Scott to suit up for Hawks; Bickell, Kopecky out


Scott to suit up for Hawks; Bickell, Kopecky out

Sunday, April 17, 2011Posted: 12:15 PM

By Tracey Myers

By Tracey Myers

John Scott will be in the lineup while Tomas Kopecky and Bryan Bickell are both out when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Vancouver Canucks in Game 3 of the Western Conference quarterfinals tonight at the United Center.

Meanwhile, center Dave Bolland (concussion) is out tonight but is hoping he could play in Game 4 on Tuesday.

Scott, who will play in his first postseason game with the Blackhawks, has the job the team has struggled to do in the first two games: Get in front of Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo and stay there.

Ive got a big body so hopefully I can get in front of the net and not let (Luongo) see many pucks, the 6-foot-8 Scott said. Im not going to play big minutes but anytime I am Im going to get in front. I came to Chicago to be in the playoffs. Ive been watching two games pretty close. I know whats going on.

Scott is certainly no stranger to the Canucks, who he played plenty during his Minnesota Wild years. The Canucks have been very physical to start both games and Scott could help in that department.

Ive been hitting Bolley in practice trying to get him ready, Scott joked. Seriously, it would be nice to hit someone else at full speed.

The Canucks, meanwhile, didnt seem too fazed by the roster change.

When a 6-8 guy challenges you that cant skate? You usually say no and go around him and score, Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa said.

Coach Joel Quenneville said that Kopecky and Bickell were both considerations for tonights game and both are close to returning for Game 4. Thats also true of Bolland, whos staying positive and would love nothing more to get into this series.

I want to be out there. Its probably the worst feeling ever watching them go on the ice and I cant, Bolland said. You take it to heart. But thats the way it is. If its my shoulder or anything else, itd be a different story.

Bolland has yet to take the tests to make sure he can play.
Smiths moment

Ben Smith has played in some big games in his young career he was a big part of Boston Colleges NCAA title last season. But being part of the Stanley Cup playoffs? Thats just a tad bigger.

"Its definitely a little different playing at this level. Its just that much higher (than the NCAA championship game), but you can draw from those experiences, he said. Im just trying to enjoy it, taking the moment and trying to contribute to this team.

Smith did that in Game 2, scoring two of the Blackhawks goals in their 4-3 loss to Vancover. Smith was born in Winston-Salem, N.C., but his family moved to Connecticut when he was three. He was a Hartford Whalers fan and his dad shared season tickets with a neighbor.

The Whalers practiced in our town rink. Without them, I dont think I wouldve gotten into hockey, said Smith, who remembers the Whalers moving to North Carolina when he was eight. It was a sad day in Hartford. I remember the fans wouldnt leave (after the final game).

Tracey Myers is's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Unfinished Bears job a 'bitter pill' for John Fox, but the legacy lies beyond just the W-L record


Unfinished Bears job a 'bitter pill' for John Fox, but the legacy lies beyond just the W-L record

When John Fox succeeded Marc Trestman in 2015, neither he nor the Bears were looking at the situation and Fox as any sort of “bridge” hire – a de facto interim coach tasked with winning, but just as importantly, developing and getting a team turned around and headed in a right direction.

The heart of the matter is always winning, but in the overall, the mission statement also includes leaving the place better than you found it. Fox did that, which is very clearly the sentiment upstairs at Halas Hall as the Bears move on from Fox to Matt Nagy.

“It would’ve been nice to see it through,” Fox said to NBC Sports Chicago. “That’s kind of a bitter pill but you sort things out and move forward.

“I do think it’s closer than people think. We inherited a mess... but I felt we were on the brink at the end. I think that [Halas Hall] building is definitely different; they feel it. I do think that it was a positive.”

(Fox is probably not done coaching at some point, but that’s for another time, another story, and anyway, it’s his tale to tell when he feels like it. Or doesn’t.)

One measure of the Bears change effected: Virtually the entire Trestman staff, with the exceptions of receivers coach Mike Groh and linebackers coach Clint Hurtt, was jettisoned along with Trestman. By contrast, Nagy has retained not only virtually the entire Fox defensive staff under coordinator Vic Fangio, but also arguably the single most important non-coordinator offensive coach by virtue of position responsibility – Dave Ragone, the hands-on mentor of quarterback Mitch Trubisky.

Obvious but extremely difficult decisions are coming, as to shedding personnel and contracts – Josh Sitton, Pernell McPhee, Willie Young being among the most difficult because of tangible intangibles that no organization wants to lose.

“Bridge” results

Fox was never intended as a bridge coach but the results point to that function having been served. To exactly what end remains to play out under Nagy and the quarterback whom Ragone and Fox’s handling began developing.

Rick Renteria was one of those “bridge” guys for the Cubs, intended to be part of pulling out of or at least arresting the slide into the Mike Quade-Dale Sveum abyss, and leaving something for Joe Maddon. The late Vince Lombardi effectively served as that, at age 56 and for an unforeseen one-year for a Washington Redskins organization that’d gone 13 years without a winning season before Lombardi’s 1969 and needed a radical reversal. The culture change was realized over the next decade under George Allen and Jack Pardee, much of the success coming with the same players with whom Washington had languished before the culture change.

The Bears were in that state after the two years of Trestman and the three years of GM Phil Emery, certain of whose character-lite veteran player acquisitions (Martellus Bennett, Brandon Marshall) and high-character launchings (Brian Urlacher) had left a palpable pall over Halas Hall. A Fox goal was to eradicate that, which insiders in Lake Forest say privately was accomplished even amid the catastrophic crush of three straight seasons of 10 or more losses, and with injuries at historic levels.

What happens next is in the hands of Nagy and GM Ryan Pace, after a third John Fox franchise turnaround failed to materialize. Or did it? Because much of the core, from Trubisky through the defensive makeover, came on Fox’s watch, like him or not.

“You wish some things would’ve happened differently obviously,” Fox said, “but there was a lot positive that happened.”

Blackhawks ban four ejected fans from future home games

Blackhawks ban four ejected fans from future home games

The Blackhawks have banned the four fans — who were ejected from Saturday's game against the Washington Capitals for their racist remarks towards Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly — from future home games.

On Monday, a Blackhawks spokesperson released this statement:

We have contacted the select individuals involved in the incident on Saturday to notify them that they are no longer welcome at our home games. Racist comments and other inappropriate behavior are not tolerated by the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks also wanted to remind fans that they can alert security at the United Center by texting the following to 69050: UCASSIST <SPACE> followed by the seating section, row and a brief description of the issue.