Tag Archives: Igor Makarov

IceHogs carry 4-game win streak into this weekend; Dent on sitting Dylan Olsen; Leddy, Saad injury update and tons of news and notes

By Chris Block

After getting off to an auspicious 0-3-0-1 start to the 2012-13 season, the IceHogs rolled off 4 straight wins over eight days last week to vault themselves into second place in the AHL’s Midwest Division and two points behind the first-place Chicago Wolves.

Those same Wolves will travel up Interstate 90 tonight to face the Rockford IceHogs at the BMO Harris Bank Center.  Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05pm.

In the only other two meetings between the two teams this season, the Wolves bested the IceHogs back on opening weekend, both times at Allstate Arena in Rosemont.  The Wolves begin their annual November road trip with tonight’s game.  They’ll be on the road for their next five games due to the annual circus stint at Allstate Arena.

Chicago defeated the IceHogs 1-0 in a shootout on October 13th and then again 5-3 the following day. Eddie Lack was in goal for the Wolves both nights and is expected to start between the pipes again for Chicago tonight. Read more »

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TTMI~Radio, e.97, A Feeling of a Hammerhead

On this week’s show we open up the listener email bag to discuss topics ranging from Viktor Stalberg’s handsomely prowess to Kyle Beach’s bust-ness to whether or not some legendary Blackhawks should be in the Hall of Fame.

We also compare this year’s Blackhawks to where the team was at this point a season ago and take a look at how the 2010-11 team’s secondary scoring stacks up against the current group.

All this plus more on 2-year old puppy dog behavior, Superstar on the bottom and what’s been bugging Block.

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The show returns next Wednesday, January 25th at a time to be determined.

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Hawks sign top picks McNeill and Danault, plus Shaw; Podcast Wednesday and more IceHogs notes

Mark McNeill – photo: HockeyBroad.com

By Chris Block

We’ve got TTMI~Radio coming up tomorrow night (Wednesday) January 4th over at BlogTalkRadio.com/TheThirdManIn.

Join us live at 8pm central for our annual New Years resolution and predictions extravaganza.  This show should be Super.

We’ll take a look at why the Blackhawks suck against the Oilers, what’s wrong with Dan Carcillo’s brain… how the Blackhawks don’t seem to care about the brains of Marcus Kruger, Brent Seabrook and others… and we’ll preview the week ahead, including the big matchups Thursday in Philly with the Flyers and back at home Sunday with the Red Wings.

Beer, Bacon & Malort

My good friends over at HockeeNight dot com will be hosting some Red Wings fans this Saturday night, January 7th, at Paddy Long’s in Chicago at 1028 W. Diversey.  That, of course, is on the eve of the Red Wings-Blackhawks matchup at United Center the next night.  Hmm.  Beer, bacon and Malort… don’t mind if I do.

–I’ll have another column running in the Committed Indian this Sunday night.

McNeil, Danault gets deals

On Monday, the Blackhawks made official the signings of both of their 2011 1st round draft picks, centers Mark McNeill and Phillip Danault.

Both players will continue with their junior teams and likely be called to the Rockford IceHogs if those seasons end before Rockford’s does, which at this point looks like it’ll be on April 14th. Read more »

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Campoli keeps hope alive, Makarov release, Salak, Hawks Swedish net prospect and more

As a follow up to Igor Makarov signing with St. Petersburg (KHL), it appears the Blackhawks did execute a contractual release of the one-remaining year on his entry-level deal.  That means Makarov is off the 50-man roster.  In the Russian interview we cited in Friday’s story, Makarov said the Hawks released him and that claim now lines up.  His name has now been removed from the team’s web site.

–All remaining regular season Blackhawks tickets go on sale Monday morning at 10am central via Ticketmaster.  Standing room is now $27.  First seven rows of the top level will cost $72 or $90 (60-72 if your seats are behind netting) depending on the opponent.  To sit eleven rows off the ice on the weekend or against an Original Six or rivalry opponent now costs you $200.  And you thought trading Brian Campbell would save us money….

–Free agent Chris Campoli says he has “a few irons in the fire.” [Toronto Star]

“There is interest,’ Campoli told the Star.  “I have to stay positive.” Read more »

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Igor Makarov chooses Russia, KHL


On Wednesday, Sports Daily in Russia reported SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL in Russia had signed Blackhawks prospect Igor Makarov to a new three-year contract.

This move comes with one year remaining on Makarov’s existing two-year NHL agreement with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Makarov, who will turn 24 next month, was a Blackhawks 2nd round pick (#33 overall) in the 2006 draft out of Russia’s tier-2 professional league.  While he attended some summer prospect and fall training camps in Chicago, Makarov did not make his official North American hockey debut until last season.

In 68 games with Rockford in 2010-11, Makarov posted 11 goals and 13 assists.

SKA is currently in Switzerland competing in a preseason tournament.  Makarov is now in St. Petersburg and will join his teammates after they return for a practice this coming Monday.  An official announcement of Makarov’s signing will probably come from SKA then. 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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PK perfect, Taffe clutch; IceHogs prevail 4-3 in OT, to be without Brophey after blindside head shot

 
The IceHogs faithful do finally have something to cheer about.

After dropping 9 of 12 home games dating back to mid-January, the Rockford IceHogs 4-3 overtime victory on Friday night gave the team something it hasn’t had all season – a 3-game home winning streak.

Friday’s win over the Hamilton Bulldogs also put the IceHogs within one game of the .500 mark in their own barn (16-17-2-2), and two wins short of an overall .500 record (30-32-4-5).

The IceHogs haven’t had a losing home record since entering the AHL in 2007. Including Saturday night’s contest, they have three dates remaining on the home slate, wrapping on April 8 & 9. Rockford will finish their 2010-11 season at Allstate Arena against the Chicago Wolves on Sunday April 10 at 3 o’clock.

Rockford will first try for home victory number 17 on Saturday night when they host the Milwaukee Admirals. The Admirals defeated Chicago in Milwaukee on Friday 4-2. With the win, the Admirals stayed one point ahead of the Houston Aeros for the top spot in the West division and best record in the Western conference.

On Friday, the IceHogs persevered just enough through a tough third period to have a little Jeff Taffe magic lift them to victory in OT. Read more »

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IceHogs mid-season swoon in detail, Morin injury update, stats and more

Rockford continues its busiest week of the season tonight when they bus to Rosemont, Illinois for the 7th of 10 matchups this season with the Chicago Wolves.  The two teams have split the games even so far.

As a team, the IceHogs have been nothing short of awful of late.

Rockford has lost 13 of their last 15 games (2-11-2-0).  Seven of those losses have come on home ice.  When this recent stretch of losses began back on January 21st, Rockford was three games above the .500 mark (19-16-1-4) having won seven of ten.

Today, the IceHogs (21-27-3-4) are deeply trenched in last place in the West division, trailing 7th place Chicago by 15 points.  With only 25 games left in the regular season, the IceHogs would essentially have to run the table now in order to grab a spot in the postseason.  Just two teams in the league (Adirondack and Bridgeport) hold fewer wins than Rockford.

The chief culprit in this recent swoon has been some inexplicable poor starts.

Dating back to Jan 21st, Rockford is being outscored 27-11 in the opening period.  It gets a little better in the middle stanza (10gf-15ga) while the 3rd period rings dead-even (14-14).

On five occasions in the last 15 starts, Rockford has trailed by two or more goals after the opening twenty minutes.  Three times, they trailed by three or more.  On Feb 13 at Milwaukee, the IceHogs trailed after the first period 5-1.

While the goaltending of Alec Richards and Hannu Toivonen has been less than adequate at times over the downturn, Rockford’s defense has largely been to blame. Read more »

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Toivonen Rebounds, Rockford Blanks Manitoba 1-0

Last time the IceHogs saw the Manitoba Moose on November 6th in Rockford, Hannu Toivonen was in charge of holding a 1-0 lead in the waning moments. 

On that night, Toivonen was victimized for three goals in exactly one minute and twenty-seven seconds.  The Moose broke that shutout on an innocent yet seeing-eye Cody Hodgson wrister with just under five minutes left to play.  The rally continued with back-to-back Jeff Tambellini markers, one through the wickets and another over Toivonen’s glove, posted 32 seconds apart.  Toivonen was the ‘goat’ in an otherwise solid IceHogs’ effort. 

Toivonen did not see the Rockford net again until Thursday’s rematch in Winnipeg. 

Thursday night, with Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman in attendance, several of the Hawks top prospects put on solid performances.  Brandon Pirri, Igor Makarov, Kyle Beach, Nick Leddy and Jeremy Morin all made contributions that didn’t necessarily make the scoresheet.  Read more »

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IceHogs futile Power Play precedes Toivo-Tanker

Rockford’s Achilles heel, coupled with an anemic power play teamed up Saturday night as the IceHogs’ ultimate demise in a 3-1 loss to the traveling Manitoba Moose.

On a night when Rockford’s power play couldn’t muster more than one goal in eight tries, you could sense trouble brewing.

After forty-five minutes of scoreless hockey, Ben Smith finally struck the back of Manitoba’s net at 5:02 of the third period when Smith, parked on top of Manitoba netminder Eddie Lack’s crease, found an Igor Makarov assisted rebound to give Rockford a 1-0 lead.  Smith’s tally came on Rockford’s seventh power play chance.

The MetroCentre crowd of 5,593 then sat stunned as Manitoba score three unanswered goals in 1 minute and 27 seconds.

Cody Hodgson kicked off the comeback when he drove wide-right on defenseman Ivan Vishnevskiy and roofed a snap shot over Hannu Toivonen‘s glove on the short side with 4:40 left in regulation.  A weak goal allowed by Toivonen tied the game and took the air out of everyone in the building not wearing Moose sweaters.  Hodgson’s 6th marker extended the former top NHL prospect’s scoring streak to 4 games (4g, 2a).

55 seconds after Hodgson evened the score, Jeff Tambellini (re-assigned here by the Canucks on Tuesday) found Toivonen’s five hole and increased the lead to 2-1.  It was another goal Toivonen probably would like to have back.  The defense pairing of Vishnevskiy and Shawn Lalonde were victimized on both goals.

Just 32 seconds later, Toivonen’s glove was again too slow on a Tambellini riser, increasing the lead to the eventual final 3-1 score.  Read more »

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