Looking to return to their recent winning ways and stay within striking distance of first-place Grand Rapids ahead of two all-important matchups next week at the BMO with those same Griffins, the Rockford IceHogs (17-14-1-1) traveled to Hamilton, Ontario on Friday night to face a down-and-out Hamilton Bulldogs squad.
Hamilton came into Friday’s contest against Rockford with the worst record (11-18-1-2) in the AHL. Hamilton, the AHL affiliate to the Montreal Canadiens, had lost 8 of their past 9 contests since defeating Rockford 6-4 at the BMO Harris Bank Center on December 15th.
Worse yet, Hamilton had not scored a goal in more than three games before facing the IceHogs for the second and final time this season. The Bulldogs had been shutout in each of their previous three games, all road losses.
Okay, the lockout has gone on long enough. Normally this time a year I’d be watching Blackhawk games and parts of other NHL games throughout the week. While walking the dogs Tuesday night it dawned on me that I had just spent the previous hour watching a show called Swamp People. I’m not sure which is worse; my sudden affinity for the Rockford IceHogs, or watching the swampers yank 10 to 12 foot gators out of the pond. Pray for me as I’m quite certain Pawn Stars or Say Yes to the Dress, are not far in the offing.
In a way, now that the ‘Hogs have caught my interest, I wouldn’t be terribly upset with the cancellation of the rest of the NHL season. $10 to $20 dollars for a very good seat beats the hell out of paying $48 in the 300 section at the United Center. Read more »
“What’s it all about, Alfie?
Is it just for the moment we live?
What’s it all about when you sort it out, Alfie
Are we meant to take more than we give…:”
- Burt Bacharach, Hal David, Bastos Ribeiro
By Rich Lindbloom
Roughly two months ago, I once again ventured into what most of you would probably think of as the minor league of music. It seems every concert I go to at The Old Town School of Folk Music, I’m surrounded by old fogies like myself. Definitely an “I knew the bride when she used to rock and roll,” type crowd. This time around we were there to see a tremendous (I’m going to call it Jazz – although I’m not sure that’s quite accurate) guitarist by the name of Earl Klugh. I’d guess one would say this was settling for the second tier of musicians, as far as concerts would go. Read more »
Riding a four game losing streak (0-3-1-0), the Rockford IceHogs drive 93 miles northeast tonight where they’ll visit the BMO Harris Bradley Center to face off with the Milwaukee Admirals for the second time in six days.
The lone point Rockford has picked up in those four contests came in a 4-3 overtime loss in Milwaukee this past Friday. Rockford trailed the Admirals 3-1 midway through that game until goals by Brandon Pirri and captain Martin St. Pierre forced an overtime session. However, a breakdown in the IceHogs end resulted in Kevin Henderson surprising Carter Hutton with the game-winning shot a minute and forty-five seconds in to send the IceHogs back to Rockford with only the one consolation standings point.
Although the IceHogs (13-12-1-1) have lost both of their games since dropping first-place to the Griffins in Grand Rapids on December 9th, that one point earned in Milwaukee has been enough force Rockford back into a tie with Grand Rapids for the top spot in the Midwest Division. The Griffins has also lost their past two games since moving into first in the division. Grand Rapids hosts the Rochester Americans tonight at Van Andel Arena.
The Midwest division race is as tight as it could possibly be, now a third of the way through the 76 game American Hockey League season. One point separates last-place Milwaukee (12-11-2-1, 27 points) from Grand Rapids and Rockford in the top spot. Read more »
Former teammates Brandon Bollig and Kyle Hagel, drop the mitts and engage in a classic battle on December 15th at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford.
Bollig and Hagel were teammates on the IceHogs in the 2010-11 season when Bollig was in his rookie season after spending two years at St. Lawrence University. Hagel, a Princeton University (2004-08) graduate, handled the bulk of the team’s enforcer role that season, fighting 31 times to Bollig’s 13. After that season, Hagel signed a two-way deal with the St. Louis Blues organization but his 2011-12 season was cut short in late October by major shoulder surgery. Hagel signed an AHL contract with his hometown Hamilton Bulldogs this past off season.
“He’s a tough kid,” Bollig said in respect of his former teammate following Saturday night’s contest.
“I’ve seen [Hagel] fight a lot of really tough guys. Those are the kind of fights that are fun when you’re in my position.”
As always when Hockeenight and TTMI join together, we ran the usual gamut of topics. We review the NHL’s class action complaint filed against the NHLPA in a New York court on Friday and the damning quotes from Jonathan Toews and Troy Brouwer cited in the motion.
We discuss all the latest on Blackhawks prospects including Brandon Saad, Andrew Shaw, Ben Smith and Fork’s favorite, Jeremy Morin. Also, we broach the Blackhawks directive to IceHogs coach Ted Dent to move Andrew Shaw back to center, and what may have gone into that decision – the Jeremy Roenick autobiography, “torpedoing” Jimmy Hayes, Malort~!, Gary Bettman’s standing in the face of his third work stoppage, how the 5% variance would effect teams should it be realized, George “the Animal” Steele and some professional wrestling history.
This week on PuckChatter~Radio we review the controversial as-told-to autobiography of NHL and Chicago Blackhawks legend, Jeremy Roenick.
We also detail the Rockford IceHogs three-game weekend, in which they started the weekend in first place in the Midwest Division but then fell behind the Grand Rapids Griffins after losing two-of-three including the 4-2 loss in Grand Rapids on Sunday that dropped the ‘Hogs down into second place.
Then we assess the latest in the NHL – NHLPA collective bargaining standoff and take a deeper look than you’ve probably read or heard elsewhere into a few of the key issues the two sides are at odds over.
All this and much more, including a special Christmas jingle, on this edition of PuckChatter~Radio.
Click the player below to listen here in your browser
***I want to make mention….
I’ll be joining CT and the “Forklift” of Hockeenight.com fame this coming Sunday night, December 16th on their show, the Hockeenight PuckCast for a special Holiday Season podcast. I can’t think of anything that could possibly be more fun.
PuckChatter~Radio will return next week as well at a date, time and with a guest to be determined later in the week. (Read that, whenever I get around to figuring all that out.)
Injuries are beginning to pile up for the Rockford IceHogs.
While the team had been able to avoid everything but a few nagging injuries here and there, the IceHogs lost another key player this weekend. For how long though, we’re not yet certain.
Jeremy Morin missed Sunday’s loss at Grand Rapids with an undisclosed injury. Not sure of the extent of the damage other than the IceHogs saying Morin was “dinged up.” Morin got the worse end of a third period scrap with Chicago Wolves’ defenseman and higher end Vancouver Canucks prospect Kevin Connauton on Saturday night. Though Morin did make a return for the game’s final moments he was unavailable for Sunday’s road contest with the Griffins. Here is a link to video of the Morin-Connauton fight from Dec 8, Morin’s first fight of the season.
Morin has been held without a point in the last three IceHogs games he’s suited up for. Over his last 15 games, Morin has 7 goals and 2 assists to go along with a minus-2 rating. He’s second on the IceHogs with 9 goals total on the season, one behind team-leader Ben Smith.
–Defenseman Joe Lavin broke his right wrist in a game at Lake Erie on Nov 24th. The injury should sideline Lavin for 5-6 weeks, putting Lavin on schedule to return sometime after Christmas. Lavin was still wearing a cast this weekend. Read more »
Looking to build on recent winning ways and retain their first place standing in the Midwest Division, the Rockford IceHogs played host to division rival Milwaukee Admirals, winners of three of its last four games. Milwaukee also entered Friday’s contest riding a five-game point streak (3-0-2-0) as they recently have welcomed Ryan Ellis, Gabriel Bourque and Taylor Beck back into their lineup.
The IceHogs rose atop their division in winning 7 of its last 9 games, going from two games under .500 on Nov 16 to three games above .500 and in first place on Dec 2nd.
Friday also was the first of five meetings between the two clubs this month. Milwaukee came into Rockford on Nov 10 and skated away with a 4-2 victory. That night, the first of 12 times these two clubs will face off this regular season, Alec Richards was between the pipes for Rockford.
On Friday, Carter Hutton, the starter in the IceHogs last three games, all wins in which Hutton allowed a total of five goals, was back to face a Milwaukee team he went 8-1 versus last season.
Hutton was strong early Friday night but struggled to bail his teammates out when miscues and mental lapses plagued Rockford during a three-goal Milwaukee 2nd period. Read more »
In great detail, we recapped the Rockford IceHogs at the 28.9% mark of the AHL season as well as listen to some conversations we’ve had with a few IceHogs over the past few weeks. There is a lot going on these days out in Rockford with the suddenly first-place IceHogs and we covered most of it.
We also touch on Tuesday’s much overhyped meeting between six NHL owners and as many NHL players – Is it more posturing and sideways negotiating by the Gary Bettman and the owners in attempt to undermine Don Fehr and divide the players, or is the league finally ready to work towards getting a deal done? We discuss. Also, Phillip Danault and Mark McNeill were named to the Canadian U20 World Championships selection camp roster on Monday. How do they fit and what are their chances of making Team Canada?
All this and more on this edition of Puck Chatter.
Among the items broached on the show….
-A hockey magazine editor’s troubles with the English language
-Ted Dent talks about inconsistent play & Martin St. Pierre’s start
-Carter Hutton back on his game
-Is Nick Leddy not dominating the AHL a real problem?
-Kyle Beach’s newest move – the turtle and spear
-Jimmy Hayes talks about his transition from wing to center
-Perhaps how the Hayes-to-Center decision came about
-Surprising facts & truth on how the “experiment” is working out
-What the Hayes move says about Hawks true depth at center
-Adam Clendening’s mustache
-Jeremy Morin talks finding his scoring touch & a full off season
-Chris Block says weird things & asks odd questions
-Nick Leddy talks about his move to Left Defense & the CBA
-Stan Bowman’s ‘guys’ and where they stand
-Is Kyle Beach a power forward
-Couple of IceHogs approaching Franchise marks
-Blackhawks Board of Governors representatives
-Gary Bettman attempting to pitch a no-hitter
-A funny story about travels to the BMO Harris Bank Center 57:20
-And much, much more