Blackhawks

Could Barney be in line for NL Gold Glove?

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Could Barney be in line for NL Gold Glove?

At the trade deadline, the Cubs' roster was jam-packed with trade bait that potential contenders were interested in. Four guys have already been dealt and several others (Alfonso Soriano?, Jeff Baker?, Carlos Marmol?) could potentially find their way through waivers in August.

One such guy that drew some attention was Darwin Barney, who is rated as the sixth-most valuable player in the NL with a 4.4 WAR. His defensive WAR sits at 3.3, a full 1.5 wins above Starlin Castro, who comes in at second place.

Barney's stellar glove also earned him the best defensive player award for July from ESPN's SweetSpot blog. He barely edged out Josh Reddick of the Athletics and Mark Teixeira of the Yankees.

The 26-year-old second baseman has benefited greatly from the increased emphasis on defensive positioning from the Cubs' coaching staff this year, but he's made all the plays when they've come his way, with only two errors on the season, one of which came at shortstop.

Barney has saved 27 runs so far this season with his glove, including eight in July alone.

While his average and on-base percentage have remained pretty stagnant since the start of last season, his slugging percentage his increased almost 40 points this year. They always say winning a Gold Glove is about hitting well enough for the rest of the league to take notice of your defense, and it's quite possible Barney could be in line for his first such award.

He doesn't turn 27 until November, so it could also be the first of many Gold Gloves.

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:

Cue Chelsea Dagger: Blackhawks blow out Capitals to snap eight-game losing streak

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USA TODAY

Cue Chelsea Dagger: Blackhawks blow out Capitals to snap eight-game losing streak

Win one game.

That was Joel Quenneville’s message during the Blackhawks’ eight-game losing streak, which finally came to an end on Saturday night.

How about a 7-1 victory over the Washington Capitals on home ice for a streak-breaker? Now that’s more like it.

Prior to Saturday, the Blackhawks hadn’t recorded a win in February — or a win at the United Center since Jan. 12. 

Though the Blackhawks will likely miss the playoffs for the first time since Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane were rookies, a blowout win over the leaders of the Metropolitan Division Capitals had to have felt great.

"It’s a nice way to get over the hump," Toews said. "Sometimes you might just win a 2-1 game or just kind of grind it out, but it was nice for us to fill the net the way we did tonight."

Added Joel Quenneville, "Certainly feels 100 times better than coming in and trying to explain how we had a lead and were unable to sustain it. The complete 60 minutes, three periods the right way, more consistency in our game, way more pace than we’ve seen recently, composure with the puck, shooting around the net. It was fun but that’s one. Let’s see how we respond to this because there’s a lot of hockey left."

The Blackhawks are 25-26-8 with 58 points, and are 11 points out the final wild card spot, currently held by the Minnesota Wild.

Among the highlights:

— Seven different Blackhawks scored: Toews, Kane, Alex DeBrincat, Brandon Saad, Artem Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz, Ryan Hartman

— The Blackhawks are 74-6-4 in the regular season in which Kane and Toews both record a goal — and 41-0-0 in their last 41 games, according to NBC Sports Chicago stats guru Chris Kamka.

— Kane registered career assist No. 500, becoming the sixth Blackhawk with 500 or more. Kane is also the seventh U.S.-born player with 300-plus goals and 500-plus assists, joining Mike Modano, Keith Tkachuk, Jeremy Roenick, Pat LaFontaine, Joe Mullen and Phil Housley, according to Kamka.

"You think about the amount of great Americans that have played the game, how many players actually play hockey in the United States... Growing up all I wanted to do was play hockey," Kane said. "That means a lot, especially when you talk about American-born players."

— DeBrincat's 22nd goal of the season has him tied for the rookie-lead with Tampa Bay Lightning's Yanni Gourde. DeBrincat and Kane also lead the Blackhawks with 22 goals.