Blackhawks

Blackhawks return to Stanley Cup Playoffs action this week on CSN

Blackhawks return to Stanley Cup Playoffs action this week on CSN

First Round Coverage vs. Nashville Predators Begins WEDNESDAY NIGHT (Apr. 15) beginning at 5:30 PM CT; Face-off at 7:30 PM featuring Pat Foley and Eddie Olczyk with the game call!

Comcast SportsNet to Air Games 1, 2 & 4 in the Chicago Market (and Games 5 & 7 if nec.);

CSNChicago.com to provide LIVE video stream of EVERY Blackhawks post-game press conference, plus exclusive behind-the-scenes video from team practices and post-game reports from Blackhawks “Insider” Tracey Myers 

“SportsNet Central: Blackhawks Playoffs Preview” special airs TONIGHT at 10:30 PM

Chicago, IL (April 13, 2015) – Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, is ready to bring fans the thrilling excitement of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs with exclusive first round Western Conference Playoffs action as the Blackhawks take on the Central Division rival Nashville Predators.  Comcast SportsNet will be the exclusive television home in the Chicago market to see Games 1 & 2 from the Bridgestone Arena, along with Game 4 from the United Center.  If necessary, Comcast SportsNet will also carry Games 5 & 7 from Nashville.  Plus, every Comcast SportsNet Stanley Cup Playoff game telecast will also be presented in a high-definition (HD) format.

Comcast SportsNet’s Blackhawks Stanley Cup Playoffs coverage gets underway with Game 1 Wednesday, April 15 at 5:30 PM CT with a special, Blackhawks-focused edition of SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado featuring host David Kaplan with live remote talkbacks from the Bridgestone Arena.  Following SportsNet Central presented by Comcast Business at 6:30 PM, fans can look forward to Chevy Blackhawks Pregame Live with hosts Pat Boyle and Steve Konroyd at 7:00 PM featuring a complete Game 1 preview, analysis and interviews (NOTE: Former Blackhawks RW Jamal Mayers will join CSN’s surrounding game coverage beginning with Game 2 on Friday, April 17).  Opening face-off for Game 1 is set for 7:30 PM featuring Comcast SportsNet’s announcing tandem of Pat Foley and Eddie Olczyk with the expert play-by-play and analysis, plus – Comcast SportsNet’s Blackhawks beat reporter Luke Stuckmeyer will provide in-stadium reports throughout the first round for all playoff games. Immediately following all playoff games –Blackhawks Post Game Live presented by Hawk Ford will feature live locker room interviews, detailed analysis, along with head coach Joel Quenneville’s post-game press conference and numerous player interviews. (Comcast SportsNet’s complete First Round coverage schedule is included in this release.)

TONIGHT (Mon, Apr. 13) at 10:30 PM, Blackhawks fans can look forward to a Stanley Cup Playoffs primer with SportsNet Central: Blackhawks Playoffs Preview.  This half-hour special, hosted by Pat Boyle and Steve Konroyd, will provide a detailed, inside look at the Blackhawks vs. Predators first round match-up, a recap of every regular season battle against the Predators, along with the very latest player status updates, including Patrick Kane, a look back the past regular season featuring key highlights, plus - player/coaches interviews and an overview of the entire Stanley Cup Playoffs picture with analysis on both conferences.

Throughout the playoffs, viewers are also urged to tune in nightly to SportsNet Central (presented by GMC at 10:00 & 10:30PM and presented by CLR at midnight; times may vary due to airing of live events) for the most in-depth Stanley Cup Playoffs coverage, including game recaps, previews, up-to-the-minute team/player updates, interviews and numerous playoff highlights from around the league. 

Also, throughout the playoffs, Comcast SportsNet’s comprehensive website, CSNChicago.com, will provide fans with even more exclusive Blackhawks/Stanley Cup Playoffs content including the following:

  • CSNChicago.com will stream EVERY Blackhawks postgame press conference LIVE (sponsored by Xfinity) providing insider access to coach Joel Quenneville addressing the media as it happens.
  • CSNChicago.com Blackhawks “Insider” Tracey Myers will be on-site -- for EVERY Blackhawks playoff game -- filing stories and video for each game and team practices, plus Myers will provide up-to-the-second Tweets via @TramyersCSN throughout the series, as will CSNChicago.com Blackhawks digital reporter Nina Falcone (@NinaFalcone).  Falcone will also provide Blackhawks opponent perspective/reports on days of home games.
  • Video highlights from every Blackhawks playoff game, including in-game highlights after each period.  Pre-game interviews from morning skates will also be provided, as well as extensive post-game reaction from the locker room and analysis from the “Blackhawks Postgame Live” presented by Hawk Ford team.
  • “Blackhawks Pulse presented by AT&T U-Verse,” a one-stop social media hub that reveals the latest trending topics and player buzz from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  Plus, “Blackhawks Pulse” aggregates all Blackhawks player tweets, along with fan tweets that utilize the hashtag #HawksTalk. For additional 24/7 team updates on Twitter, fans are urged to follow @CSNBlackhawks.
  • BlackhawksTalk, CSNChicago.com’s high-velocity, real-time, comprehensive Blackhawks news and opinion section featuring original commentary, reporting and aggregation. BlackhawksTalk is under the banner of NBC SportsTalk, NBC’s successful digital franchise on NBCSports.com that includes ProFootballTalk, HardballTalk, ProBaskteballTalk, ProHockeyTalk, CollegeFootballTalk and GolfTalkCentral. SportsTalk was extended to CSNChicago.com through the creation of BlackhawksTalk, BullsTalk, CubsTalk, WhiteSoxTalk, BearsTalk, ChiFireTalk, PrepsTalk, IrishTalk and B1GTalk, which contains interactive content and continually updated insights from the network’s digital and on-air talent.
  • CSNChicago.com’s new state-of-the-art “AT&T U-Verse Lounge” to provide expanded Blackhawks playoffs content through daily and weekly shows and segments.
  • CSNChicago.com’s Blackhawks content will also be distributed via its digital network of partnerships, including NBCSports.com, NBCNews.com, Yahoo! Sports and Xfinity.com.
  • Expanded coverage from Pat Boyle and Luke Stuckmeyer, CSN Chicago’s Blackhawks reporting team will provide pre-game and post-game coverage, along with digital content contribution and videos for CSNChicago.com throughout the playoffs.  Follow them on Twitter @CSNBoyle and @LukeStuckmeyer.
  • CSNChicago.com and ChicagoBlackhawks.com will collaborate in content creation and distribution throughout the playoffs to provide fans in-depth player interviews and features plus behind-the-scenes access to everything going on and off-the-ice within the Blackhawks organization. 

Note the following first round schedule of games and additional coverage information on Comcast SportsNet: 

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS vs. NASHVILLE PREDATORS on COMCAST SPORTSNET 

* Game 1: Wed, April 15, 7:30 PM – Blackhawks at Predators (Bridgestone Arena)

(NOTES: Blackhawks/Stanley Cup Playoffs coverage on Comcast SportsNet begins at 5:30 PM with a special Blackhawks-focused edition of SportsTalk Live hosted by David Kaplan, which will be followed by SportsNet Central at 6:30 PM; Blackhawks Pregame Live airs at 7:00 PM & Blackhawks Postgame Live will immediately follow the game; which will be then followed by an expanded edition of SportsNet Central with even more comprehensive Blackhawks/Stanley Cup Playoffs coverage; game replay at 11:00 PM on CSN+HD)

-- IMPORTANT BULLS NOTE:  The Bulls vs. Atlanta game (originally scheduled to air on Comcast SportsNet) will now move to CSN+/CSN+HD (coverage begins at 6:30 PM; viewers urged to visit CSNChicago.com for exact channel locations in their area).

* Game 2: Fri, April 17, 8:30 PM – Blackhawks at Predators (Bridgestone Arena)

(NOTES: SportsTalk Live at 5:30 PM; SportsNet Central at 6:30 PM; special-one edition of Blackhawks Pregame Live at 7:30 PM/Blackhawks Postgame Live after the game; followed by an expanded edition of SportsNet Central with even more comprehensive Blackhawks/Stanley Cup Playoffs coverage; game replay at 12:30 AM on CSN)

* Game 3: Sun, April 19 at approx. 4:30 PM – ‘Blackhawks Post Game Live’ on Comcast SportsNet

* Game 4: Tue, April 21, 8:30 PM – Blackhawks vs. Predators (United Center)

(NOTES: SportsTalk Live at 5:30 PM; SportsNet Central at 6:30 PM; Blackhawks Pregame Live at 8:00 PM/Blackhawks Postgame Live after the game –both shows live from the United Center; followed by an expanded edition of SportsNet Central with even more comprehensive Blackhawks/Stanley Cup Playoffs coverage; game replay at 12:30 AM on CSN)

-- IMPORTANT WHITE SOX NOTE:  The White Sox vs. Cleveland game (originally scheduled to air on Comcast SportsNet) will now move to CSN+/CSN+HD (game coverage begins at 7:00 PM; viewers urged to visit CSNChicago.com for exact channel locations in their area).

* Game 5:  Thu, April 23 (Time TBD) – Blackhawks at Predators (Bridgestone Arena) (if necessary)

(PRECISE GAME DAY COVERAGE DETAILS ARE TBD)

* Game 6: Sat, April 25 (Time TBD) – ‘Blackhawks Post Game Live’ on Comcast SportsNet (if necessary)

* Game 7:  Mon, April 27 (Time TBD) – Blackhawks at Nashville (Bridgestone Arena) (if necessary)

(PRECISE GAME DAY COVERAGE DETAILS ARE TBD)

ALL TIMES ARE CENTRAL TIME

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

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AP

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

After being on the receiving end of some racist taunts while he was in the penalty box during Saturday's game against the Blackhawks, Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly spoke publicly about the incident.

Smith-Pelly, a 25-year-old Canadian, reacted to the fans while he was in the box, going up to them from the other side of the glass. He addressed questions from the media about the incident on Sunday.

"I just heard some chanting, some, I guess, racially charged chanting," Smith-Pelly said. "You can tell by my reaction that I got pretty upset.

"What was said this time around crossed the line."

The Capitals released a statement about the incident:

"The Washington Capitals are extremely disappointed by the intolerant behavior extended toward Devante Smith-Pelly by a select group of fans during Saturday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The Capitals organization strives to be inclusive and has zero tolerance concerning any form of racism. Such behavior is unacceptable and has no place in hockey or society. As such, it is crucial to confront such appalling conduct, and the Capitals extend their appreciation to the Blackhawks organization and United Center security for swiftly removing the fans from the game."

The Blackhawks released a statement after the game with a similar tone.

Smith-Pelly said this has happened previously in his career.

"It's sad that in 2018 we're still talking about the same thing over and over," Smith-Pelly said. "It's sad that athletes like myself 30, 40 years ago were standing in the same spot saying the same thing. You'd think there'd be some sort of change or progression, but we're still working towards it I guess and we're going to keep working towards it."

The Capitals released the full interview.

Ben Zobrist knows reality of Cubs' crowded lineup: 'There are going to be good players that have to sit on the bench'

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USA TODAY

Ben Zobrist knows reality of Cubs' crowded lineup: 'There are going to be good players that have to sit on the bench'

MESA, Ariz. — Ben Zobrist has long been known for his versatility on the field. But it might take a new kind of versatility to get through what’s facing him for the 2018 season, being versatile when it comes to simply being on the field.

Zobrist was among several notable Cubs hitters who had a rough go of things at the plate in the follow-up campaign to 2016’s World Series run. He dealt with injuries, including a particularly bothersome one to his wrist, and finished with a career-worst .232/.318/.375 slash line.

And so, with younger guys like Javy Baez, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. forcing their way into Joe Maddon’s lineup, it’s a perfectly valid question to ask: Has the 36-year-old Zobrist — just 15 months removed from being named the World Series MVP — been relegated to part-time status for this championship-contending club?

Obviously that remains to be seen. Joe Maddon has a way of mixing and matching players so often that it makes it seem like this team has at least 12 different “starting” position players. But Zobrist, ever the picture of versatility, seems ready for whatever is coming his way.

“I’m prepared for that, if that’s what it comes to. I told him, whatever they need me to do,” Zobrist said Sunday, asked if he’d be OK with being in a platoon situation. “You’ll see me at some different positions. As far as at-bats, though, I’ve got to be healthy. That was the biggest thing last year that kept me from getting at-bats and being productive. So if I can be healthy, I think I can play the way that I’m capable of, and the discussion then at that point will be, ‘How much can you play before we push you too far?’

“We’ve got a lot of great players, and there are going to be good players that have to sit on the bench on our team at times. But no one ever rusts because you know how Joe uses everybody. You’re still going to play. Even if you don’t start, you’re probably going to play later in the game. It’s just part of the National League and the way Joe Maddon manages.”

It’s no secret, of course, that when Zobrist is on, he’s the kind of player you want in the lineup as much as possible. It was just two seasons ago that he posted a .386 on-base percentage, banged out 31 doubles, smacked 18 home runs and was a starter for the team that won the World Series.

But he also admitted that last year’s injury fights were extremely tough: “Last year was one of the most difficult seasons I’ve ever had as a player.” Zobrist said that while he’s feeling good and ready to go in 2018, with his recent physical ailments and his advancing age, he’s in a different stage in his career.

“At this point in my career, I’m not going to play 158 games or whatever. I’m going to have to manage and figure out how to play great for 130,” he said. “And I think that would be a good thing to shoot for, if I was healthy, is playing 130 games of nine innings would be great. And then you’re talking about postseason, too, when you add the games on top of that, and well, you need to play for the team in the postseason, you’ve got to be ready for that, too.

“From my standpoint, from their standpoint, it’s about managing, managing my performance and my physical body and making sure I can do all that at the highest level, keep it at the highest level I can.”

Maddon’s managerial style means that Zobrist, even if he’s not technically a part of the everyday starting eight, will still get the opportunity to hit on a regular basis, get a chance to play on a regular basis. Baez figures to be locked in as the team’s No. 1 second baseman, but he’ll need days off. Maddon mentioned Sunday that Zobrist, along with Happ, have been practicing at first base in an effort to be able to spell Anthony Rizzo. It’s the crowded outfield where Zobrist could potentially see the most time. He’ll be a piece of that tricky daily puzzle along with Kyle Schwarber, Jason Heyward and the aforementioned Almora and Happ.

Unsurprisingly, in the end that versatility, combined with how Zobrist has recovered physically and whether he can get back to how he’s produced in the past, will determine how much he will play, according to the guy writing out the lineups.

“I think he’s going to dictate that to us based on how he feels,” Maddon said. “Listen, you’re always better off when Ben Zobrist is in your lineup. He’s a little bit older than he had been, obviously, like we all are. I’ve got to be mindful of that, but he’s in great shape. Let’s just see what it looks like. Go out there and play, and we’ll try to figure it out as the season begins to unwind because who knows, he might have an epiphany and turn back the clock a little bit, he looks that good. I want to keep an open mind.

“I want to make sure that he understands we’re going to need him to play a variety of different positions. He’s ready to do it, he’s eager, he’s really ready. He was not pleased with his year last year, took time to reflect upon it and now he’s really been refreshed. So I think you’re going to see the best form of Ben Zobrist right now.”

Two years ago, Zobrist played a big enough role to go to the All-Star Game and get named the MVP of the World Series. In the present, that role might be much, much smaller. But Zobrist said he’s OK with anything, admitting it’s about the number of rings on the fingers and not the number of days in the starting lineup.

“I’m 36 as a player, so I’m just trying to win championships at this point. It’s not really about what I’m trying to accomplish as an individual,” Zobrist said. “Everybody wants to have great seasons, but I’ve told (Maddon), ‘Wherever you need me, I’m ready.’ Just going to prepare to fill the spots that need to be filled and be a great complement to what’s going on.”