Preps Talk

CSN airs 1994 Blackhawks, Maple Leafs classic

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CSN airs 1994 Blackhawks, Maple Leafs classic

Comcast SportsNet will be re-airing Blackhawks Classics until the NHL lockout comes to an end. Tune in tonight at 7:00 p.m. for Game 4 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Toronto Maple Leafs on April 24, 1994.

The lockout may have put a hold on the 2012-13 NHL season, but Comcast SportsNet is now bringing you the next best thing: mullets, perms, all-demin outfits, a hat trick and an overtime performance from Jeremy Roenick that is still idolized by hockey fans today.

The Blackhawks were down 2-1 in the series before taking the ice for their second-to-last time at the old Chicago Stadium for Game 4 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals, and the back-and-forth game that couldn't help but keep fans on the edge of their seats.

Gary Suter recorded a hat trick--becoming only the second defenseman in Blackhawks history to do so during a postseason game--that left Chicago tied with Montreal at the end of regulation.

"The atmosphere was electric, as was almost every game in the Chicago Stadium," CSN Chicago executive producer John Schippman said, who was in attendance at the 1994 game. "But it was different knowing if the Blackhawks lost, it could possibly be the last Blackhawks game ever played there.

"Back in 1994, the Blackhawks were still a top draw in the city, despite competing with the still popular Jordan-less Bulls. I think the die-hard fans really soaked in that game and entire season and playoff series knowing attending a game at the stadium was ending."

Just minutes into overtime, Roenick scored the game-winning goal that gave the team another chance to play at their home rink, providing fans with one of the most exciting goals in Blackhawks history.

"My favorite memory was after Roenick scored the goal," Schippman said. "It happened so fast after a turnover by the Leafs.

"But it wasn't so much the actual goal, rather the celebration that followed. Roenick dropped to his knees and slid down the ice, reminding me of a famous Theo Fleury goal from the 1980s when he was with Calgary."

Other Blackhawks fans also shared their favorite moments and what they're most excited to watch for during tonight's re-airing of the game:

The Blackhawks went on to play one more playoff game at the Chicago Stadium, but Roenick's overtime goal was the last point the team scored before leaving the rink they called home. Although they dropped the series to the Maple Leafs, the Blackhawks' Game 4 performance is one that will always go down in history.

Join in on the conversation during tonight's game by using HawksClassics on Twitter.

IHSA Football Playoff Pairings Show Roundup

IHSA Football Playoff Pairings Show Roundup

CLASS 1A

Revealing the Class 1A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 1A Bracket

CLASS 2A

Revealing the Class 2A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 2A Bracket

CLASS 3A

Revealing the Class 3A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 3A Bracket

CLASS 4A

Revealing the Class 4A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 4A Bracket

Predicting Class 1A-4A

CLASS 5A

Revealing the Class 5A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 5A Bracket

CLASS 6A

Revealing the Class 6A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 6A Bracket

CLASS 7A

Revealing the Class 7A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 7A Bracket

CLASS 8A

Revealing the Class 8A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 8A Bracket

Class 7A and Class 8A Predictions

 

In ugly home opener, Lauri Markkanen gives a glimmer of hope

In ugly home opener, Lauri Markkanen gives a glimmer of hope

Keeping the game simple is often a tough task for rookies entering the NBA, but it seems Lauri Markkanen has been a quick learner in that aspect.

Through two games he’s probably the lone bright spot, especially after the Bulls’ cringe-inducing 87-77 loss to the San Antonio Spurs in their home opener at the United Center.

Jumper not falling? Okay, go to the basket.

“It wasn’t falling so I tried to get to the rim a couple times,” Markkanen said. “At the end, I was like let’s do it and I connected on a 3-pointer, I felt more open just because I was at the rim. I think that helped.”

He was asked what the difference was in the second game of his career compared to the first.

“I mean the crowd was chanting for us (tonight),” Markkanen said, referring to Thursday in Toronto.

He wasn’t attempting to display any dry wit but applying common sense seems to work for him, even though he’s been thrust into a situation after an incident that doesn’t make any sense.

With Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic out for the foreseeable future, playing a game-high 37 minutes will be more common than anomaly.

“Whatever your minutes are, you gotta play them to the best of your ability,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He’s being allowed to play through some mistakes right now. He’s gonna play heavy minutes every night.”

He only shot five of 14 but achieved his first double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds after a 17-point, eight-rebound debut against the Raptors Thursday.

No, someone didn’t open a door for a draft to come into the United Center on that three-pointer that went wide left, but it didn’t stop him from being assertive and continuing to look for his shot.

There was plenty of muck, easy to see on the stat sheet. The 38 percent shooting overall, the lack of penetration, the 29 percent shooting from 3-point range and 20 turnovers.

It’s not hard to imagine what Markkanen will look like with competent and effective NBA players around him, along with a true facilitating point guard that will find him in this offense.

“Markkanen is a wonderful player,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “He’s aggressive, he’s smart and obviously, he can shoot the ball. He’s just going to get better and better as he figures things out.”

He received a crash course, facing the likes of Pau Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Gay Saturday night. On one instance, Gay drove baseline and made Markkanen buckle with a 3-point play.

Aldridge had 24 shots in 32 minutes as a new focal point with Kawhi Leonard out with injury.

So he’s not getting treated with kid gloves, nor is he backing down from the assignments.

“He didn’t shoot the ball well but he battled,” Hoiberg said. “He had a tough assignment with Pau, who’s gonna be in the Hall of Fame one day. Good experience. He guarded Aldridge, Rudy Gay some. He battled, he fought them.”

Even with the airball, had the moment that gives the Bulls fans hope, when he drove on Gasol, spun and hooked a lefty layup while being fouled by the veteran in the first half—giving the United Center faithful something to have faith in for a moment.

“Sometimes you get labeled as a shooter. That’s the label Lauri had,” Hoiberg said. “But he really is a complete basketball player. He’s versatile, he can put in on the deck. He slides his feet very well for a guy that’s seven feet tall, someone his age. Yeah, he’s learning on the fly. He’s gonna have ups and downs, as young as he is. He’s gonna have some struggles at times. But he’s played pretty darn well for everything he’s been through, understanding two days ago he’s gonna be in the starting lineup.”

And for all the bad air around the Bulls right now, from the on-court product to the off-court drama that seems to follow them around like Pigpen, it would be even worse if Markkanen’s first two games had him looking like a corpse, or someone who would be a couple years away from reasonably contributing to an NBA team.

“He’s good, he’s very good,” Gasol said. “I like him. I like his game.”