FORMER ICEHOGS HELP LIFT BLACKHAWKS INTO FINALS

By: Mike Peck
Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images
For the first time in 18 years the Chicago Blackhawks are going to the Stanley Cup Finals, and the team has a distinct Rockford IceHogs flavor to it.

Nine former IceHogs skaters have contributed to the Blackhawks Western Conference championship run, including goalie Antti Niemi who is 12-4 in the postseason with a .921 save percentage and a 2.33 goals against average.

Niemi helped backstop Chicago to a series sweep of the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference Finals and has won eight of his last nine playoff games overall. The Vantaa, Finland native allowed just seven goals in the four games against San Jose.

No player has been more clutch in this season’s Stanley Cup Playoffs than former IceHogs winger Dustin Byfuglien. Byfuglien tallied four goals in the Western Conference Finals, three of them counting as the game winner. The Minneapolis, Minn. native’s eight goals lead all Chicago skaters overall in the playoffs, all coming in the Blackhawks last eight games.

Former Rockford centerman Dave Bolland has also elevated his play as the playoffs have grown old. Bolland anchored the line for Chicago that helped shutdown the Sharks top line in the Western Conference Finals, including Joe Thornton, holding the All-Star winger to just one assist in four games.

Other former IceHogs appearing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Blackhawks include Kris Versteeg, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Troy Brouwer, Bryan Bickell, Colin Fraser and Jordan Hendry.

The Blackhawks now await the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals series between the Montreal Canadians and Philadelphia Flyers. Game 5 in that series is on Monday with the Flyers leading 3-1.

Chicago hasn’t appeared in the Stanley Cup Finals since 1992 when they were swept by the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Blackhawks last Stanley Cup Championship came in 1961 when they knocked off the Detroit Red Wings in six games.




Search Archive »




Browse by Year »

2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
200
0

Browse by Month »

July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010

December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
December 0200