Fast Friday: Rockford IceHogs Playoff Edition
Well, at least we get to check out a little bit of Hawks related playoff hockey via the Rockford IceHogs. They kick off their series against the big, bad Wolves tomorrow night.
Let's take a look at some key information heading into this series - Rockford vs. Wolves preview – 5 things you need to know:
1) Game #1 kicks off on Saturday and it's going to be a doozy! The full schedule for this series is:
Game 1 – Saturday, April 21st
Game 2 – Sunday, April 22nd
Game 3 – Thursday, April 26th
Game 4 – Sunday, April 29th
Game 5 – Monday, April 30th
2) Special Teams:
PP: Rockford – 15.6% (25th in the league) only Wilkes-Barrie was worse than them out of the playoff teams. Chicago was 18.6% which was good for 9th in the league
PK: Chicago was 12th with a man down with 83.4%, while Rockford was DEAD LAST (30th) with a 77.4%.
3) Goalie rotation: with J.F. Berube sent home for the year, the ‘Hogs goaltending consists of Jeff Glass, Colin Delia and Matt Tompkins.
While Jeremey Colliton hasn't named a starter for tomorrow's game. Will he go with either the veteran and leader in Jeff Glass or will he ride the hot hand in Colin Delia?
We will find out today or tomorrow AM.
One last night to note about J.F. Berube being sent home. Colliton commented that Glass and Delia have "been the guys here" so it wouldn't have been fair to Berube to come in as the 3rd string; something that he was, oh-so-frustrated-with in Long Island for years.
I would have to think a decision to send home a veteran goalie who has won a Calder Cup in his career marks the end of Berube in the Blackhawks organization. He is signed into next year, but so is Anton Forsberg and Colin Delia. After how this season transpired, I've heard the Hawks are going to look really hard at bringing in someone with more skill and experience as a safety net to the Crawford uncertainties.
4) Scoring by committee – to find the IceHogs leading scorer you would have to scroll through 4 pages on the AHL stats page. Anthony Louis ended the season with 44 points in 70 games.
What does that mean? Well, it means that for the Hogs to be successful, they will have to continue to score by committee and get contributions all over the ice.
They will have some serious firepower that the team hasn't been accustomed to adding during this time of the year due to the Blackhawks missing the playoffs.
This lineup boasts the likes of Bouma, Franson, Martinsen, Kampf, Hayden, Ejdsell as well as newcomers Dennis Gilbert and Joni Tuulola. A really nice mix of veterans and young talent. It's going to be exciting to see.
5) Jeremy Colliton is the man – since his hiring, I've been very intrigued by IceHogs' coach Jeremy Colliton due to his background and age. He's a very young coach which I thought was a great move because the organization was planning on this being a very young team. Well, he's proven his worth this season and I think this is going to go a really long way in turning around the Chicago Blackhawks success the next 2-3 years.
Looking forward to some positive IceHogs banter on the board.
See ya out there!