It’s a One Way Ticket to Midnight

Plenty of farm action from the weekend to catch up on, but before, let’s take a look at how the Hawks stack up now with Brian Campbell on the shelf for the forseeable future.  (Quick note: we’ll have a better idea of how serious Campbell’s injury is tomorrow when Stan Bowman addresses the media for the first time about it.  The lack of chatter suggests two things 1.) it’s pretty serious and 2.) they want to know just how serious before they open up their mouths.)

The most important thing now is the Hawks make sure Kim Johnsson is healthy.  When he’s at his best, he’s basically Campbell-lite.  If everything goes to plan, the Hawks have about 35 to 45 games left in their season.  If Johnsson plays at high level for about 25 of those games, then the Hawks could, conceivably,  go on without missing a beat.  Of course, if it doesn’t, then the Brian Campbell injury will become the crutch of the 2009-2010 season.

It’s really funny, actually.  Last year, we told anyone who would listen that Brian Campbell was better than the mouth-breathers insisted.  All he did was put up his second best offensive season all while playing the majority of the season with the Hawks worst defenseman. 

This year, he’s been less effective on the offensive side, more responsible on the defensive side (with a little help from Ham Sandwich), and suddenly, the Hawks can’t live without him.  I’m not trying to downplay his absence, I’m really not.  It stinks for the team but especially sucks for him.  It’s just humorous how the tides turn in the court of public opinion. 

While Campbell was the best defensemen for the Hawks last year in the playoffs, Duncan Keith should have a much better postseason this year.  This notion that Keith was worn out by the playoffs is kind of misguided.  His play tailed off well before April.  You know how I know?  Because I wrote about it last year at the end of March.

I’m not making any promises for Brent Seabrook because he’s pretty much a lost cause at this point, but with the anticipation of a better Keith and the hope that Johnsson can be 85% the player an effective Campbell is, the Hawks should be ok.

Or you can just go back to telling all your friends, relatives, and neighbors the Hawks won’t make it past the first round.   

*On the Farm*

Friday: Manitoba Moose 6, Rockford IceHogs 1- The IceHogs never stood a chance.  What with Hannu Toivonen allowing 3 goals on 9 shots with his team doubling the opposition in shots.  Toivonen was yanked three minutes into the second period and the score was 3-0.  Corey Crawford didn’t fare much better, stopping 17 of the 20 shots.  Matt Keith’s goal with less than a minute in the second period was the lone highlight for Rockford. 

Saturday: Rockford 6, Manitoba 3– It didn’t take long for Rockford to get their revenge on Manitoba.  After trailing 2-1 heading into the second, the IceHogs scored three unanswered goals to grab a 4-2 lead.  Kyle Greentree, Evan Brophey, and Jack Skille were the goal scorers.  The Moose scored with less than two minutes in the game to cut the lead to one, but Rockford scored twice in the empty net to pad the lead and some stats.  Greentree and Danny Bois scored on the empty net. 

Bryan Bickell was the number one star of the game with three assists and Matt Keith had two assists.  Skille added an assist to go with his goal.  Richard Petiot put the IceHogs on the board with his 7th goal of the year.

Corey Crawford got the win with 23 saves.

Sunday: Rockford 3, Houston Aeros 2 (SO)- The IceHogs returned home after two days in Manitoba to take on the Houston Aeros.  The IceHogs scored twice in the second period to grab a 2-1 lead.  Danny Bois scored his 10th goal of the year with assists from Rob Klinkhammer and Darryl Phillips.  Seven minutes later, Peter MacArthur scored with help from Matt Keith and Richard Petiot.

The Aeros tied it late in the third and the game went to overtime and then, a shootout.  Evan Brophey and Danny Bois scored for Rockford while Corey Crawford stopped all four shots he faced to give the extra point to the IceHogs.

Shawn Lalonde closed out his season (and junior career)with a goal and three assists in his final two games in a Belleville Bulls uniform.  He finished the season 5th among defensemen in scoring with 13 goals and 43 assists in 58 games.  Belleville did not qualify for the playoffs so it would be safe to assume that Lalonde will see some time with Rockford before their year is out.

Kyle Beach had three assists in two games.  He did not dress in Spokane’s final game of the regular season.  Beach finished the regular season as the goal scoring leader in the WHL with 52 goals in 68 games.  If Jordan Eberle didn’t miss a handful of games playing in the World Juniors, Beach probably wouldn’t have been the leader as Eberle scored 50 goals in 57 games. 

Beach and the Chiefs open up the playoffs on Saturday night against the Portland Winterhawks.

Byron Froese had a goal and an assist in three games for Everett.  He finished the season 4th on his team in scoring with 29 goals and 32 assists in 70 games.  The Silvertips open up the playoffs on Friday night against the Kelowna Rockets.

–In their three game series of the WCHA tournament, Blackhawk prospects Dylan Olsen and Billy Sweatt went head-to-head with a NCAA Tournament berth hanging in the balance.  Olsen had no points and was a -2 on the weekend.  Sweatt had two assists in Colorado College’s win on Saturday night and was a -1 for the weekend.  UMD won the deciding game on Sunday, 4-0, and moves on to the next round.   

Sweatt finished his senior season as the Tigers leading scorer with 15 goals and 18 assists in 39 games.  It will be interesting to see if he gets shipped to Rockford.

David Pacan scored the game-winning goal for Vermont in their 1-0 win on Saturday night.  Vermont upset New Hampshire, the number one seed in the Hockey East Tournament. 

Nick Leddy had no points for Minnesota as they were eliminated from the WCHA tournament by North Dakota in a three-game set, thus ending the Golden Gophers underwhelming season.

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17 Responses to It’s a One Way Ticket to Midnight

  1. Patrick says:

    John – good analysis and very true – last year’s whipping boy is this year’s missing link. This is an opportunity for players to step up, or they can use it as a crutch. Not that it matters, but I vote for the “step up” option, and I think they will and once they get into the seond round, they can move back into Luongo’s head. Just please, please, please, no Detriot in the first round! Would love to see them match up against SJ.

    BTW, did Boynton make it through?

  2. Lee Rosenberg says:

    John: Tow questions
    Beech-Lalonde-Sweat are they good enough to come all the way up to the Hawks and is that allowed?

  3. Dave Morris says:

    So is Johnsson ‘healthy’? Latest is he’s travelling with the team but no confirmation whether or not he’s ready to play.

    Still waiting on Boynton to clear waivers.

    If he does, and Johnsson has to miss one or more games on the West Coast trip, defense corps looks like this:

    Keith, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson, Sopel, Hendry, Boynton.

    Mix and match as you wish.

  4. Dave Morris says:

    @Patrick>before you jump for joy over a possible SJ-DET matchup, remember that the Wings have beaten the Sharks 3 out of 4 games in their season series, outscoring them 12-7.

    Let the chips fall where they may.

  5. Patrick says:

    Dave – right – I just know I don’t want the Hawks to play the Wings in the first round. Yep, let the chips fall…

  6. John says:

    Lee–It is allowed for them to come all the way up once their seasons end. Sweatt and Lalonde are done; Beach still has to finish out the playoffs with Spokane. I highly doubt they’re good enough, but stranger things have happened.

  7. Dave Morris says:

    Shawn Lalonde has been assigned to Rockford:
    http://blackhawks.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=521553

    The Talented Mr Lalonde could become the substitute for #51 should be the playoff opportunity present itself.

    @Patrick> any way you slice it, the Blackhawks will have to play smarter, tougher and simpler down the road…which might not be a bad thing. And being underdogs instead of overdogs for a change.

    For better or worse, we rock with the Blackhawk.

  8. John says:

    You know what Lee, I take that back about Sweatt. I don’t believe he’s signed on a pro contract so he can’t make it all the way up this year. The likely scenario with him is he signs an amateur contract with the IceHogs. Lalonde and Beach have pro contracts so they technically can make it with the big boys.

    Once again, though, I would stress that if either are up with the Hawks, that’s not good.

  9. Dave Morris says:

    1350 ET, from Blackhawks.com…

    The following statement was issued today by Chicago Blackhawks Head Team Physician Dr. Michael Terry:

    “Brian Campbell suffered a clavicle fracture and a rib fracture on Sunday. He will likely avoid surgery and we anticipate a full recovery. He should be ready to play in approximately seven to eight weeks.”

  10. Dave Morris says:

    Boynton clears waivers, per Bob McKenzie at TSN.

  11. Patrick says:

    Preach on brother Dave.

  12. Lee says:

    Are we still in the playoffs in 7 to 8 weeks?

  13. Dave Morris says:

    Patrick> salvation is just a shot away, Blackhawk Brother.

    PS Huet has the flu and Brother Corey joins Q’s Travelling Medicine Show.

  14. Lee says:

    Why did they bring Crawford up?

  15. Lou says:

    Lee, he is a ninja warrior who is gonna help train the softies

  16. Dave Morris says:

    Lee> your new hero has arrived. Say a big Hawk hello to Nasty Nick Boynton.

  17. Patrick says:

    Let the age of Boynton begin.

    One question, was Walker’s play in the 2009 playoffs considered a success? I’m torn on that. Could Boynton be the second coming – correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t he an All Star at one point?

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