In case you were wondering how Coach Mike Haviland is doing in his new home at the AHL Blackhawks affiliate Rockford IceHogs, one look at the standings in the Western Conference will tell you he is doing quite well. At the halfway point of the season, the Hogs sit in first place, having recently ended a 16-game point streak. Martin St. Pierre has a 14-game scoring streak, the longest in the AHL this season. St. Pierre leads the IceHogs with 44 points including 31 assists, and is second in the league in total scoring. There is still a long way to go in the season, and the pesky Chicago Wolves are nipping at the Hogs heels, one point back in the standings. The two teams meet tonight in Rockford with the top spot in the divison on the line. (No local TV here covers the game, you can listen or watch on the web)
Coach Havliand is building off of the Coach of the Year season he had in Norfolk, last year before the club moved to its new home. Coaching in the AHL is very different as your NHL ‘parent’ club is likely to take your best, or at least borrow them to fill in for injuries, or send players ’down’, altering team chemistry. Congratulations on a fine first half, let’s hope the second half is as good and leads to a great playoff run!