Preps Talk

Word on the Street: Grace not offered radio job

Word on the Street: Grace not offered radio job

Tuesday, April 5, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Grace never contacted about Cubs' radio job

Former Cubs first baseman Mark Grace, who is now a broadcaster for the Arizona Diamondbacks, said on Tuesday that he was never contacted about the possibility of replacing the late Ron Santo in the Cubs' radio booth.

"Obviously, with Ronnie passing away(last December) that was just a shame," said Grace. "I love that manand I miss him every day. It kills me to look over to the booth. Alldue respect to Keith, but I miss seeing that toupee over there, Ireally do. But, no, I was never contacted. Before Ron passed away, Ihad already signed an extension with the Diamondbacks. So it wasntgoing to happen." (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Lovie open to Hall of Fame Game

A story that appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Monday suggested that the Bears may play in the Pro Football Hall of Fame game on Aug. 7 in Canton, Ohio. Their selection, if it does happen, would be particularly fitting considering that former-Bear Richard Dent is being inducted this year. Bears' head coach Lovie Smith was asked about the possibility on Tuesday, and said he would welcome the opportunity to play in the game.

"We'd like to play ... any time you have an opportunity to play, youwould like to play,'' he said. "We had an opportunity to play in theHall of Fame game before (2005), enjoyed that experience. Well, thispast time was the third time for me being in that game. Whatever theschedule says, I'm excited about.'' (NPR)

Rose getting plenty of rest
Bulls star Derrick Rose has played a lot of tough, clutch minutes over the last week or two for the Bulls. Because of this, some Bulls fans were beginning to worry that he would be wore down by the time the playoffs rolled around later this month. According to Rose, that isn't the case.

I'm good. I've been getting a lot of rest," Rose told "The Waddle &Silvy Show" on WMVP-AM 1000. "I cut everything off right now so I'm notdoing that much Adidas (promotional) things or appearances like that soI'm good. I'm getting a lot of rest, lifting a lot of weights, eatingright. I'm all right." (WGNtv.com)

National Championship Game ratings down

According to national television ratings, the UConn-Butler nationalchampionship game saw a significant slide in viewership from last year.The game earned an 11.7 fast national rating, down 18 percent from last year's Duke-Butler match up.Considering many commentators and fans have chimed in, calling Monday'sgame the worst in NCAA championship history, that's probably not allthat surprising. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Playoff drama highlights a busy week on High School Lites

Playoff drama highlights a busy week on High School Lites

High School Lites had a busy show as it was the final week of the regular season for IHSA boys basketball Class 3A and 4A. The Class 1A and 2A playoffs also tipped in boys basketball as the show has some thrilling regional titles that were decided in the final minute. And finally, the girls basketball Class 1A and 2A state semifinals were played on Friday as the state's top teams played in Bloomington.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @NBCSPreps for the latest news and scores for IHSA basketball.

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Richards wrestler Mia Palumbo

Saint Xavier Team of the Week: Simeon boys basketball

Highlights

Marshall shocks Leo in Class 2A regional final

Aurora Christian runs past Harvert Christian for 1A regional title

Buzzer-beater lifts Monticello over Gibson City for regional title

Jacobs goes unbeaten in Fox Valley with win over Dundee-Crown

West Aurora gets by rival East Aurora

Yorkville completes season sweep of DeKalb

Lemont escapes past T.F. North

Marshall needs OT to get past Teutopolis in girls 2A semifinals

Harlan takes down Eureka in 2A semifinals

Stockton runs by Okaw Valley in 1A

Schlarman races by Lebanon

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks hit road to face Blue Jackets

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NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks hit road to face Blue Jackets

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. One big reunion.

The Blackhawks will square off with the Blue Jackets for the first time since Oct. 7, which was the second game of the season. In that game, they won 5-1 led by Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad, each of whom scored a goal and added an assist.

Of course, that was the first game since the offseason trade that sent Artemi Panarin to Columbus and Saad back to Chicago, along with Anton Forsberg. Artem Anisimov, of course, was part of the original deal that sent Saad to Columbus in 2015, so there are a lot of emotional ties between the two teams.

Forsberg didn't get a chance to face the Blue Jackets in the first meeting, but there's a chance he will this time with it being the second of a back-to-back and Jean-Francois Berube getting the start in Friday's 3-1 win over San Jose.

2. Panarin and Kane bromance.

The emotions of a difficult break-up have probably died down by now, but Panarin and Kane gave us this moment at center ice during pregame warmups in their first game against each other and it hit Chicago right in the feels:

Panarin has spent enough time apart from Kane for people to realize how big of a star he is in his own right, leading the Blue Jackets in all three scoring categories: goals (17), assists (32) and points (49).

He hasn't gone more than three games this season without recording a point, and is looking to extend his point streak to four games, which would tie a season high.

3. Struggling Blue Jackets special teams.

The Blue Jackets got off to a great start but are barely clinging onto a wild card spot going into Saturday's game, and a big reason for that slide is their lack of success on special teams. Usually one can pick up the slack for the other, but they've been brutal in both departments.

The Blue Jackets are 0-for-9 on the power play in their past five games and are ranked 31st overall, converting on only 14.1 percent of their opportunities. They also have own the 27th-ranked penalty kill with a 76.3 percent success rate.

So if there's an area the Blackhawks can exploit, it's that. But, you know, still be mindful of that Russian winger's one-timer from the faceoff circle.