Article By: Nate Haeni
05/29/2015 10:38 AM
HOGS --> HAWKS
The Chicago Blackhawks are on the verge of their third trip to the Stanley Cup Final in six years, and the team has received plenty of help from Rockford IceHogs alumni along the way.
Chicago is set to play in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals at 7 p.m. on Saturday against the Anaheim Ducks with the winner advancing to the Stanley Cup Final. Eleven former IceHogs have made an impact in the Blackhawks 2015 Stanley Cup Playoff run thus far.
Leading the way for the Blackhawks is the goaltending tandem of Corey Crawford and Scott Darling. Crawford has handled much of the load in net so far. The 30 year-old shows a record of 8-4-1 in the playoffs with a 2.53 goals against average, .918 save percentage and one shutout. When the Blackhawks and Crawford fluttered in their opening round of the playoffs it was Darling that helped bail them out. The Lemont, Ill. native posted three wins along with a .936 save percentage (3rd in the NHL) and 2.21 goals against average (8th in the NHL) to help eliminate the Nashville Predators. Darling made a remarkable 50 saves to steal a triple overtime victory in Game 4 after stopping all 42 shots he faced in Game 1 during a relief appearance in his first career postseason action.
Former IceHogs forward Andrew Shaw leads the Blackhawks and ranks fourth in the NHL with 34 penalty minutes. Shaw has also registered four goals and five assists.
Forward Brandon Saad is tied for third on the club with five goals, while rookie Teuvo Teravainen has recorded six points (2g-4a), including his first career postseason tally which won Game 1 in the second round against the Minnesota Wild.
Defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson has been a goaltender’s best friend as he ranks tied for fourth in the NHL with 40 blocked shots. Bryan Bickell, named Rockford’s 2008-09 Heavy Hitter, paces all NHL skaters in the postseason with 99 hits, which is 25 more than the next closest player (Brooks Orpik-74).
Other Hogs alumni who have suited up and played in the postseason include: Kyle Cumiskey, Marcus Kruger, Joakim Nordstrom and Kris Versteeg.