Everything Else

This is what passes as news these days in hockey. A player who didn’t want to play for a team that didn’t want him was able to reach an accord with said team so he doesn’t have to. David Rundblad and the Hawks mutually terminated his contract and now he’s free to pursue opportunities elsewhere. As a side bonus, the Hawks get rid of all of his upcoming cap hit, so they don’t have to worry about buying him out or burying him in Rockford when they have a few young d-men they’d probably like to get as much time as possible (hi there, Gustav and Ville).

When reviewing Stan Bowman’s record as GM, you could make a case that Rundblad was possibly his worst move. At a trade deadline when the Hawks were simply screaming for anyone to play center that was not Michal Handzus or Andrew Shaw, Bowman’s only move was to give up a 2nd round pick, a pretty valuable asset as we’ve come to see, for a player that could only manage just north of 60 games over two and a quarter seasons for the Hawks. That deadline whiff clearly scarred Bowman, who has swung for the fences in the subsequent two trade deadlines, with varying success.

Everything Else

old_school_blue_l vs. Hawk Wrestler

PUCK DROP: 8:30pm Central (more like 8:42)

TV: CSN here locally, NBCSN everywhere else

JASON HEYWARD FANCLUB: St. Louis Gametime

Blues Stats

Blues War On Ice

This all feels so familiar, mostly because the Hawks were here the last two playoff series they played. They lost a Game 3 at home to both the Ducks and Lightning, the former partially due to some baffling lineup decisions from their coach and the latter because they couldn’t find a way past a goalie who couldn’t move. That was a weird one. Anyway, how will they respond to this Game 3 loss, the first they’ve lost in regulation when leading after 40 minutes in more than two seasons?

Everything Else

The Rockford IceHogs are limping into the AHL playoffs. There’s no kind way to say this. The Blackhawks AHL affiliate is putting the finishing touches on its second consecutive sub-.500 month of play, having dropped a pair of games in Lake Erie last week.

The Hogs have slid from the top of the Central Division and are battling to remain in front of the Monsters for fourth place in the division standings. The club also has the task of dealing with the negative PR that comes from the legal situation in which Garret Ross currently finds himself.

Taking the organization at its word, Rockford brass discovered this story the way the rest of us did; on the internet last weekend. It is, then, purely coincidental that the fortunes of the IceHogs have slipped dramatically in the past two months.

Everything Else

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.

Everything Else

The Rockford IceHogs rebounded a bit in this week’s AHL action, winning two of three games and gaining a bit of ground on first place Milwaukee. With a .662 points percentage, the Hogs sit in second place in the Central Division as well as the AHL’s Western Conference.

This week saw a lot of movement in the roster, including a guy that was here but wasn’t here and a guy who was here but is now in Toronto. Let’s dig into this week’s transactions.

Everything Else

After the first five d-men we’ve previewed, the Hawks have a mishmash of humanity that’s hard to make sense of. So we’ll just group them all together and see what we have. That might not be fair to David Rundblad, but I don’t think he’s going to come and plead his case, and I also doubt he’s going to be a mainstay in the lineup anyway. But we’ll start with him.

David Rundblad – We know Stan is going to force feed him into the lineup and give himself every chance to justify giving up a second round pick for him for… reasons. That doesn’t mean Rundblad is going to have the inside track on the #6 spot, because Q will eat his entire cigar collection if that were to happen.

When I look real hard, I think I can see what Stan sees in Rundblad. He does have a big shot. He does get it through. He does make a nice pass when he gets time. But that’s the caveat. “When he gets time.” Runds needs about five minutes to make that pass. Or get that shot off. And while he does have instincts on how to get into open ice and free himself up, he doesn’t have the feet to get him there in time.

It’s like Rundblad’s skills and skates are mismatched. He wants to play a puck-moving, aggressive game, but he’s got free safety feet. I can’t think of an offensive d-men who couldn’t skate really well. I thought it was Anton Stralman, but after watching him for six games in June he’s a far better skater than Rundblad. Combine that with Rundblad’s defensive allergies, his lack of physical stability when engaged along the boards, and it’s really hard to say what it is, in fact, that Rundblad gives you.

Everything Else

draft_lens1960363module9273829photo_1209145008daffy-duck-donald-duck vs oldschool

Game Time: 7:00PM Central
TV/Radio: NBCSN, CBC, TVA, WGN-AM 720
Prison Bound: Anaheim Calling, Battle of California

Because seemingly nothing can ever be simple or straightforward with this iteration of the Hawks, they now find themselves in an unfamiliar situation under Joel Quenneville: being forced to win a Game 6 at home in order to force a Game 7 after tying the series at 2-2 on Saturday. And in their way remain the Anaheim Ducks, who are looking to punch their ticket to the Cup final while keeping themselves undefeated in regulation this post season.

Everything Else

oldschool at duck tales

Game Time: 2:00PM Central
TV/Radio: NBC, CBC (Anglo), TVA (Franco), WGN-AM 720
Waste Of Mind: Anaheim Calling, Battle of California

Yes, they are in fact still playing. And the Western Conference Final at long last begins this afternoon in Orange County, where the Ducks look to advance to their first Cup final since 2007, and the the Hawks attempt to win their third Cup in six seasons.