After putting the wild wild weekend in Charlotte in the rear-view mirror – it’s time to put just another wild wild night with the Rockford IceHogs into perspective. They still lead the Midwest Division with a 15-5-1-1 (32 points) record. With a win tonight the IceHogs would be sitting all alone on top of the Western Conference standings with the highest points total in the entire AHL.
~Since Last We Met~
The IceHogs have played four games since the last time we met up. They shutout the Chicago Wolves on the road, 3-0… they clubbed the Iowa Wild merciless at home, 6-1… they lose in overtime at home against the Wolves, 4-3 (OT)… and then lost to the Wolves in regulation in Chicago, 2-1.
The last time we actually saw the IceHogs they had three goalies in camp: Scott Darling, Michael Leighton, and Mac Carruth. Leighton had a day-to-day injury at the time so Carruth was brought up from the Indy Fuel of the ECHL. Tonight’s tandem will include those two named because Darling was recalled to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday. Why? Well, isn’t that the fun story.
Corey Crawford, the Blackhawks starting netminder, reportedly missed a step and fell down at a Rise Against concert at Chicago’s House of Blues on Monday night. Put that down for one of the more bizarre sports injuries to come out of hockey in recent years. Crawford was in a walking boot yesterday and is expected to miss two-to-three weeks.
That will impact the IceHogs who will be without Darling during that span. But, it must be said, Leighton is a veteran and Carruth recorded a shutout in his lone AHL appearance this season.
Minor Rambling: Considering this is a small goaltending segment… with Martin Brodeur officially signing with the St. Louis Blues… and Brian Elliott out indefinitely with a knee injury… it makes me wonder what ends up happening to former Admiral killer Jake Allen should Brodeur be serviceable and Elliott comes back good as gold. The Wolves already have seen the return of Jordan Binnington. Could the Wolves see a tandem of Allen and Binnington? …I hope not.
~Scoring, Lots of Scoring~
T.J. Brennan, last season’s Eddie Shore winner, currently leads the IceHogs in scoring with 17 points (4 goals, 13 assists) in 22 games. In a full 7 games less work, Mark McNeill has scored only one less point: 16 points (9 goals, 7 assists) in 15 games. McNeill missed time this season due to a lower-body injury. He hasn’t played a game since the last time the IceHogs came to Milwaukee, 11/15/14.
The rookie of interest in Rockford for me from the start of the season, Teuvo Teräväinen, has impressed. He has scored 13 points (3 goals, 10 assists) in 20 games this season. Compare that with Brendan Leipsic‘s rookie output of 17 points (1 goal, 16 assists) from 19 games. Both have hit the ground running for the 2014-15 season.
UPDATE: The Chicago Blackhawks have recalled defenseman Klas Dahlbeck and reassigned defenseman Adam Clendening. Dahlbeck had 6 points (2 goals, 4 points) in 22 games for Rockford including 25 penalty minutes – including a fight with Colton Sissons last time the two played in Milwaukee. Clendening scored a goal and an assist from his first 4 games of NHL duty. His production in the AHL this season includes 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists) and 10 penalty minutes in 16 games.
Thoughts on tonight’s game? What are your expectations from yet another clash between the Admirals and IceHogs? Will there be more fights than goals? Who starts in net for the Admirals? Scoreline prediction?