Tag Archives: Stars

IceHogs return to postseason after 4 years out; After a strong 2014-15, how will Rockford fare; Calder Cup 1st round preview

By Chris Block

Tonight, Rockford plays its first playoff contest since 2010 when they begin their best-of-5 opening round series with the Texas Stars in suburban Austin.

Rockford has lost the past 10 consecutive playoff games they have played. The American Hockey League record of most consecutive losses in postseason is 12, set by the Buffalo Bisons in the 1950s.  The IceHogs last playoff win came in Game 5 of their second round series with the Chicago Wolves in 2008, the IceHogs first season in the AHL. Rockford was up 3-2 in that series then lost games 6 & 7.  The Wolves would go on to with the Calder Cup that year.

While the IceHogs dominated the season series with Texas, this was about the worst draw Rockford could have asked for. The key to Rockford’s success against Texas during the regular season was catching the Stars at the right times, and a power play that ran at a 37.5% clip against the Stars this season.

Rockford can skate with any team in the West at 5-on-5. Where they have separated themselves for success is in getting elite goaltending from Michael Leighton, Scott Darling and Antti Raanta. Mac Carruth, who was in net for three games this season and went 2-1 with a shutout (at Chicago) is now the backup.

But aside from the goaltending, which, no mistake, is why the IceHogs are in the postseason, Rockford’s special teams were consistently the difference between a win and a loss in 2014-15.

Noting that, no team boasts better special teams than Texas.

Their combined special teams mark is 106.9 (86.9 PP + 20.0 PK). Texas ranks 3rd overall in the AHL, and tops in the Western Conference on the power play. Their penalty kill is 4th in the AHL and 2nd in the West. Read more »

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Hawks 4-game winning streak dumped in Dallas by a 4-0 score

By Brad Vandenberk

Chicago continued their road trip with a stop in Big D to face the Stars on Saturday night. The arena was packed with red jerseys as Hawks fans were heard to open the game with a “let’s go Hawks” chant. Those few would be disappointed as the Hawks would lay an egg losing 4-0 to a team that is 8 points out of the playoffs. The Stars took advantage of the Hawks careless defensive mistakes scoring on two giveaways. They also allowed two power play goals off the stick of Tyler Seguin and Shawn Horcoff.

Michal Rozsival was back in the lineup after sitting in New York on Wednesday. David Rundblad was the odd man out on defense. Andrew Desjardins and Dan Carcillo were also out of the lineup for this one. Corey Crawford battled against the Stars Kari Lehtonen who made 33 saves to record his 5th shutout of the season. Kimmo Timonen played his 1100 game playing for 13:15. Read more »

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Blackhawks Outgunned by Stars, 6-3 at the UC

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks dropped a wild one to Dallas Sunday night. The visiting Stars pulled away with three goals in the third period to break open a back and forth game. The Hawks found themselves on the short end of a 6-3 decision for their second straight loss.

First Period-The Hawks did not want for opportunities in the early going, firing 11 shots on Kari Lehtonen in the first six and a half minutes. The first goal, however, belonged to Tyler Seguin, who scored on the Stars fifth shot.

The goal came off a faceoff win by Jamie Benn over Marcus Kruger in the Chicago zone. The puck got to Seguin in the slot and his shot beat Corey Crawford at 6:33 in the opening period. Read more »

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Lindbloom’s View: Never Let Go

Lindbloom_Dogs_2016Jan06Never Let Go!

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.” – Japanese proverb – and a brief summary of the chaotic victory over the Dallas Stars

By Rich Lindbloom

The above photo is a picture of our two Newfie’s laying claim to the same toy. Digit, the beast on the right, normally ends up losing these games of tug-of-war. George outweighs him by about 30#’s and is 100% Alpha. (Think Andrew Shaw vs. John Scott) The tussle usually begins after their walk, with Digit picking up the stuffed animal and sticking it in George’s face. The ensuing struggle does bear a striking resemblance to two bulls in a China shop.

While quite amused watching the two goof balls battle over the same toy, (there are plenty of other toys, but they always want the one the other has), I keep a wary eye on things that are breakable in the living room. They both tend to back up, while tugging, with little regard for what’s behind them. I’ve come to admire their 100% focus. Besides, I’ve never really liked the picture on our flat screen in that room, although knocking the Christmas tree over would have landed both in the doghouse. Read more »

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Blackhawks Prevail 5-4 in OT Against Stars

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks came out on top of a see-saw affair Sunday night at the United Center, coming from behind four times and besting the Dallas Stars 5-4 in overtime. Patrick Sharp ended a wild night at the Madhouse with the game-winner early in the extra frame.

First Period-The Stars had an odd-man rush in the opening minute of action that was thwarted by a sliding Brent Seabrook. About a minute later, Chicago got some traffic in front after an Andrew Shaw shot from the left circle. Marcus Kruger got a stick on the rebound but Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen kept it out of harm’s way.

Niklas Hjalmarsson struck the post in the fourth minute. Soon after, the Stars jumped out to a 1-0 lead. Tyler Seguin sent a shot off of the leg of Brandon Saad that Corey Crawford was able to stop with his pads. Jamie Benn pounced on the rebound and scored 3:59 into the period. Read more »

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Hawks post 6 unanswered 3rd period goals on route to 6-2 win over the Stars

By Brad Vandenberk

After an abysmal game in Detroit on Friday, the Chicago Blackhawks returned home Sunday night to play division rival Dallas Stars. The final period saw an explosion of goals on route to a 6-2 victory behind 6 different Hawks players adding a multi-point night.

The new lines constructed by Coach Q combined for 13 points and a power play goal from Brent Seabrook. Corey Crawford stood strong for the home team including surrendering 2 Dallas goals within 39 seconds. Kari Lehtonen was the victim to all 6 Blackhawk goals. Dan Carcillo, Michal Rozsival and newly called up Joakim Nordstrom were inserted into the lineup with Jeremy Morin and Dave Rundblad watching from above.

Two scary moments during the game when Trevor VanRiemsdyk was hit in the left leg with a shot and left halfway through the first period, not returning. Jonathan Toews almost lost an ear when Tyler Seguin was falling to the ice getting his skate up on captain serious, just kicking his helmet. Coach Q stated that TVR could be out “awhile.” Read more »

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Corey Crawford stops all the pucks and scores all the goals in Season Opener; Not exactly, but Hawks win 3-2 in the shootout

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks shook off a sluggish opening two periods in Dallas Thursday night, riding goalie Corey Crawford to a 3-2 shootout victory at the American Airlines Center. Crawford kept Chicago in the game in the face of a speedy Stars attack until the Hawks were able to rally in the third period with a Patrick Sharp tally. Patrick Kane potted the lone goal in the skills competition to get the 2014-15 campaign off on the right foot.

First Period-Marcus Kruger was called for the hook on Vernon Fiddler less than two minutes into the contest and the Stars kept Crawford busy on the resulting power play. The Hawks withstood the pressure and kept Dallas out of the henhouse. Chicago killed a second penalty in the 15th minute when Jeremy Morin was caught cross-checking Ryan Garbutt. Read more »

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Lindbloom’s View: The conversation box

Lindbloom_2014Mar29_BambiSkates“Are you the new second line center?” – Thumper

“If you can’t say something nice,
don’t say nothing at all.” – The Thumperian Principle

By Rich Lindbloom

I’m not sure why I’m even bothering to write another synopsis of the vicissitudes of Blackhawk hockey. According to the criminally insane, the Hawks season is officially over after getting trounced against Boston and Ottawa. The malicious maelstrom of fans voicing their discontent with the Blackhawks the last two games has reached disturbing heights.

I like to go to the ESPN NHL Hockey Scoreboard each night to see how my Fantasy players are doing. I click on the box score of all the games to keep track of all the goings on. One box I’ve never checked is the Conversation box, so on a whim I clicked it after Friday’s game. Talk about Pandora’s box! Read more »

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Hawks handle Stars, 4-2 at the UC

By Michael Calvert

The story of last night’s game was clear:  Teuvo Teravainen has arrived.  Teuvo entered the game to a healthy cheer early in the first period.

Teravainen spent time on the first unit pp which tells me his role on the team is likely to be large.  For most of the game he didn’t do anything that really stood out, but was a perfect 7/7 at the dot and showed some defensive know how.  To win face-offs and be responsible defensively is probably icing on the cake for a player well known for slick hands and offensive creativity; we could really be on to something very special here. Read more »

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Lindbloom’s View: Intimidation

Lindbloom_2013Dec07_Dale“Antoine Roussel got nothing on me”

Here is the instance, here is Antoine Roussel.  Here is the reason why I will call no mortal hockey player happy. – Sophocles

By Rich Lindbloom

While driving home from work Tuesday night on the tollway, it appeared I was being passed by the reincarnation of “The Intimidator,” Dale Earnhardt. I was doing 70 mph and saw this car zig-zagging through heavy traffic in my rear view mirror. As he flew by me, (in the right lane of course), he found two narrow openings. No doubt, he shaved 5 to 10 minutes of his commute home that evening. His driving was breathtaking, on the edge, and inches from death. Momentarily, I entertained the notion of ramming him, much like the Blackhawks’ attitude towards the #21 car on Dallas last Tuesday. Read more »

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