|(Photo by Greg Hamil)|
1st Star: G Antti Raanta, Rockford (AHL)
The Line: 3GS, 3-0-0-0
Raanta improved to 5-1-0-0 in his first American Hockey League campaign by winning all three of his starts last week. The Finland native made a combined 97 saves on 102 shots for a .951 save percentage, helping Rockford jump to first place in the Western Division. Raanta’s most impressive outing came on Sunday, when he saved 46 of 48 shots against the Texas Stars in a 4-2 win, including all 19 faced in the third period.
|(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)|
1st Star: LW Jeremy Morin, Rockford (AHL)
The Line: 2GP, 2G, 2A
Morin paced the IceHogs with four points last weekend, tallying a goal and an assist in two consecutive games. Morin also tallied a shootout goal in Rockford’s 5-4 shootout victory over Grand Rapids on Saturday night. He ranks second on the team with seven points (3G, 4A) in his first six games—sharing 10th in the league—and paces the American Hockey League with 29 shots on goal.
The Blackhawks' 3-2 shootout win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, Oct. 15, marked the franchise's 2,500th regular-season victory in the National Hockey League, coming nearly 87 years after their first-ever win on Nov. 17, 1926, a 4-1 decision against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Chicago Coliseum. Since that inaugural season, the Blackhawks have played 5,948 games and faced 45 opponents, including eight defunct franchises. Below, the Blackhawks Blog takes a look at the making of 2,500 wins:
Click the image to view full-size graphic (JPG)
|(Photo by Bill Smith)|
1st Star: C Drew LeBlanc, Rockford (AHL)
The Line: 2GP, 2G, 1A
LeBlanc, the 2013 Hobey Baker Award winner, tallied his first professional points over the weekend, staging a two-goal outing on Friday in Lake Erie, including the game-winner. The next night, he added his first assist as an IceHog. LeBlanc signed as a free agent out of St. Cloud State in the former WCHA.
1st Star: RW Ryan Hartman, Plymouth (OHL)
The Line: 3GP, 4G, 2A
Chicago’s 2013 first-round pick surged for six points in three games for the Plymouth Whalers last week, including a three-point night against Saginaw (2G, 1A) on Oct. 5. Hartman currently ranks first on the team and shares 17th in the Ontario Hockey League with nine points (6G, 3A) in his first seven games.
The Chicago Blackhawks presented players and executives with the 2013 Stanley Cup championship rings on Sunday evening at a lavish reception downtown JW Marriott hotel. This year's version presents a slightly more squarish shape, with tapered rubies drawing attention to the diamond-filled Indianhead logo at the center of the design. Here's how the two most recent championship rings compare:
The Stanley Cup arrived back in Chicago this morning, freshly inscribed with the names of the 2012-13 champion Blackhawks. Beginning with captain Jonathan Toews, 25 players were stamped into the silver chalice by Montreal-based engraver Louise St. Jacques. The playing roster was preceded by the names of 27 coaches, front office executives and hockey operations personnel. Included in the final list of 52 names were:
- Brandon Bollig: 25 games, five playoff appearances (the minimum requirement for the shortened season was 23 regular-season games or one Stanley Cup Final appearance)
- Sheldon Brookbank: 27 regular-season games, one playoff appearance
- Daniel Carcillo: 23 games, four playoff appearances
- Ben Smith: one regular-season game, one playoff appearance (Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final)
- Jamal Mayers: 19 regular-season games, no playoff appearances. Players and management petitioned for the 38-year-old to be included on the Cup due to his status as a veteran team leader.
Ten different goalscorers. Big tallies in all situations by team leaders (Kane, Toews, Bergeron, Lucic) and depth players alike (Kruger, Boychuk). Wide-open play and end-to-end action. And, once more, extra hockey, as the game reached overtime for the third time in the Stanley Cup Final. Game 4 had it all, including an underrated storyline: another group effort by Blackhawks blueliners, including Michal Rozsival, who was double-shifted all night; Duncan Keith, whose ice time surpassed 30 minutes for the fourth time in five games; and Brent Seabrook, whose second overtime game-winner of the postseason set a team mark.
Since 2010, the Blackhawks' chosen recreational activity on the road has been Mario Kart, the multi-player racing game featuring characters from the Mario franchise. It's a way for players to decompress and bond in between high-intensity games, allowing them to show their competitive spirit in another arena. That got the Blog wondering: Which video game character would each Blackhawks player be? Here are the results of the informal, highly unscientific poll:
If you need extra time to recover after Wednesday's marathon Game 1, don't worry, so did we. One day removed from the Blackhawks' 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins in triple overtime, and there's still plenty to talk about, including Chicago's depth once again coming through as Brandon Saad and Dave Bolland tallied their first goals of the playoffs (and not a moment too soon!), as well as the home team's domination in the shot attempt department, with just about everybody getting pucks through on Tuukka Rask. Bonus: Jaromir Jagr's longevity on display.