Jimmy Hayes has regained his scoring touch, but the Rockford IceHogs have dropped five straight at home.
The Chicago Blackhawks AHL affiliate in Rockford snapped a franchise-record six-game losing skid last week. However, the IceHogs are still on a run of futility in their own building.
Rockford was blanked by Houston Saturday night at the BMO Center. The 2-0 win by the Aeros marked the IceHogs' fifth straight defeat at home. This is approaching the franchise nadir of six consecutive home losses.
The fans are standing by their team, as Rockford is drawing what would top the 2010-11 season's all-time attendance record of 4330 per game. The 4476 fans who have frequented the BMO on average this season have been rewarded with a 12-13 home record.
Rockford did break their losing streak with some style, rallying in Texas from a 4-1 deficit and prevailing 5-4 in an 11-round shootout. They beat Peoria 4-2 before returning home and coming up empty against the Aeros.
The IceHogs now stand at 22-24-1-1 on the 2012-13 campaign. Their 46 points places them 14th out of the 15 Western Conference teams and seven points from the last playoff spot.
Karlsson Sees Plenty Of Action
Rockford fans got their first look at recent acquisition Henrik Karlsson as he drew the start over Carter Hutton Saturday night.
Karlsson was still sporting his Calgary Flames mask after being traded for last month. He stopped 32 of 34 shots while taking the loss. He has given up just three goals in his two losses as Rockford has been shut out in both games.
Karlsson has started four of Rockford's five February tilts. Hutton gave up three goals in a 3-2 loss to Houston on February 3. Karlsson is definitely deserving of more ice time than previous backup Alec Richards. Hutton was a workhorse in goal this season and the minutes may have worn him down a bit.
Hutton may also be nursing a sore hand from last month's tussle with Grand Rapids goalie Petr Mrazek. Whatever the reason for Karlsson's active schedule, he has played pretty well for the IceHogs. The net could be manned by a tandem for the remainder of the season.
Hayes Finding The Net Again
Jimmy Hayes had really been struggling in December and early January. The big winger has found his scoring touch recently.
Since being moved out of the middle of the ice, Hayes has nine goals in his last 12 contests. That includes a pair of two-goal efforts.
He has just two assists in that span, perhaps suggesting that he is better suited as a wing. That hasn't stopped the team from sending him out as a center again.
Broadhurst Gets On The Board
Up until last weekend, Terry Broadhurst hadn't registered a point since coming to the IceHogs January 9. He broke an eight-game scoreless streak by logging points in both Rockford wins last week.
Broadhurst had a goal and an assist in the Texas win last Tuesday. He then contributed a pair of helpers in the Peoria win Friday.
The IceHogs visit Peoria again Wednesday night before attempting to break the home skid Saturday versus Abbotsford and Sunday against Lake Erie.