By Chris Block
The best news to come out of the weekend from an IceHogs’ perspective is that the injury Alexander Salak suffered in Friday night’s loss to Lake Erie is not nearly as bad as first appeared.
Salak was making an innocent looking stop twenty seconds into the second period when he flattened out on the ice favoring his left leg. It did not appear that any other player made significant contact with Salak.
After a couple minutes, teammates helped Salak across the ice to an awaiting stretcher and he was rolled to the trainer’s room. Upon getting up, Salak could put no weight at all on the leg.
Asked for a status on Salak 24 hours later, coach Ted Dent had a positive update.
“He’s just day-to-day. I don’t think it’s too serious.”
A source confirms Salak does not have a knee injury. It is a sprain to another part of the leg. Read more
Brad Gardner’s latest ranking of the top 20 Blackhawks prospects is up now at HockeysFuture.com
This was yesterday’s huge news story. When Patrick Kane says he’ll be ready for opening night, would that not logically then indicate he’ll also be healthy and able to participate in some training camp activity, even a preseason game or two? Kane went on a Toronto radio station Tuesday and was non-committal on the status of his recovery from wrist surgery. Still, Kane is confident he’ll be good in time for the season opener. I know its August, but to me this is a lot of unnecessary commotion over what will likely amount to a week of missed camp. It was obvious from the moment that interview concluded this would blow up. Whatever Kane does is going to be news. He’s that big a star. However, it is amazing Kane would be so cloudy on his state of return just 24 hours after his general manager was emphatic Kane is fine and on schedule for the start of training camp. And that’s why this blew up. Kane used to live in Stan Bowman’s basement and he is a franchise player, you’d figure these guys would be on the same page. I wouldn’t put any heat on Kane for this. Its his body and the team’s timeline seemed convenient to begin with. But this is a fuss over what could simply amount to seven days. Still, is appears the Hawks shifted into damage control last night.
–Marcus Kruger will be in Toronto on Tuesday, August 30 to be one of 27 NHL rookies presented in the NHLPA’s 2011 Rookie Showcase. Kruger and his six Blackhawks teammates wrap up the week of practice sessions in Lugano, Switzerland on Sunday. He’ll then head straight to Toronto. Tuesday is mostly a media showcase, interview and photography session.
–It was pointed out to me that Lugano head coach Barry Smith is still technically employed by the Hawks as a European talent adviser. Smith was a pro scout with the Hawks last year. He was Scotty Bowman’s assistant while with the Red Wings.
–New Blackhawk Andrew Brunette turns 38 today…. Roland “Alain” Daigle is 57. This Three Rivers, Quebec native spent six seasons (74-80) on right wing with the Blackhawks. They drafted him 34th overall in ’74. He retired in 1984 after stops in Europe and the AHL. The Hawks were the only NHL team he ever played for…. They share the day Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar (24)….
–Former prospect and Hawks’ 2005 6th round pick Joe Charlebois has signed with the Kalamazoo Wings (ECHL).
–I’ll have much more tonight/tomorrow morning.
–We have a podcast scheduled for Monday night at 6pm with Al Cimaglia.
Top Blackhawks prospect Jeremy Morin has been inactive due to an “upper body” injury he suffered in a game against the Chicago Wolves in Rosemont, Illinois back on January 15th.
Morin acquired the injury roughly a minute before the end of the opening period when he was hip-checked by Wolves’ defenseman Andrey Zubarev, catapulting him up and over Zubarev, resulting in Morin coming down on the top of his head (helmet on) as he struck the ice.
He is believed to have suffered a concussion on that incident.
Progress is being made as Morin’s health is improving, but a target for Morin’s return to the ice is still uncertain.
“You know what, I haven’t had an update on (Morin) for awhile,” IceHogs’ head coach Bill Peters said after Saturday night’s 4-3 win over Peoria. “We’ve had some other guys that have been dinged up a little bit here that have been kept under the radar. DJ [Jones, IceHogs trainer] has done a good job with those guys.”
“I know he’s feeling better,” Peters continued. “I talked to (Morin) the other day and I had a good visit with him here today.
“He’s starting to feel better. So, I think there is some progress being made there.”
With just 11 games remaining in the IceHogs’ season after tonight (Hogs skate at Grand Rapids on Sunday), time is running short on Morin’s potential return to Rockford’s lineup.
The first step would be to resume skating with his teammates, which he hasn’t done since the injury occurred.
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
Posted in IceHogs, Prospects
Tagged Alec Richards, Ben Smith, Brandon Pirri, Chris DiDomenico, Evan Brophey, Hannu Toivonen, IceHogs, Igor Makarov, Injury update, Ivan Vishnevksiy, Jassen Cullimore, Jeff Taffe, Jeremy Morin, Kyle Beach, Mathis Olimb, Ryan Potulny, Shawn Lalonde, Simon Danis-Pepin, Wolves