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The Rockford IceHogs split a home-and-home with the Chicago Wolves over the weekend. Rather than give you the blow-by-blow this week, I thought I would weigh in with some thoughts on the Hogs as they enter February still atop the Midwest Division of the American Hockey League.

Normally I will spend a couple of hours Sunday breaking down the past week’s action. However, between the Super Bowl, shoveling my driveway and proctoring an 11-year old through a book report, I am taking a slightly different course.

With some player movement taking place over the last few days, let’s take a look at the current bunch. I’m just going to riff; perhaps an intelligent observation or two will sneak out of my head.

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After a big week of action that saw the Rockford IceHogs hold two consecutive opponents scoreless, the Chicago Blackhawks called up a forward. That player may come as a bit of a surprise. Dennis Rasmussen will be joining the Blackhawks as they head on their post-All-Star break road trip.

The 24-year-old center is in his rookie season in Rockford and has eight goals and eight assists in 44 games with the IceHogs. He’s a plus-ten and has been a mainstay on a strong penalty kill unit.

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Chicago Blackhawks defensive prospect Stephen Johns missed nearly seven weeks of action following a concussion suffered back in Rockford November 26. Johns made his return to the lineup this past weekend for the IceHogs. It was fitting that he came back against the team he last played against.

Johns skated with Klas Dahlbeck Friday night against the Iowa Wild and Saturday in Chicago. The Hogs won both games and Johns showed he hasn’t lost his taste for contact.

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Two Rockford IceHogs were selected to participate in the AHL All-Star Classic, which will be held in Utica January 25-26. T.J. Brennan and Joakim Nordstrom were selected to represent Rockford, who still maintain the lead in the AHL’s Midwest Division.

T.J. Brennan is on the Western Conference All-Stars for the second straight season. Brennan leads the Hogs with 29 points in 38 games. He’s also a plus-16 at this point.

Joakim Nordstrom, currently with the Blackhawks, also made the Western Conference team. Nordstrom, who is Rockford’s captain when he’s in town, has 13 points (8 G, 5 A) in the 17 games he has skated with the IceHogs.

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Explaining the Rockford IceHogs current funk is pretty simple. The kids just aren’t getting the puck in opposing nets. The IceHogs still maintain the top spot in the AHL’s Midwest Division with 42 points in 34 games. The holidays have not been kind to the young Blackhawks prospects, though.

Rockford has dropped five of its last six games over the last two weeks. In four of those losses, the Hogs have been held to one goal. Coach Ted Dent has scrambled some of his forward lines as well as his defensive pairings to little avail.

Let me offer some opinion at this point.

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The Rockford IceHogs will be hosting nine of their next 15 games at home through next month. That’s fine by me; the IceHogs are limping home after losing the last three games of their six-game road trip.

Some recent events around the AHL prompted me to take a look at the drawing power of the Blackhawks affiliate out here in Northwest Illinois. You might be surprised. Then again, you may not.

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The Rockford IceHogs will be hosting nine of their next 15 games at home through next month. That’s fine by me; the IceHogs are limping home after losing the last three games of their six-game road trip.

Some recent events around the AHL prompted me to take a look at the drawing power of the Blackhawks affiliate out here in Northwest Illinois. You might be surprised. Then again, you may not.

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The Rockford IceHogs ran their road record to 10-4-0-1 this week. The AHL’s Midwest Division leaders beat the Admirals in Milwaukee for the second time in six days Wednesday night. Rockford then split a pair of games at Lake Erie over the weekend.

Heading into another week of travel, Rockford is piling up points away from the BMO Harris Bank Center. One big factor in this road surge has been a dominating penalty kill. Come to think of it, it’s been pretty darn good at home as well.

In 2013-14, the Hogs were an absolute joke when shorthanded. They were dead last in the AHL in this department with a 72.3 success rate. Here are some numbers that show the dramatic change from a season ago:

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The Rockford IceHogs had a week of highs and lows against division opponents. The Hogs turned in an impressive performance in Milwaukee before dropping less than stellar efforts at home against Grand Rapids and Lake Erie, the two bottom teams of the AHL’s Midwest Division.

If Rockford is content to do its best work on the road for the time being, this is a good stretch for them. The IceHogs play their next six games away from the BMO, starting Wednesday night in Milwaukee.

The Hogs are now 16-6-2-1 and lead the Midwest Divison with 35 points. That total also puts Rockford in a tie for the top seed in the Western Conference.

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The Rockford IceHogs took a bit of a pounding this past week. Several Blackhawks prospects got banged up in a physical affair with the Iowa Wild on November 26. Rockford came out on top in that contest, then dropped a home-and-home with the Chicago Wolves over the weekend.

Despite the losses to their Midwest Division rival, Rockford did take three of a possible six points to stay on top of the AHL standings. They did, however, pay a price for those points.