Blackhawks

Random News: What's in a (stadium) name?

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Random News: What's in a (stadium) name?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Posted: 9:22 a.m.

By Joe Collins
CSNChicago.com

The Kansas Jayhawks beat the Illini Sunday night in Tulsa.

Think fast: what was the name of the arena where they played? Turner Turnpike Arena? No. The Garth Brooks Center? Mmm.no. What about the Koyie Hill Auditorium?? HeyKoyie was born in Tulsa, you know.

How about this: BOK Center.

(Ding!)

Im not even sure how you pronounce that: BOK. Is it like the classical composer? Ordo you say it in acronym formlike B-O-K? Turns out it could be a little of both. BOK Center is short for Bank Of Oklahoma Center. Gotta love those bank-sponsored arenas, you know? Not sure why, but I just had a flashback to the bank robbery scene in Raising Arizona. There were also second and third round NCAA games played at Quicken Loans Arena, Time Warner Cable Arena, the McKale Center, Verizon Center and Pepsi Center. If you can name two or more of those arenas by city without cheating on Google or Wikipedia, consider yourself a sports corporate savant.

Does the name of a sports arena really matter anymore? To the upper management of both the corporation and team the venue housesabsolutely. Stadium naming rights can be absolutely vital to the bottom line of a team. Money fuels the sports machine. It has for quite some time now. But do the names matter to the average fan? I doubt it. Sports junkies have been numbed by corporate-named stadiums over the last decade or so that we really dont know where teams play, aside from the city they play in. Did you know that the Sacramento Kings play at Power Balance Pavilion? Or that the Golden State Warriors play at Oracle Arena? Utahs Delta Center might have caused goose bumps for Jazz opponents a while back. Now that place is called EnergySolutions Arena. Doesnt have quite the scare-factor does it? Maybe youd shudder a little upon knowing that EnergySolutions is one of the largest nuclear waste companies in the world.

Heres more: name the following hockey teams that occupy the following arenasThe Prudential Center, Consol Energy Center, HSBC Arena, BankAtlantic Center and the RBC Center. Any idea? Heckany clue on what city those buildings are located? If you guessed the New Jersey Devils, Pittsburgh Penguins, Buffalo Sabres, Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes, you might as well write your ticket to Jeopardy! Almost makes you feel nostalgic for places like Joe Louis Arena. Then again

Its kind of sad that we lost that goose bump factor with sports arenas. I can remember fearingfearingthe Bulls going into Boston to play the Celtics in the 80s. Of coursehaving your favorite team go up against Bird, McHale and Parish in their prime was frightening enough. But with the game being played at the Boston Garden, it added an intimidation factor like no other. The current TD Garden just kind of blends in. If the Boston Garden was Aerosmith in their prime, the TD Garden is Dave Matthews. In muzak form.

I saved the best for last: Jobing.com arena in Phoenix. Can you imagine saying that to your friends?

Hey, do you want to come with us to Jobing.com Arena tonight to watch the Coyotes play?

Of course not. We know better. It just sounds awkward and weird. We say instead, Hey, do you want to go to the Coyotes game tonight?

But hey, life goes on. The Orange Bowl is out. Sun Life Pro Player Park Land Shark Field Stadium (or whtever its called) is in. Its reality. Not much we can do about it, aside from going to games at places like Jobing.com Arena. The names, and dollars, benefit the teams in the long run.

We can only hope for more games at places like Soldier Field.

Hopefully this fall.

Or something like that.

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.