Tag Archives: Marcus Kruger

Waiting on Mikita: Frozen thoughts from outside the BMO

By Jon Fromi

With Stan Mikita gracing the Forest City (more specifically the BMO Center) Saturday, my pal and I made it our goal to be among the first go-getters to cue up in the signing line. I’ve found myself waiting outside the season-ticket entrance on occasion, most notably an extended wait on Tony Esposito last February. Three hours? No problem. Yeah, right.

Mother Nature provided an optimal day on that February afternoon, with sunny skies and spring-like temperatures. I didn’t expect to be so lucky Saturday, and of course the weather told a different tale.

Did we have to be there at 1:45 p.m. to wait for the doors to open at 5:45? Of course not, but think of all the conversation I would have missed.

The odyssey (or not, since we stood in the same place for the bulk of it) began with our arrival to find that five individuals had beaten us to the front of the line. As the line began to lengthen over the course of the afternoon, conversation naturally fixated on the IceHogs. Read more »

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Ted Dent says some supposed NHL guys not pulling their weight; Blackhawks brass forcing more lineup changes; Tonight’s game preview

By Chris Block

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 »

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Chris Block joins the Hockeenight Puckcast for a special Holiday podcast

On Sunday night I had the pleasure of joining CT and the “Forklift” on their groundbreaking, award-winning HockeeNight PuckCast.

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.

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PuckChatter~Radio: Sam Fels on the IceHogs & CBA

By Chris Block

Sam Fels, lead Blackhawks maven at TheCommittedIndian.com was kind enough to join me Monday night for the jam-packed return edition of PuckChatter~Radio.

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.

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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
-IceHogs MVP
-A funny story about travels to the BMO Harris Bank Center 57:20
-And much, much more

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5 unanswered goals erase Hogs slow start in Charlotte

By Chris Block

Rockford continued its recent road winning ways with a 5-2 come from behind win before a crowd of 6,549 in Charlotte on Saturday night.  The IceHogs handed the Charlotte Checkers, the second-place team in the Western Conference, their 6th loss of the season though it was Charlotte’s 4th in 7 games in its home rink.

With the team’s hottest goal scorer, Andrew Shaw, out of the lineup serving a one game, and most recent, suspension Rockford looked to its big guns to pull them out of another big whole the team dug itself early on Saturday night.

The IceHogs got unanswered goals from Brandon Saad, Ben Smith, Jeremy Morin and two from captain Martin St. Pierre.  The captain, recognized as one of the slickest set-up men in the AHL, also fell an assist shy of registering the Gordie Howe Hat Trick on Saturday.

Rockford has now strung four consecutive road wins together after starting the season 1-4-0-1 on opposing ice surfaces.

And, for the first time this season, the IceHogs sit two games above the .500 mark at 11-9-0-1 with their win in Charlotte. Read more »

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Rockford weekend wrap-up: IceHogs salvage first win on final night of 3-game weekend

{A huge thanks to Jon Fromi for sending in this IceHogs report since I was away this weekend for a wedding and have yet to see a second of the weekend’s games. –Chris Block}

By Jon Fromi

The Rockford IceHogs managed to remove the goose egg from the win column in their fifth game of the 2012-13 season. After a weekend that started with back to back losses to Peoria and Charlotte, a crowd of just over 2,905 at the BMO Harris Bank Center watched Jimmy Hayes score his first two goals of the season in the third period as the IceHogs defeated the Checkers Sunday by a score of 5-4.

Charlotte found several ways to bounce pucks past Alec Richards, but Rockford was able to prevail with an offensive effort that was absent in a pair of one-goal defeats Friday and Saturday. Richards, who spelled Carter Hutton, picked up the win in his first start of the season, making 23 saves on 27 shots.

After a scoreless first period, Rockford staked a 2-0 advantage on goals by Martin St. Pierre and Brandon Pirri. St. Pierre took a feed from Marcus Kruger in the slot just 58 seconds into the second period to open the scoring. Pirri took a pass from Ben Youds late in the eighth minute, pulled up in the high slot, and sent a slap shot over the blocker of Justin Peters to give the IceHogs a two-goal lead at the 7:55 mark. Read more »

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PuckChatter~Radio, e.118, Crazy Uncle Gary

By Chris Block

Listen at your own risk.  And with the sound low or through headphones if at work.

Gary Bettman got up on a podium Tuesday afternoon and made a point to declare he wasn’t one to negotiate through the media…. while he did just that.

However, the NHL did offer a potential major step forward to making a deal with the NHLPA on Tuesday to save the 82 game season and we break that down.

Also, the Rockford IceHogs opened their regular season with several Blackhawks in the lineup and came up on the short end in both of their games over the weekend.

We’ll also discuss Kyle Beach, Marcus Kruger, Nick Leddy, what we’ve been up to, the TTMI Fantasy Hockey League, bloggers and mysterious hand impressions over the urinal in the men’s room.

All this and much more on this edition of PuckChatter~Radio.

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Running commentary of Rockford’s 5-3 win at Peoria

By Jon Fromi

The Rockford IceHogs wrapped up their preseason with a nice offensive game, besting the Peoria Rivermen 5-3. I took it upon myself to purchase the AHL Live stream of the contest and share some observations along with my thoughts on the eve of what will hopefully be a successful season for the Hogs.

This is just me commenting as a fan, much as I will whenever I offer up thoughts from my seat at the BMO Center. Like you guys, I know what I do about the behind the scenes dealings mainly from what Chris Block reports. I’m not going to provide his sparkling brand of analysis-mostly because I’m watching from the opposite side of the rink. Read more »

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IceHogs victorious in 3-2 preseason shootout decision; Notes on Clendening, Svendsen injuries and two releases

By Chris Block

Once night removed from a 6-1 clobbering at the hands of the Chicago Wolves in their first preseason game, the Rockford IceHogs returned home to clip the Milwaukee Admirals 3-2 in a shootout victory.

In the end, the three deciding IceHogs’ goals all came off sticks of players who played or finished last season with the Blackhawks.

Carter Hutton started the game for Rockford and gave up a deflating goal against to Milwaukee’s Jani Lajunen at 7:30 of the period.  The goal defined the first period for the IceHogs.  Lajunen picked up a puck along the goal line to Hutton’s left and tossed a weak backhand attempt toward the Rockford goaltender.  Hutton was a couple feet off the post and was caught off guard by the shot, which hit him in the left pad and trickled over the goal line to give the Admirals the early lead.

The period as a whole was largely forgettable for the IceHogs.  With 11 players seeing their first game action of the preseason, nearly everyone seemed sluggish and the team was out of synch.

With four and a half minutes left in the first period, Daniel Bang (apparently pronounced “Bong”  So, Dan Bong-banged in the rebound.  Okay, I’m done.) scored a power play tally for Milwaukee when he picked up a rebound and beat Hutton to give the Admirals a 2-0 lead.  A hooking penalty to Brandon Pirri had sent Milwaukee to the power play.  Marcus Kruger and Jimmy Hayes were sent out kill the first portion of Pirri’s penalty.  But the trouble began when Kruger was kicked out of the circle on the defensive zone draw.  Hayes then came in and lost the draw, pinning Rockford against it in their own zone. Read more »

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12 Blackhawks in Sweden this week for mini-camp

Photo credit: www.sskoveralltalltid.se

By Chris Block

For the second consecutive year, the Blackhawks have teamed up with a European league team for a friendly preseason tune-up.

Twelve Blackhawks players and prospects are in the town of Södertälje, Sweden this week taking part in a week-long mini conditioning camp.

These Blackhawks are guests of the Södertälje Sportklubb (SSK), a team in the Allsvenskan league, a level below the Swedish Elite League (Elitserien), as the Södertälje team makes its final preparations to begin its 2012-13 regular season.

List of Blackhawks players and prospects in Sweden for this week’s workouts:

Nick Leddy
Marcus Kruger
Dylan Olsen
Jimmy Hayes
Kevin Hayes
Ben Smith
Brandon Pirri
Jeremy Morin
Brandon Saad
Adam Clendening
Klas Dahlbeck

Brandon Bollig will join the group on Wednesday after clearing up a passport issue. Read more »

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