as soft.  Six minutes later the Pens strike again on a Joe Vitale putback at 16:53.  The Vitale goal ended the scoring for the first period. Read more »

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Jr Hawks fall short to Maple Leafs prospects in London

[TTMI contributor Brad Vandenberk was on hand Thursday night for the Blackhawks-Maple Leafs prospect tournament game in London, Ontario and provides his personal account here.]

By Brad Vandenberk

Hockey season is upon us.  Training camps are less than a week away from opening with exhibition games soon to follow.  Before all that begins, it’s the prospect’s turn to showcase their talent in a tournament in London, Ontario that involved the Chicago Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins and the Ottawa Senators.

Chicago’s first game was on Thursday night at the Budweiser Gardens against the “home” town Toronto Maple Leafs.  The Gardens, which houses the CHL’s London Knights, was not nearly full for this affair, but Kane and Toews jerseys could be seen throughout the crowd.

Mac Carruth started between the pipes for the visiting Blackhawks.  Dylan Olsen sported the “C” and Terry Broadhurst was wearing an “A”.  Read more »

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PuckChatter~Radio, Blackhawks Email Bag-A-Palooza

By Chris Block

This week’s edition of PuckChatter~Radio, done on Tuesday night, is finally available for download or play here on the site.

Over the course of this show, we jumped into the reader/listener email bag to answer your questions on Steve Larmer and the Hall of Fame, Brandon Bollig, Kyle Beach, this upcoming season’s second line center and some ‘blogger’ stuff.

We also share exclusive, behind-the-scenes details from Pearl Jam’s concert at Wrigley Field in Chicago this past weekend, as well as discuss puppy dogs and health problems, sleeping on the floor, Sega Genesis, NHL97, Road-Trippin’, being old and gassy, inappropriate sharing and much much more.

Click the player below to listen here in your browser,

Or, Right-Click Here to Download the MP3 file

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We’ll return next week with another show largely dedicated to answering more emails and possibly a caller or two helping us out with the events of this upcoming weekend’s Blackhawks Fan Convention.  If you have a question or topic you’d wish to contribute to next week’s show, you can pass it along using one of the email addresses below.

Full TTMI/PuckChatter~Radio Archive – Show feed
Subscribe to The Third Man In for Free on ITUNES

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com
PuckChatter@gmail.com
Twitter.com/ChrisBlock

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Old Dog, New Bicks

From this past Saturday night’s issue of The Committed Indian

By Chris Block

Anyone whose read or followed my work over the years would know that I haven’t exactly been a huge fan of Bryan Bickell’s.  However, this playoff’s John Druce deserves kudos for being, perhaps, the single-most overriding factor in the Blackhawks being now one game away from advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals for the second time in four seasons.

That’s not to suggest Bickell’s current successes should force Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman (provided this kind of thing is ultimately even his decision) into doing anything drastic (not his style anyhow) in attempts to keep Bickell this summer.

Before this postseason, Bickell’s greatest asset to the Blackhawks was his salary cap number, which for three seasons has hovered right at the NHL minimum salary requirement.

While it is stunning to look at the NHL leaderboard today and see Bickell’s eight playoff tallies ranking the 6-4, 235 pound Bowmanville, Ontario native second overall in playoff goals scored (tied with Patrick Sharp).  Boston Bruins center David Krejci’s nine goals leads all postseason performers. Read more »

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