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The Rockford IceHogs got a boost from Vinnie Hinostroza this past week. It doesn’t show much on the score sheet; Hinostroza was credited with a single assist in the three games he played while he and several Blackhawks teammates were sent to Rockford this past week.

The Hogs had won three straight before Vinnie came to town, extending that streak to a season-high five games before being shut out by Charlotte Saturday night. How can I point to him as making such a big difference? Simple. Speed.

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The Rockford IceHogs, AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks, had another rough week on the offensive side of the puck. After a goal deficiency cost them all four games of their road trip, Rockford did ride a Brandon Mashinter hat trick to two points on Saturday night.

You read right, folks. A Brandon Mashinter hat trick.

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The Rockford IceHogs, AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks, must have had a little extra room on the bus after departing for three road games this past week. You see, the Hogs left their offense on the curb outside the BMO Harris Bank Center.

Rockford dropped all three contests this week to push its current losing streak to five games. In doing so, the IceHogs mustered a single even-strength goal in over 180 minutes of hockey.

The Hogs have sunk to 13th place in the Western Conference following this weekend’s action. Their 4-6-1 mark has them seventh in the Central Division standings. A lack of scoring has definitely played a part in this team’s recent struggles.

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The Rockford IceHogs, AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks, have several short road jaunts this season. There is nothing resembling the two extended trips that is standard for the Hawks. In fact, the longest the Hogs will be away from the BMO Harris Bank Center is four games.

The IceHogs are in Charlotte today to begin the first of what will be four such stretches with two weekday tilts at Bojangles Coliseum. Let’s take a look at how the lads in Rockford are doing heading into the back-to-back down Carolina way…

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The Rockford IceHogs reserved their spot in the Calder Cup Playoffs this week. However, Chicago’s AHL affiliate continued to scuffle along as the regular season comes to a conclusion this week.

Rockford dropped three of four on the road this past week. Three points in Charlotte early in the week assured the Hogs of a postseason appearance for the second consecutive season. This team is not giving off the shine of a group that will get out of the first round, though.

It’s hard to expect much from this group the way the latter half of the season has progressed. There are lots of new faces and probably more coming before the regular season ends. There are also a lot of questions for this team to answer in the final week of action.

First and foremost, who starts in net for Ted Dent in the playoffs?

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The Rockford IceHogs, AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks, have a crowd on the blue line these days.

With David Rundblad finishing his season in Europe and being assigned to Rockford on Friday, the Hogs had eight healthy bodies to patrol the back end. Coach Ted Dent will certainly have numerous options for the final dozen games on his team’s schedule.

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The goal of the Rockford IceHogs as the Blackhawks AHL affiliate is pretty clear cut. Winning is secondary to pushing talent through the I-90 pipeline. Success means that Stan Bowman can stock his roster with quality players (or offer that talent around the league for annual cup runs, take your pick).

Obviously, Chicago’s run at the top of the NHL has prevented Bowman from selecting an franchise-type skater in the first-round the last several seasons. There are plenty of difference-makers on the current Hawks roster that honed their games in the Forest City. Corey Crawford. Niklas Hjalmarsson. Andrew Shaw. Bryan Bickell (oops).

By the way, Rockford apparently beat Milwaukee 5-2 Tuesday and then dropped a pair in Charlotte over the weekend. Didn’t catch a second of one game; I was behind a sound board making sure an audience could hear a tale as old as time this week.

I promise that you’ll get the usual breakdowns starting with next week’s post. Until then, I thought I’d shine a beam of light on some of the fortunes of Chicago’s recent picks toiling in Rockford and…well…other places.

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The lads west on I-90, the Rockford IceHogs, finished up a stretch of home cooking that saw the team go 7-1-0-1. As for myself, I was on a road trip and wasn’t around to catch the action.

I’ll provide some condensed recaps in a bit, as I did go back and check out what was another successful week for Rockford. As the AHL takes a quick breather for their All-Star festivities, I thought it would be fun to delve into some numbers this go-round.

Why wasn’t I at the BMO this week, celebrating a couple of big Central Division wins and Michael Leighton reaching a big milestone in net?

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The Rockford IceHogs, Chicago’s AHL affiliate, skate into November on a pretty high note. The IceHogs are on a six-game point streak that has seen them win five of six against Central Division opponents.

Despite several Hogs getting the call to join the Blackhawks last week, Rockford kept on rolling behind terrific play in net. IceHogs goalies surrendered a single goal in three games this week. This included a shootout loss to Charlotte and two shutout victories over the Iowa Wild.

Special teams also took steps toward respectability, though the power play still has a ways to go in that regard.

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The Rockford IceHogs have been at or near the top of the AHL’s Western Conference throughout the season due in a large part to their play between the pipes. Just how good have the Hogs been in net this season? It has been a season for the ages in terms of proficiency in the crease.

Through 73 games this season, Rockford has surrendered 173 goals. That total is good for a tie for third in the AHL. Along with Utica and Grand Rapids, the IceHogs are tops in the Western Conference.

So who is manning the net for Rockford in the playoffs? Head coach Ted Dent doesn’t know. At least, he didn’t…