Don’t look now, folks, but the IceHogs have strung some wins together and are smack-dab in the middle of a legitimate push for the playoffs. *Knocks on wood* Week 21 brought two more gargantuan Midwest Division games to the BMO Harris Bank Center in which the Hogs needed all of the points that they could get.
Week 15 was essentially another must-win week for the IceHogs. Two divisional games (surprise, surprise) were on tap for Rockford, along with a Monday matinee with an opponent from the South to start week 16. These three games in four nights featured events that everyone loves: many goals and a bench-clearing brawl.
I mean what.
After the Christmas break, week 12 held two home games for the IceHogs against divisional opponents. The beginning of week 13 also held an important divisional game as the Hogs battled for sole possession of first place.
If you saw Puck Daddy’s post earlier this afternoon, your eyes are still probably stinging from the revelation that the Rockford IceHogs are holding a Los IceHogs Night on November 16, presented by Corona (of course). Not only will the first 2500 people get a pair of annoying maracas, but the IceHogs will be wearing the above jersey.
It’s like Margarita Night at the local taco joint vomited all over it. I have no idea whether to be insulted by Hammy’s Frito Bandito mustache and sombrero or not.
Of course, what else do you expect from a team that plays in a city that voted Taco Bell their number-one Mexican restaurant?
On The Farm provides news from the Chicago Blackhawks‘ farm teams: the Rockford IceHogs and Toledo Walleye.
The Rockford IceHogs signed Brett Lebda to a Professional Try Out contract today to round out their training camp roster.
While Lebda, a native of Buffalo Grove, would probably like you to remember him as a former Stanley Cup champion with the Detroit Red Wings, it’s more likely that you remember his disastrous stint as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs. My favorite “Lebda being Lebda” moment was when the Maple Leafs beat the holy hell out of the Atlanta Thrashers 9-3 — but he somehow managed to still be a minus-3 on the night.
He then signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets earlier this year — mostly because the Blue Jackets had, like, two healthy defensemen left at that point.
It’s safe to say that Lebda won’t make it anywhere near the Blackhawks even after the lockout, but if he can crack the IceHogs’ roster and provide some veteran leadership, more power to him.
Ahead of the lockout, the Blackhawks have assigned 26 players to their AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs. The list follows after the jump.
Jonathan Toews (concussion), Dave Bolland (upper body), and Andrew Brunette (lower body) will all be out against the Wild tonight. Toews is getting really close to returning, while Bolland and Brunette have not been ruled out for Saturday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings. (Chicago Blackhawks)
Jimmy Hayes will replace Brunette on the top line, while Brendan Morrison will take Bolland’s place. Sean O’Donnell will take Dylan Olsen‘s place in the lineup, as well. (ESPN Chicago)
Oh, yeah, and some guy named Duncan Keith is going to play in his first game since his five-game suspension. (Chicago Blackhawks)
Watching the Frozen Four, but you don’t have a team to cheer for? Let this blog post help you pick out what team to bandwagon. (BC Interruption)
Finally, Patrick Sharp has returned to Twitter at @10PSharp. Please, fangirls, don’t scare him away again.
This is not a drill: Jonathan Toews has been cleared for contact! Praise the little baby Gretzky! (Chicago Blackhawks)
Nick Leddy and Dylan Olsen are growing up on the ice and off of it. (Chicago Sun-Times)
Jimmy Hayes isn’t complaining about his frequent healthy scratches. (Chicago Sun-Times)
Old Man Sean O’Donnell is hoping to end his career on a high note. (nj.com)
In prospects news, Brandon Saad is kicking ass and taking names at the start of the OHL playoffs. (CSN Chicago)
Finally, if you didn’t see this save last night, you need it in your life — Crawford saving a goal with his elbow. Holy shi–
The Blackhawks take on the Toronto Maple Leafs at 7pm tonight at the United Center. The game will air on CSN Plus tonight, so go here and find what channel that is for you. (CSN Chicago)
Jonathan Toews (apparent concussion) will be out, along with defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson and Steve Montador (both upper-body). (NHL.com)
The defense pairings for the Blackhawks tonight are as follows (@TSNScottyMac):
- Duncan Keith – Sean O’Donnell
- Johnny Oduya – Brent Seabrook
- Nick Leddy – Dylan Olsen
Brendan Morrison, Sami Lepisto, and Michael Frolik are all healthy scratches tonight. (@TSNScottyMac)
I’m sick with the stomach flu. Here are the basics for this game against the San Jose Sharks:
- Dylan Olsen is IN.
- Steve Montador is OUT. And on IR. He’s been sent back to Chicago.
- Sami Lepisto‘s corpse has been reanimated, so he’s IN.
- Niklas Hjalmarsson is OUT and has been sent back to Chicago. What was thought to be the flu has become something else entirely. Still “upper body,” though. Uh-oh.
- Corey Crawford is IN. So is Antti Niemi for the Sharks.
- This game is going to be a hot mess.
Now back to eating saltine crackers and drinking Gatorade.