Blackhawks

Myers: Ugly lockout dialogue crosses the line

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Myers: Ugly lockout dialogue crosses the line

Theres plenty of frustration to go around as the NHL lockout continues. Players are frustrated. The NHLPA is frustrated. The league brass is frustrated. Owners arent talked, but well assume theyre frustrated, too.

But when frustration boils over into ugliness, its a problem.

When talking about NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, a few players comments have crossed the line. The latest comes from former player Jeff ONeill, who threw out this tweet this afternoon:

And Bettman stop talking to the media. I wanna 'make whole' in your fkn head.

A few hours later, however, ONeill tweeted that he didnt tweet the above:
My last tweet was inappropriate. Someone hacked my acct.
Whether it was a hack or the former players thoughts, ONeill was right: it was inappropriate. And it doesnt matter if its on social media, through the newspapers or on the radio. Messages like that solve nothing and hurt all involved.
Ditto for others who (we assume) let emotions get the best of them this past week: from Detroits Ian White calling Bettman an idiot to former Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg going on the radio and referring to Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly as cancers.

ONeills tweet came not long after todays talks yielded a new NHLPA proposal, but no progress in getting a new collective bargaining agreement. Emotions run high each time negotiations stall, and it only builds as the lockout continues. Its easy to throw quick reactions onto a Twitter or Facebook in the heat of the moment, but its usually a bad idea.

Many players have talked at will throughout this lockout they, unlike the owners, have no gag order binding them. Most have been very dignified in doing so. San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture vented his frustration with less spite on Twitter earlier today.

I, like all of you, first and foremost am a HUGE hockey fan. I live and breathe the game. Have since I was 3. It hurts to see this happen to the best game on earth, the best athletes and the best fans in the world. The players are doing the best we can to return this game to the Ice. But it takes two to make a deal. It just seems the other side isnt willing to make it work. It hurts.

Angry? Yes. Frustrated? Yes. Decently dictated? Yes.

Frustration is beyond prevalent. Everyones feeling it. But theres a fine line between venting and vindictiveness. Some lines shouldnt be crossed.

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks face Golden Knights for first time

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Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks face Golden Knights for first time

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Vegas Golden Knights Tuesday on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 8:45 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Corey Crawford vs. ... Oscar Dansk? 

The Golden Knights have seen both Marc-Andre Fleury and Malcolm Subban go down with injuries, so they're scraping for goaltenders at this point.

On one end of the ice, you have one of the best netminders in the league and a two-time Stanley Cup champion in Crawford. On the other, you have a 23-year-old rookie in Dansk making his first official NHL start who will be backed up by a 24-year-old rookie in Maxime Lagace, who has never appeared in an NHL game.

In his first game action, Dansk stopped 10 of 11 shots in relief during Saturday's 3-2 overtime win over St. Louis.

2. Fast start.

The Blackhawks are tied for second in both goals scored (13) and fewest goals allowed (four) in the first period, which has a large reason for their early season success.

The Golden Knights aren't the kind of team that gets out to a blazing start. They've allowed only five goals in the opening frame, but they've scored only five as well, which ranks among the bottom 10 teams in the league. 

3. Beware of James Neal.

The Golden Knights became the first team in NHL history to win six of their first seven games of their inaugural season. And they probably don't have half of those wins if it weren't for Neal, who scored the game-winning goal in each of their first three games.

He leads the club with six goals and eight points, and serves as the motor for a team that doesn't have much offensive talent. He's the go-to guy, and somebody you have to keep an eye on when he's on the ice.

 

Three Things to Watch: Bulls square off against LeBron and the Cavaliers

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Three Things to Watch: Bulls square off against LeBron and the Cavaliers

Here are Three Things to Watch in the Bulls' Tuesday night tilt against the Cavaliers on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live.

1. LeBron James will be on your television

Love him or hate him, LeBron James is must-see TV. Now in his 15th NBA season, James has shown no signs of slowing down. Despite playing just one preseason game (against the Bulls), James has shown anything but rust in three games, averaging 25.0 points on 60 percent shooting, 8.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists in nearly 37 minutes. He's a threat every night to do something you've never seen on a basketball court, His Airness included. Justin Holiday and Paul Zipser will have their hands full against the game's best player.

2. Lauri Markkanen, Week 2

Small sample size alert! But through the season's first week Markkanen and Ben Simmons are the only rookies averaging a double-double (Dallas' Dennis Smith has played just one game, averaging 16 points and 10 assists). While the Bulls have struggled through two games, Markkanen's net rating is third best on the team and he leads the Bulls bigs in rebounds per game and rebound percentage. Markkanen has shown some versatility offensively, and his 7 free-throw attempts have been a nice surprise as well.

3. Don't forget: The Bulls swept the Cavaliers last year

OK, so expecting a victory Tuesday night in Cleveland isn't smart. The Bulls will be underdogs just like they were in each of the four games last season, all of which were Bulls winners. It was the first time in 52 division series that LeBron James had been swept, which is pretty remarkable considering the Bulls were the No. 8 seed and the Cavs coasted to a third straight NBA Finals. We're not over here predicting a win. But just remember: the Bulls have fared well against James in the regular season.