Blackhawks

CSN to air new edition of Bears program that looks at players lives off the field

CSN to air new edition of Bears program that looks at players lives off the field

Next episode of “Bears Life presented by Xfinity,” featuring a look into the private life of veteran Bears kicker ROBBIE GOULD, premieres Saturday, July 18 at 5:00 PM CT 

Chicago, IL (July 13, 2015) – Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Bears, will provide viewers with a new episode of its half-hour, documentary-style program entitled Bears Life presented by Xfinity, which takes viewers inside the private lives of some of the Bears most beloved players. 

The next edition of Bears Life will make its Comcast SportsNet debut on Saturday, July 18 at 5:00 PM CT, featuring a behind-the-scenes look into the personal life of Bears kicker ROBBIE GOULD, who is now just 36 points away from becoming the historic franchise’s all-time leading scorer. 

CSN gained exclusive access to capture Gould’s behind-the-scenes, dedicated efforts at his foundation’s annual golf outing for The Goulden Touch (gouldentouch.org), which has been instrumental in partnering with several Chicago-area charities to help raise funds and awareness in a number of key life initiatives, including education, social services, health and wellness, and medical research.  Among the interview topics Gould addresses include his life as a Chicago Bear (where he currently sits at the spot of being the third most-accurate kicker in NFL history), breaking legendary kicker Kevin Butler’s 23-year scoring record, his life as a father, along with his passion for sport of golf, which he hopes to parlay into a broadcasting career as an on-course analyst after his NFL career comes to an end.

In addition to Gould, Bears Life will feature interviews with a number of key individuals in Gould’s life, including Mark Rolfing (NBC/Golf Channel analyst), Patrick Mannelly (former Bears teammate), Pat O’Donnell (Bears punter), Chris Collins (Northwestern Head Men’s Basketball Coach), Jaren Allen (Bears defensive end), Joe Carter (former MLB standout/five-time All-Star), Kevin Butler (former Bears kicker/Super Bowl XX champion), and Grant Fuhr (five-time Stanley Cup champion goaltender) among others.

In addition, viewers are urged to check out Comcast SportsNet’s website, CSNChicago.com, for additional Bears Life content never before seen on TV.  Plus, fans will also be able to watch Bears Life online after its on-air debut.  Comcast SportsNet will also re-air Bears Life presented by Xfinity, featuring Robbie Gould, on the following dates/times: Sat, July 18 at 8:30 PM (on CSN+HD) - Sun, July 19 at 4:30 PM (on CSN+HD) - Fri, July 24 at 5:30 PM (on CSN+HD) - Sun, July 26 at 3:30 PM - Sun, Aug. 9 at 12:00 PM - Fri, Aug. 21 at 8:00 PM & Sun, Aug. 23 at 2:00 PM. (Schedule subject to change) 

Note the following quotes from the next edition of Bears Life presented by Xfinity, premiering Saturday, July 18 at 5:00 PM on Comcast SportsNet:

GOULD on entering his 11th NFL season:

“The fact that this is going to be 11 seasons for me is unbelievable. To go through a Super Bowl, to be at a Pro Bowl, to go through some seasons that weren’t so great, some that were on the cusp of being good…all life lessons, all learning lessons, all things that for me I will have stories to tell for years. If you told me I was going to play for 11 years, I would’ve told you that you were crazy.“

“To have the ability to play in one city for this long is pretty special. Chicago will always hold a special place in my heart. This is where my family is going to be raised. For me, it’s pretty special to be in one place.”

GOULD on Kevin Butler and being just 36 points from breaking the team scoring record:

“To have Kevin Butler here and to be able to listen to his stories and how he kicked at Soldier Field and talk about the record that he’s held for, I don’t want to date him at all, but think about it. In ’85, he had the rookie scoring record. He kicked 243 field goals. It’s pretty special to have him around and I’m looking forward to sharing that moment with him.”

BUTLER on Gould breaking his scoring record:

“Chicago Bears, that’s what we’re about. Honestly, to do what he’s done and to do it at the level he’s done, it’s just incredible. I’ve enjoyed watching him. I know how hard it is, that’s why I have a great appreciation for it. Anytime that you can witness somebody break a record that you were able to set, it’s a triumph for the whole organization, it’s an individual triumph for Robbie. He should be very proud of it and I know he is. It doesn’t come easy.“

MANNELLY on Gould’s work ethic:

“To watch him become as good as he is and then how hard he works to be that good, well, it made me work harder.“

ROLFING’s on Gould’s promising future as a golf analyst:

“When his kicking days are done, I don’t see him going back on a football field again because he’s a natural. When I’m sitting up there, I’ll get texts from him. I mean he’s got the analysis down. He can sit at home and he knows exactly what’s going on at Chambers Bay and what’s going on out there. He’s got a great eye and people obviously really like him.“

NOTE: New episodes of Bears Life presented by Xfinity will be announced at a later date.   

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks hit road to face Blue Jackets

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NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks hit road to face Blue Jackets

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. One big reunion.

The Blackhawks will square off with the Blue Jackets for the first time since Oct. 7, which was the second game of the season. In that game, they won 5-1 led by Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad, each of whom scored a goal and added an assist.

Of course, that was the first game since the offseason trade that sent Artemi Panarin to Columbus and Saad back to Chicago, along with Anton Forsberg. Artem Anisimov, of course, was part of the original deal that sent Saad to Columbus in 2015, so there are a lot of emotional ties between the two teams.

Forsberg didn't get a chance to face the Blue Jackets in the first meeting, but there's a chance he will this time with it being the second of a back-to-back and Jean-Francois Berube getting the start in Friday's 3-1 win over San Jose.

2. Panarin and Kane bromance.

The emotions of a difficult break-up have probably died down by now, but Panarin and Kane gave us this moment at center ice during pregame warmups in their first game against each other and it hit Chicago right in the feels:

Panarin has spent enough time apart from Kane for people to realize how big of a star he is in his own right, leading the Blue Jackets in all three scoring categories: goals (17), assists (32) and points (49).

He hasn't gone more than three games this season without recording a point, and is looking to extend his point streak to four games, which would tie a season high.

3. Struggling Blue Jackets special teams.

The Blue Jackets got off to a great start but are barely clinging onto a wild card spot going into Saturday's game, and a big reason for that slide is their lack of success on special teams. Usually one can pick up the slack for the other, but they've been brutal in both departments.

The Blue Jackets are 0-for-9 on the power play in their past five games and are ranked 31st overall, converting on only 14.1 percent of their opportunities. They also have own the 27th-ranked penalty kill with a 76.3 percent success rate.

So if there's an area the Blackhawks can exploit, it's that. But, you know, still be mindful of that Russian winger's one-timer from the faceoff circle.

Jean-Francois Berube impressed in his first Blackhawks start

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USA TODAY

Jean-Francois Berube impressed in his first Blackhawks start

Jean-Francois Berube got his first start of the season on Friday night, and it couldn't have gone any better.

The 26-year-old goaltender stopped 42 of 43 shots, a career-high for him in saves, in the Blackhawks' 3-1 win over the San Jose Sharks at the United Center.

Since Corey Crawford went down with a head injury last December, the Blackhawks have been searching for consistency in the crease. 

The pair of Anton Forsberg and Jeff Glass — who was assigned to Rockford on Feb. 15 and replaced with Berube — have had their ups and downs since then. With the Blackhawks out of the playoff picture, Berube had an opportunity showcase his skills, and he didn't disappoint.

"We were very happy with him," said coach Joel Quenneville. "I thought he did a great job. He was comfortable. I thought he was very patient in his net. Absorbing a lot of pucks with people in front of him was good. Closed some gaps and got … of the top of the paint. Rebound control was effective. Nice response from a long absence."

Berube's last — and only — appearance with the Blackhawks prior to Friday's game came on Dec. 6, relieving Forsberg in a game against the Washington Capitals. He recorded 12 saves of 14 shots. 

When Crawford got injured, Berube was the primary candidate to become the team's backup goaltender. The only problem? He was injured too, so the Blackhawks promoted Glass.

"I didn't want to sit and think about it," Berube said of his injury. "At the same time, it was great for Glasser. He was one of those guys that probably deserved it earlier in his career and he finally got his chance. Sometimes you need a guy to go down to have your chance. So I was mostly happy for him.

On Friday night, he got his chance.

"You always want to have a good impression for your first game," Berube said. "I know what I can do at this level, so it was just a matter of getting the opportunity to play and showing people what I can do."

Celebrating his 22nd birthday, Nick Schmaltz also had a goal and an assist. Artem Anisimov scored an empty-netter.

"It's a lot more fun coming to the rink when you're winning, enjoying each other, playing well as a team," Schmaltz said of the Blackhawks' win, which have now won three of their last four games. "Hopefully we can keep that good energy and bring it to the rink every day, and build off of that.

"You never know where this team can go, a lot of great players, lots of guys that have had a lot of success. Hopefully we can continue to put together solid efforts."