Photo by Maggie Avila
It’s not just NHL fans that are angry. It appears that the Chicago Blackhawks farm team the Rockford IceHogs are angry as well. They are currently leading their Western Conference with PIM (penalty in minutes) with 672. The next closest in their conference is the Oklahoma City Barons with 521.
The angriest Icehogs are as follows:
Brandon Bollig – 109 PIM
Kyle Beach – 92 PIM
Andrew Shaw – 73 PIM
While these names are probably not too surprising what probably is a little surprising is that Andrew Shaw has only played in 20 games because he has been suspended for the balance. One of his suspensions was for six games. Why so angry Andrew? Your fans want to see you on the ice.
Now one can speculate the hostility is due to maybe a disappointment with not being able to play in the NHL and a bad attitude or the difference is schedule between the NHL and AHL or the adjustment to new teammates and coaches and a new league.
Whatever the reason, while it is good to see that the young guns have grit and that they will not be pushed around they are also not helping their team or their causes. By leading in PIM they are putting themselves at a great disadvantage with always being on the PK and having to defend places a lot of pressure on their goaltenders as well.
It also speaks to a lack of discipline and it lets the rest of the teams in the AHL know that you can easily rile this team into taking some inopportune penalties. The IceHogs gave up way too many goals because they put themselves in bad positions. Right now they are only one game above 500 with 35% of the season played.
Coach Dent has to be really frustrated but at the same time he also must coach players he and they both know should be on the big club and must work with attitudes. He has not called out names but has indicated that there are some that are well, feeling sorry for themselves that they are not playing on the Blackhawks. The only thing is the coaches and brass from the Blackhawks are also watching and assessing as well.
The IceHogs who spent time with the Blackhawks should be doing much better in the AHL and to let attitude be the reason is unprofessional and doubtful that it will be tolerated in Chicago. The IceHogs are on pace actually for the same record that they had last year without all of this talent so it is really a puzzlement. The frustrating thing is you know this team has the potential to be really special with all their talents.
While fans may understand the anger I’m not sure they are thrilled with it. It really is not fair to the fans in Rockford or the children that want your jerseys. The former Hawks have an opportunity to really shine and impress not only the Blackhawks but other clubs as well with scouts being at these games more than usual with the NHL lockout. The more in demand you are the more your worth.
The one thing about this team is they are young very young with maybe some growing pains. What is it they say about missed opportunities – nothing is more expensive?
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