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The Rockford IceHogs continue to limp toward the end of the 2016-17 campaign. The Blackhawks AHL affiliate dropped a weekend set with Grand Rapids, losing in Michigan Friday before being shutout at the BMO Harris Bank Center the following evening.

Since losing several top scorers at the NHL trade deadline, the Hogs have not fared well. They’ve lost ten of their last eleven; Saturday’s 4-0 loss to the Griffins put an exclamation point on what has been a franchise-low showing this season.

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The Rockford IceHogs got an influx of new talent last week, with some of the new kids making an immediate impact. The Hogs managed three of a possible six points in three contests this past week.

The two newest faces belonged to defenseman Luc Snuggerud and forward Anthony Louis, who both signed amateur tryout contracts following their signing with Chicago. Both players got into action beginning this past weekend.

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To say the Rockford IceHogs have been depleted by the deadline deals of their parent club would be a massive understatement.

Hey, that’s the way it goes when you are an affiliate. As the AHL season approaches the final weeks, the fact remains that the Hogs are going to be suffering from a definite lack of manpower.

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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 dropped both of their games this past weekend, firmly establishing themselves in the basement of the American Hockey League. It has been a frustrating season to say the least over in Winnebago County. That said, I really have to blame myself for what got me so riled up yesterday.

Yes…I visited the IceHogs season ticket holder page on facebook, where folks were casting their ire about what is fast becoming a lost season. The primary target was goaltender Mac Carruth, who gave up four goals in just over 20 minutes of Saturday’s 5-2 loss to Grand Rapids.

I’ve been hinting at writing in depth on Carruth and the goalie situation for a few weeks. Reading the comments, in addition to what I hear in the BMO stands, has officially pushed me over the edge.

I ran into a fellow IceHogs fan at the grocery store Sunday afternoon. We talked about Rockford’s signing of Jeff Glass, a veteran of the KHL, to an AHL contract this past week. One hypothosis formulated by the two of us is the possibility that a goalie in the Hawks organization (likely Scott Darling…sorry) will be leaving via trade.

“So, I guess the Hawks will call up (Lars) Johansson to back up Crow if that happens,” the person offered.

“Maybe,” I said, “but the guy they should call up is Carruth.”

After I picked my fellow fan off the floor, we exchanged good-byes and went on with our respective weekends. Had we enough time to spend discussing hockey in the check-out line, I would have been able to elaborate.

Instead, I have chosen this forum to make my stand. Mac Carruth is not the cause of Rockford’s dismal performance this season. Here are my vociferous responses to the many arrows shot in his direction.

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The Rockford IceHogs, AHL affiliate to the Chicago Blackhawks, have not been a good road team this season. This past week was a glaring example of Rockford’s struggles in the home of the opposition.

The IceHogs dropped all four games of their most recent road trip, three of which came this week. Rockford did come back to the BMO Harris Bank Center and defeat Chicago Sunday. However, they were outscored 23-7 while they were out of town.

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250px-Ozymandias at ball-of-oil

Game Time: 8:00PM CST
TV/Radio: NBCSN, WGN-AM 720
Rear View Mirror: OilersNation

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The times, they are a-changing in Edmonton. They’ve got a fancy new building wherein the lights are actually at full power and the benches are on the proper side of the ice, even if that ice is not as fast or as high a quality as that at Northlands/SkyReach/Rexall (sky point). They’re even trying the novel concept of having the puck more than the other team, which so far has yielded positive, if modest results.

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You best believe I’m going to start calling Alex DeBrincat “Top Cat” when he gets here. Try and stop me. He’s got cat moves and he’s got cat style.

You’ve probably seen this already, but if you haven’t the Hawks’ second round pick from June, Alex DeBrincat, is absolutely torching the OHL so far this season. Like, it’s Mongolian hordes shit. So far in just 14 games, Top Cat has 17 goals and 18 assists for 34 points. He’s also averaging almost five shots per game at 4.8.

I was curious what became of players the past few years who have averaged two points per game in the O. It has happened, and while the OHL is pretty free-wheeling it’s not the QMJHL. There are certainly some names here.