Who is between the pipes tonight?
10/27/2008 11:30 AM - Chris Etheridge
Here's a heart-breaker for you: Goalie Ben Bishop, who started the season with Peoria but got his first recall last week to back up St. Louis' Manny Legacy, felt something strange on Sunday in the middle of what could have been a shutout in his first career NHL start. The rookie (and at 6' 7" the tallest person to ever wear the goalie pads in an NHL game) was making his second appearance in as many nights in front of his hometown crowd and couldn't finish the game. That has to be tough.
But it's probably even more difficult for the St. Louis Blues, who have now put four different goalies on the ice through just eight games. Their #1 and #2 goalies are both out right now with injuries but could be back as early as Thursday. Legacy left the game on Saturday after falling on a piece of carpet in front of the bench during warm-ups, and Chris Mason has been off the ice after an emergency appendectomy on Oct. 16. So Bishop and Marek Schwarz both suited up for Sunday's game. Schwarz already had one recall this season to back up Legacy. Then the Blues swapped Bishop for Schwarz as Legacy's back up in the middle of last week.
So what do all of these moves mean for the Peoria Rivermen? Without their #1 and #2 goalies in St. Louis, the Rivermen recalled Chris Holt from Alaska and they signed a guy from Chicago, who hasn't played since the late 1990s and only appeared in three games over two seasons back then. Talk about an emergency signing.
The kicker? The Rivermen won both of those games against Lake Erie thanks to an offense that posted 10 goals.
Something like this happend to the IceHogs last year a couple of times. Wade Flahery had to leave a game with a leg injury on Dec. 1 in Manchester. Corey Crawford finished the game and played on Dec. 5 against Syracuse. But without time to call Mike Brodeur from Pensacola, the IceHogs signed former UHL IceHogs goalie Marty Magers to go with the team on a weekend trip to Lake Erie.
Wade Flaherty was still out with a leg injury and #3 goalie Mike Brodeur was between the pipes on Jan. 13 against Quad City. He got hit in the head with a stick and had to leave the game. Crawford finished the contest and the IceHogs had to call up Kellen Briggs from Idaho to back up Crawford for about a week as the other two recovered.
Then there was this one: Nikolai Khabibulin was injured in a practice in late February, so the Blackhawks recalled Crawford to back up Patrick Lalime. This was right as the IceHogs were arriving in Milwaukee to play the Admirals that night, so they had to sign a retired goalie Jeffrey Dotson to back up Wade Flahery. Dotson had only palyed in three professional games.
Pregame notes for 10/26/08
10/26/2008 11:29 AM - Chris Etheridge
Special Team Brent: Rockford’s leading point scorer Tim Brent has two goals and seven assists through seven games and all of them have come on the special teams. Brent leads Rockford with eight power-play points (1g-7a) and scored the IceHogs first shorthanded goal of the season on Saturday against Norfolk.
Speaking of Power Play: Through seven games in 2008-09, the IceHogs have chipped in at least one power-play goal in each of them. Overall, Rockford is 13-for-46 on the advantage, a 28.3 percent conversion rate, second best in the AHL.
Pelletier’s Point Production: Winger Pascal Pelletier is riding a five-game point streak heading into today’s game against Chicago. Pelletier extended the point streak last night with a helper against Norfolk. During his hot stretch, Pelletier has 2g-3a-5pts.
Pick Your Poison: Through seven games the IceHogs have jumped out to a 6-1-0-0 start and a lot of that can be attributed to the goaltending. Both Corey Crawford and Antti Niemi are riding three game winning streaks while splitting time between Rockford’s pipes. The combo has posted a combined save percentage of .932 and a 2.08 goals against average so far in 2008-09.
So We Meet Again: Today’s game between Rockford and Chicago marks the beginning of a 10 game regular season series for the West Division rivals. Last season the two cubs met a total of 17 times between the regular season and postseason, the most ever meetings for Rockford in a single season.
But The First Meeting For These Two: Both Rockford and Chicago feature new head coaches. Overall, the AHL has 12 new head bench bosses and the West Division contains four of them. Rockford’s new coach is Bill Peters. He took over for Mike Haviland who was promoted to the Blackhawks as an assistant coach. Don Granato replaces John Anderson who received a promotion of his own, the head coaching duties with the Atlanta Thrashers.
First Period Control: Slow starts haven’t hampered the IceHogs in the early stages of 2008-09. Rockford in the first period is outscoring the opposition 8-1 in the first period. In the second and third period combined, the Hogs are outscoring the opponents 16-14 and have added two more shootout tallies to the total.
No Three in Three For A While: After today’s contest, the IceHogs do not have three games in three nights until Dec. 11-13. And they only have seven back-to-back-to-back sessions in the 2008-09 season.
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