Andrew Shaw returns and Marian Hossa was in the building today as the Chicago Blackhawks will host the Phoenix Coyotes in Game 6 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal series tonight. Shaw was disappointed he had to miss the last three for his hit on Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith in Game 2. He said at the time he was looking for the Blackhawks to hit a Game 6 so he could get another chance.Im thankful the boys pulled it out. Winning these next two would be huge, said Shaw, who isnt going to change his game too much. Im obviously going to play the same way, but maybe stay out of it after the whistles. I have to play between the whistles but Ill still have that gritty play.Coach Joel Quenneville said Shaws energy should be a factor immediately.He was a tough guy to lose because hes useful and versatile in how you use him in the lineup. Hes relentlessly around puck areas, very noticeable, he said. We missed him in certain areas. Just the fact that hes the all-out competitor you like, these guys seem to jump up.With Shaw returning, the healthy forward scratches look to be Brandon Saad, Jamal Mayers and Brandon Bollig. Mayers has been a healthy scratch for three consecutive games after not being one through the regular season. Mayers said it was disappointing, but hell stay prepared.We won the last game and Im focused on that. Its not about me, its about the team, he said. If we move on Ill stay ready and Ill support my teammates.Hossa was here, a good sign that hes at least getting around after that hit he took from Raffi Torres in Game 3. But hes still out for tonight.Its good to see him, Quenneville said. I talked to him last night and (good) seeing him here today. Theres no news, but Im sure his teammates are glad to see him, as well.Meanwhile, Viktor Stalberg will look to erase a rough Game 5 in which he took four minors. Stalberg said Quenneville approached the situation with humor.After the fourth one he put me out there and said, Vik, youre up, try to stay out of the penalty box, OK? and just started dying laughing, Stalberg said. That wasnt what I was expecting, but that was good for me. And I responded by getting out there and was involved in that game-winning goal (by Jonathan Toews). So it felt good to give something back there.
Jake Burger was the White Sox first-round draft pick last summer, but he's gone a bit under the radar thanks to the organization's wealth of highly touted prospects.
Well, MLB Pipeline hasn't missed Burger's big bat, ranking him as one of the top 10 third-base prospects in baseball Tuesday.
MLB Pipeline has been rolling out its top-10 lists at every position since last week, and the White Sox have been well represented, with Michael Kopech the site's No. 3 right-handed pitching prospect and Zack Collins its No. 9 catching prospect. The site will unveil its shortstop and outfield lists on Wednesday and Thursday, and you're almost guaranteed to see Eloy Jimenez's name at or near the top of that list of outfielders.
But seeing Burger's name this high should give White Sox fans yet another reason to get excited about the future. After all, third base has been projected as one of the few places on the diamond that might need an outside addition to put the South Siders over the hump — especially with huge names like Manny Machado and Nolan Arenado slated to hit the free-agent market in the next couple offseasons.
But Burger's rise might prevent a need for a superstar upgrade at the hot corner. He hit a combined 43 home runs in his final two seasons at Missouri State, and he slashed .271/.335/.409 with nine doubles, four home runs, 27 RBIs and 13 walks compared to 28 strikeouts in 47 games at Class-A Kannapolis last season.
Whether Burger sticks at third base or not remains to be seen — something that's been speculated about — as he's obviously got plenty of development left, having just joined the organization last summer.
But to have some folks in the know to rate Burger so highly is only a good sign for the White Sox as the rebuild rolls on.
Plus, look what he's been doing during the offseason:
Simeon junior defensive back Marquae Kirkendoll (6-foot-2, 170 pounds) is looking for a chance at redemption in 2018.
Kirkendoll, who has the potential to play as either a "big" cornerback or as a safety at the college level, was part of a Wolverines team that lost its first three games to start the season. Simeon then won 10 of its next 11 games, capping off the season with a Prep Bowl title.
I caught up with Kirkendoll at the EDGYTIM MLK Underclassmen Showcase, powered by EFT Football Academy. He discussed the 2017 season, his latest recruiting news, offseason motivation, winter plans and more in the video above.