The Rockford IceHogs ended 2017 with two losses and started 2018 with two more losses, to bring that losing streak to four. Fortunately, they won three of the next four, before losing their last two.
They now stand at 21-15-2-3 with 47 points and a .573 winning percentage. That’s good for 3rd place in the Central Division and 6th overall in the Western Conference.
Statistically, they are slightly above middle of the pack, which for now is good enough to qualify for the playoffs. Offensively, they are tied for 2nd in the Western Conference in goals scored, which is very good and shows improvement. Unfortunately, they are 12th in goals against. At 130-125, their team +/- is only +5. Strangely, the 4th place Milwaukee Admirals at 21-14-4-0 have a +/- of -3. The 1st place Manitoba Moose at 26-8-3-2 have a +/- of +55, well ahead of the pack.
One very interesting stat is their 415 penalty minutes are the 2nd fewest in the entire AHL. The IceHogs are playing clean hockey and not putting additional pressure on their thin goalie rotation.
In the absence of Jeff Glass, who is up with the Chicago Blackhawks, Collin Delia has started 8 of the 11 games, with Matt Tomkins getting the other starts. Delia has gone 4-4, with Tomkins going 0-3 in that stretch. With Corey Crawford’s status very much in question, Glass appears to be out of the picture for the IceHogs this season. Delia and Tomkins have a tremendous opportunity. They must settle down that position.
Individually offensively, Matthew Highmore leads the club with 26 points. My season “Click to Pick” defenseman Darren Raddysh has 11 points, but a +/- of +9.
Next up for the IceHogs is an away game in Cleveland tomorrow night, followed by another away game in Grand Rapids on Saturday. They have a couple days off, before returning home on Tuesday to host Bakersfield.