Nov 082017
 


By Chris Block

A healthy influx of fresh prospects and NHL experienced forwards have helped drive the Rockford IceHogs to their best start since the 2014-15 campaign.

Rockford rolled off 6 wins in its initial 7 contests, with the only loss coming to rival Milwaukee.

Since, the IceHogs have faltered a bit, losing 3 of their last four and mustering just 9 goals in those four outings. Three of Rockford’s defeats overall have come against Milwaukee, with the other a 3-2 Halloween loss at Cleveland, a night the IceHogs power play let them down (0 for 7).

In all, it’s just the 4th time in 11 seasons that Rockford has posted 7 wins in its initial 10 games.  Only once in those three other seasons did the IceHogs go on to fail to qualify for the postseason. That year, 2013, Rockford followed up a 7-2-1-0 start by losing 8 of its next 10.  They eventually missed the playoffs by 4 points. The 2008-09 and 2014-15 teams did go on to the playoffs.

This year’s group has been steered by a combination of speed, solid blue line and goaltending play.

Rockford’s high-pace attack has caused opponents all some fits in the early going, but it’s come with some growing pains as some opponents have been able to take advantage of Rockford’s over-aggressive forecheck at times in transition.

IceHogs first-year coach Jeremy Colliton admits it’s still a work in progress. Continue reading »

Share
Oct 152016
 

By Chris Block

I awoke Saturday morning, thinking watching the IceHogs 2016-17 season opener in Cleveland from the night before would be a fun way to start my weekend.

Boy, was I wrong.

Rockford was beaten 2-1 on Friday in Cleveland.  This, the banner-raising night for the former Lake Erie Monsters – the team that also eliminated the IceHogs in the opening round of this past spring’s AHL postseason.

Since, Lake Erie has become the Cleveland Monsters – because, apparently these two entities are no longer ashamed to be associated with the other – and former Blackhawks Stanley Cup champion, John Madden has taken over as head coach for the franchise, after Jared Bednar left in August to take over for Patrick Roy in Denver.  It’s the first time Madden has been head coach of anything, by the way.  Ex-Blackhawk Steve McCarthy serves as one of Madden’s assistants as well.

Friday’s 2-1 final didn’t accurately portray the distance between these two teams on this night. Continue reading »

Share
Aug 172015
 

By Chris Block

With just about a month to go before the Blackhawks open NHL training camp in Chicago, players will be accelerating their off season workout regimens in preparation for the season.

Some players who will partake in the rookie tournament in early September will need to be in peak condition sooner.

With that in mind, the Blackhawks, in cooperation with the Djurgarden hockey club in Stockholm, are conducting a conditioning mini-camp this week in Sweden.

It’s an annual summer tradition now for the club, organized by Barry Smith, the Blackhawks Director of Player Development.

Players expected to take part in this week’s mini-camp include: Continue reading »

Share