White Sox

Blackhawks 'D' will adjust without Keith

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Blackhawks 'D' will adjust without Keith

The NHL has spoken and Duncan Keith has accepted his punishment: the Blackhawks defenseman will sit for the next five games for his elbow to Daniel Sedins jaw, rejoining the team for their final two regular-season games in Minnesota and Detroit.

But between now and then the Blackhawks have to press on without him. And much like the forwards had to adjust and take on responsibility in Jonathan Toews absence, the defensemen have to do the same during Keiths suspension. It will start Sunday night when the Blackhawks host the Nashville Predators.

Keith said he accepts the NHLs punishment and respects the job they do he didnt want to elaborate on some topics, including the talk he had with Brendan Shanahan or Sedins hit on him earlier in Wednesdays game. So while his teammates play on, Keith will try to take advantage of this down time as best he can.

Im going to get as much rest as I can, eat properly, get lots of sleep and be working out with Paul (Goodman, the Blackhawks strength and conditioning coach), Keith said. I want to keep sharp, stay in game shape, and Ill do that. I respect (the decision), Ill serve the five games and look forward to getting back.

Meanwhile, the Blackhawks will adjust. Niklas Hjalmarsson will pair with Brent Seabrook while Sean ODonnell will return to the lineup and team with rookie Dylan Olsen. Nick Leddy and Johnny Oduya, who have formed a good pair since Oduya was acquired at the trade deadline, will stay together.

For Hjalmarsson, a chance to go against opponents top players is enticing.

Its a great challenge. I did it at the beginning of the season and I enjoy doing it, he said. Every nights a big challenge playing against the opponents top line, I love that.

Still, he knows playing more minutes will be an adjustment. Hjalmarsson played more than 20 minutes on Wednesday, but it was the first time hes played that much in a game since early February, before he suffered his concussion.

I havent been playing that much lately and Ive been gone for a while, he said. Itll be a real good test for me to see how I can hold up.

Keith has had his good and bad games this season. But one thing is certain: he can, and has, played a lot of minutes; and the remaining Blackhawks defensemen will have to pick those up.

Whether its more responsibility as far as quality of ice or more ice, everyone has to absorb something there, coach Joel Quenneville said. Nobodys being asked to play differently than they normally play. Hammer and Seabrook, theyve played together in the past and we have some familiarity there. We can make adjustments in games but were comfortable going in that it should work.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Meet the real Tim Anderson

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Meet the real Tim Anderson

On the latest White Sox Talk Podcast, Tim Anderson opens up about his struggles in 2017 and why he wants White Sox fans "to know the real me."

Anderson dives into his personal tragedy from last season when his best friend was murdered in Alabama. 

He talks with Chuck Garfien about the dark days that happened, how counseling helped him, his new leadership role in 2018, if he'll draw more walks this season, "bringing swag to the South Side" with Yoan Moncada and much more.

Listen to the full White Sox Talk Podcast right here:

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

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AP

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

Four fans at the United Center were thrown out of Saturday's Blackhawks game for taunting Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly with racist remarks.

Midway through the third period, Smith-Pelly, who is black, was in the penalty box when fans shouted "basketball, basketball, basketball" at him, the Washington Post reported.

Here is a GIF of Smith-Pelly's interaction with the fans:

After the game, the Blackhawks released this statement:

Capitals head coach Barry Trotz also had this to say about the incident: