Tag Archives: Stephen Johns

On Carl Dahlstrom, and possible disconnect between Blackhawks management, pro and amateur scouting staffs

Dahlstrom_Carl_2015Apr18_Marlies_RFD_IceHogs          Carl Dahlstrom, photo courtesy of Rockford IceHogs – April 18, 2015

Roughly half of the following piece first appeared in The Committed Indian program on May 21st. Also included here are quotes and further detail and analysis that didn’t fit into the first-run story.

By Chris Block

As great as the past seven or so years have gone for the Blackhawks, there are causes for concern as to whether or not the organization can sustain this reign of success going beyond yet another cap crunch that awaits Stan Bowman and company this summer.

Patrick Sharp’s days with the organization appear to be nearing an end due to the mammoth Toews and Kane contracts kicking in next season. And Marian Hossa may have only another year or two left in him before he retires. On the blue line, Brent Seabrook has one more year before he’s an unrestricted free agent. When that day comes, Seabrook will be a 31-year year old, 11-year NHL veteran.

Brandon Saad and Teuvo Teravainen are top-six talents who will help smooth that transition. Future Hall of Famers Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are so good the Hawks will always be a threat no matter what.

But what has separated the Blackhawks in their championship runs, as well as the near miss in 2014, is the team’s depth. A third and fourth line that matches or exceeds that of any of their conference and playoff rivals; as well as a top four defense that is as good as it gets in hockey. Whether the fourth guy was Brian Campbell or Johnny Oduya, it didn’t matter. The Hawks are filthy rich in elite defensemen with Keith, Seabrook and Hjalmarsson leading the way. Read more »

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Desperate Hogs Strike Back, 4-1 win in Game 3 puts Rockford back in series

By Chris Block

Returning home for Games 3 through 5 of their best-of-seven series down 2-0 to Grand Rapids, the Rockford IceHogs took to the ice on Wednesday night with an automatic sense of urgency in an almost must-win situation.

The IceHogs exhibited that urgency and desperation before a crowd of just 1,780 at BMO Harris Bank Center in a fiery and physical opening twenty minutes in Game 3.

That dominant first period set the table for an eventual 4-1 IceHogs victory.

Mark McNeill scored his 2nd goal of the postseason just 25 seconds into Grand Rapids’ first power play of the game, a controversial five minute major assessed midway into the first period. The breakaway goal gave the IceHogs a 1-0 lead. Rockford’s penalty kill kept a consistent pressure on the Griffins’ power play throughout the 5 minute kill and prevented the visitor’s from tying the game.

Later, when Rockford got its first chance on the power play, Ryan Hartman banked a pass to himself at the Grand Rapids blue line and strode in alone the same way McNeill had earlier and beat Griffins’ starter Tom McCollum with 1:24 to play in the opening frame. Hartman’s goal would stand as the game-winner.

“We knew this was a must win for us and we came out in the first period and were a desperate hockey team,” said goaltender Michael Leighton, who made 23 saves in Rockford’s 4-1 win in Game 3. Read more »

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IceHogs Beat Themselves in Game 1; Pulkinnen Hat-Trick Leads Grand Rapids to 5-3 Win

By Chris Block

Going into the Game 1 of the this Western Conference Semifinal series with Grand Rapids, the Rockford IceHogs had one primary focus – try to contain Griffins’ right winger Teemu Pulkkinen.

Rockford failed in that objective in Wednesday’s series opener as the Detroit Red Wings super-prospect struck for 3 goals in a 5-3 win over the visiting IceHogs.

Grand Rapids scored two minutes into the game when Michael Leighton misjudged a weak Kevin Porter backhander. The IceHogs tied the game 8:41 into the second frame when they took advantage of a terrible Griffins turnover in front of their own net and goalie Tom McCollum had no chance on a Mark McNeill one-timer from in tight.

Then the Pulkkinen show took center stage when he stored 3 minutes and 23 seconds apart later in the second to take a 2-goal lead heading into the third. Stephen Johns got the IceHogs back into the game with a snipe at 3:16 of the third period. Then Garret Ross tied the game when he tipped a Johns’ blast with 10:40 left in regulation.

But, the game was decided when the IceHogs allowed Pulkkinen to go the their net unchecked with under 3 minutes to go in a tied affair. Read more »

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Rockford IceHogs Media Day Stuff; TVR debut now imminent, Broadhurst sets date, Keith Seabrook set to play, Power play numbers

By Chris Block

A few news items here coming out of Tuesday’s Rockford IceHogs weekly media day huddles.

Alex Broadhurst Targeting Return

Right now, Alex Broadhurst is aiming for March 21st or 22nd as his return from the broken left arm he suffered on Black Wednesday evening back in November. Broadhurst suffered the break to the bone just above his left elbow on a hit from Iowa Wild forward Curt Gogol.

Broadhurst, who turned 22 on March 7th, had a forgettable start to this 2014-15 season. He was healthy scratched 5 times in 20 games and when he did dress, Broadhurst skated a lot of fourth line minutes. In 15 games, the center has 0 goals and 2 assists.

While an injury like that is never welcome, there is some good that came out of it.

Broadhurst on Tuesday said that he’s now in the best physical condition of his life as he’s had nothing to do for the past two months but workout and train for his return. The time away could be good for him in another sense in that his auspicious beginning to the season can be long forgotten now. Read more »

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2015 Chicago Blackhawks Prospect Rankings

Teravainen_2014Nov21_IceHogs“Turbo” Teuvo Teravainen, photo: Rockford IceHogs

By Chris Block

2015 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS PROSPECT RANKINGS

Qualifications for this list include being under the age of 26 on the final day of the 2014-15 regular season. This excluded Scott Darling, Brandon Mashinter (each 26 now) and T. J. Brennan from consideration for these rankings.

The other qualifier is the player must have no more than 25 NHL games played in the current season or no more than a total of 40 NHL career games played at the time of these rankings.

These rankings and short bios were first published on January 16th and are as of January 15, 2015. As you’ll read, the extended bios took a little longer to write and at that point I decided to do a writeup on every Blackhawks prospect who would qualify for this list, even those who fell below the top 25. To me, there was no added value in ranking the players 1-40, so I decided against that.

The rankings are formed by a weighted formula that leans heavily to skill, career potential and probability of impact at the NHL level.  To clear any confusion, how close a player is to playing in the NHL, or being there at times now, does not factor in. Read more »

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Stephen Johns returns only to be sidelined again; Dent says 2-3 weeks, Johns talks prior injury

Johns_Stephen_2015Jan19_IceHogsPicStephen Johns (#4) battles Jeremy Welsh in front of Scott Darling Monday Jan 19
Photo credit: Rockford IceHogs

 

By Chris Block

Rockford had only begun to realize how much they missed the steady and physical play of Stephen Johns when injury struck the rookie defenseman again on Monday.

Now the IceHogs will again be without their big rookie blue liner for a stretch.

Johns will miss the next 2 to 3 weeks, according to the team.

“When you can’t do something you love and you enjoy every day, it hurts and it’s frustrating.”

Those were Stephen Johns’ words this past Saturday night, having just completed his second game back from a concussion that kept him out of action for seven weeks.

Now, a left knee injury, suffered Monday afternoon in a game against the Chicago Wolves, will force Johns to miss more time. Read more »

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Site notes: Mid-terms and Rankings; IceHogs injury updates [Updated]

By Chris Block

Just a couple quick notes ahead of the weekend.

Rockford IceHogs (21-12-3-1) will reach the halfway point of their season tonight when they host the Milwaukee Admirals inside the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford. The ‘Hogs are 7 points up on Milwaukee in the standings, though the Admirals do hold three games in hand on Rockford. Ted Dent’s team leads its division (3rd in the conference) currently and remain 6 points up on both Grand Rapids and the Chicago Wolves, though each of those groups have multiple games in hand on the Hogs too.

Tonight is the back-end of a home and home set. Rockford lost 4-2 in Milwaukee last night. Phillip Danault and T.J. Brennan were the IceHogs’ goal scorers. Scott Darling was pulled in the second period after allowing the 4th goal against 29 shots, but the defense in front of him on a couple of those goals offered little assistance.

Stephen Johns (concussion) continues to be sidelined since being injured on a Stephane Veilleux hit on November 26th in Rockford. That was the same night Curt Gogol broke Alex Broadhurst’s arm when Gogol took a run at Broadhurst low in the IceHogs’ end. Read more »

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Rockford sets roster for Opening Night; a look at the IceHogs team, Blackhawks prospect lineup

2014Oct02_MarkMcNeill_IceHogs_Wolves_Preseason

Mark McNeill skates in a preseason game Oct 2nd in Rockford
Photo courtesy of Rockford IceHogs

By Chris Block

Rockford IceHogs open their season tomorrow night when they host Milwaukee at the BMO Harris Bank Center at 7pm.

The Blackhawks have finalized the AHL roster and it was announced today. The IceHogs will carry 24 skaters to start the season, which is allowed in the American Hockey League.

Scott Darling and Michael Leighton, as expected, will be the IceHogs goalie tandem. Mac Carruth should be given a chance to do the heavy lifting in Indianapolis, on the Hawks’ new ECHL affiliate, Indy Fuel. It seems as though the Rockford duo will split the workload evenly for now.

What’s going to be interesting is how Rockford coach Ted Dent handles his defense. Though, that may be dictated to him by the Hawks’ brass. The IceHogs start the season with 8 defensemen – Adam Clendening, Klas Dahlbeck, T.J. Brennan, Ville Pokka, Stephen Johns, Viktor Svedberg, Zach Miskovic and Dillon Fournier.

Politically, I could see Rockford dressing seven defensemen some nights until something gives on that body count.

The forward group will look something like this…. Read more »

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Hawks sloppy in 4-1 loss to Rangers: Danault, Carey, Johns, Barker cut from roster; Notes

By Chris Block

The Blackhawks reached the halfway point of the exhibition season on Friday night, dropping a 4-1 decision to the visiting New York Rangers before an announced sellout United Center crowd of 20,613.

Dennis Rasmussen, a Swedish free agent signing from over the off season, was the lone Blackhawks’ scorer. Corey Crawford saw a full sixty minutes for the first time this exhibition and stopped 25 of 29 Rangers’ shots. Each side saw three power plays, with the Rangers drawing the lone conversion, a J.T. Miller redirect that beat Crawford with 6:02 to go in regulation. That strike put the Blueshirts on top 3-1. A flukey goal 100 seconds later that went to Marek Hrivik after he stick-checked Marian Hossa near the Hawks’ net put the game out of the home team’s reach.

The night got off to bad start quickly when Brent Seabrook twice failed to clear the zone and Oscar Lindberg gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead just 50 seconds into the game. Read more »

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Hawks prospects drop rookie tourney finale: Teuvo, McNeill shine; Full report from London

LondonRookieTournament_2014

By Brad Vandenberk

The last game of this year’s three-game rookie tournament saw the Blackhawks and Senators faceoff. Teuvo Teravainen, Mark McNeill and Kirill Gotovets worked their way back into the lineup, with Cody Caron, Ryan Van Stralen and Justin Holl all out for this one. Mac Carruth was in between the pipes for the Hawks with Chris Driedger on the Ottawa side.

Highly touted Ottawa rookie Curtis Lazar did not dress, nor did Matt Puempel, another top Sens prospect who scored in each of Ottawa’s first two games. Read more »

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