IceHogs: Scouting the Enemy

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Filip Forsberg will be paired up with the new Swede in town tonight, Calle Jarnkrok. This could be fun. (Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

We’ve seen these dastardly foes much of late. In the 7 games played between the Admirals and IceHogs this season the Ads have gone 3-2-2-0 (8 points).

Nov. 1 vs. Rockford: W, 4-2
Nov. 27 @ Rockford: L, 2-1 (OT)
Dec. 21 @ Rockford: W, 3-1
Jan. 24 vs. Rockford: W, 3-2
Jan. 25 @ Rockford: L, 2-1
Jan. 26 vs. Rockford: L, 4-3 (OT)
Feb. 22 @ Rockford: L, 4-1

The past 3 games in this match up haven’t gone the way of the Admirals – but they’ll be facing an IceHogs team that has a slightly different look about it since they previously played.

Rockford and Iowa made some swaps at the end of February that saw Brian Connelly become an IceHog in exchange for Brad Winchester. In an additional move between the two teams the IceHogs sent Zach Miskovic to the Wild for future considerations. (IceHogs release)

The moves continued this month with Brandon Pirri being shipped from Rockford to the Florida Panthers organization in exchange for draft picks: 3rd Round (2014) and 5th Round (2016). (IceHogs release)

That meant two roster spots were opened up and in stepped Philippe Lefebvre and Pat Mullane from the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL. (IceHogs release)

Then the Chicago Blackhawks organization acquired David Rundblad and Mathieu Brisebois from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for a draft pick: 2nd Round (2014). Brisebois was assigned to Rockford following the trade. (IceHogs release)

So, what sort of point production will be missed from this head-to-head match up following all these moves?

Brad Winchester, 7 games, 3 points (2 goals, 1 assist), 8 PIM’s, -4.
Zach Miskovic, 4 games, 0 points, 2 PIM’s, -1.
Brandon Pirri, 5 games, 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists), 2 PIM’s, -4.

The big loss here for the IceHogs in this match up is Pirri. Last season he was able to produce 9 points (3 goals, 6 assists) in 12 games against the Admirals. He’s always been a thorn in their side – even in games where he isn’t picking up the odd point here and there.

With his absence that means the recently named CCM/AHL Player of the Month for February, Jeremy Morin, will need to really carry the load when it comes to this match up – and it is something he is fully capable of. This season against the Admirals he has scored 5 points (3 goals, 2 assists) in 6 games. His season to date has been outstanding: 44 points (22 goals, 22 assists). He also has a plus/minus of +9 and 51 PIM’s. He enters tonight’s game on a 13-game point streak: 20 points (11 goals, 9 assists) during the streak. Top Gear Top Tip: Stop Jeremy Morin.

The Rockford IceHogs have a record of 30-22-5-3 (68 points). They are ahead of the Admirals in the Midwest division by 6 points – but have played 4 more games than the Ads have. With this two-in-two between the Ads and IceHogs. It’ll be huge for the Admirals to claw back up the standings starting with divisional wins. It wasn’t long ago that I was saying it’s all about getting hot at the right time. The IceHogs are still a strong 7-1-1-1 (16 points) from their last 10 games. The Admirals are on a 2 game run off of the Pekka Rinne show last weekend. It’s time to start a run.

For a round-up on the Admirals and Calle Jarnkrok – I suggest paging back to yesterday’s edition of the Chatterbox where I have audio from Dean Evason, Mathieu Tousignant, and Filip Forsberg.

Quick Bullet Points, (1) Marek Mazanec will get the start tonight (2) Joonas Jarvinen will be out of the lineup (3) Calle Jarnkrok will actually be wearing the number 19 with the Admirals – not his Grand Rapids Griffins numeral (4) Forsberg will be playing on the wing with Jarnkrok – nothing else is set in stone in regards to the forward group. (5) Simon Moser was confirmed yesterday by Evason to be returning from the Nashville Predators.

UPDATE: The voice of the Admirals, Aaron Sims, was able to catch up with both Jarnkrok and Moser following the morning skate today. (Jarnkrok, jump to 0:27 of the video… Moser, jump to 6:16 of the video to catch a Mike Liambas interview bomb)

What are your expectations for tonight’s game? How about the weekend? Can the Admirals take all 4-points from the IceHogs? Marek Mazanec starts tonight – how will he do after some time out of the net? How will Calle Jarnkrok perform in his debut?

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