Blackhawks

Word on the Street: Heat players crying after loss?

Word on the Street: Heat players crying after loss?

Monday, March 7, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Heat players in tears after loss to Bulls?

There's no crying in basketball. Unless, that is, you play for the Miami Heat.

"There are a couple of guys crying there in the locker room," Miami coach Erik Spoelstra told the media after last night's loss to the Chicago Bulls.

This put the Heat's losing streak at four games. Chicago swept the season series against Miami. (NBC Sports)

Weekend festivals around Wrigley for the Cubs?

A team official says the Chicago Cubs want to turn three popular series this summer into weekend festivals.

When the Cubs face the New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Cardinals, the Cubs would like to shut down Sheffield from Addison Street to Waveland Avenue for most of the day from Friday through Sunday. Tickets would not be needed to get into the area. The street would feature family entertainment, food and drink, a chance to meet players and a radar booth to measure the speed of pitches thrown by fans.

Its really a great opportunity to create an atmosphere thats family oriented before, during and after the game, Wally Hayward, chief of sales and marketing for the Cubs, said. (Chicago Tribune)

Former Bears on ballot for college HOF

Former Chicago Bears quarterback Bobby Douglass and linebacker Ron Rivera are on the 2011 ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame.

Douglass (Kansas) and Rivera, current head coach of the Carolina Panthers who hails from California, join former Bears wide receiver Willie Gault (Tennessee), tight end Marv Cook (Iowa), defenseive back Mark Carrier (Southern Cal) and defensive end Al Harris (Arizona State) on the list. Former Bears coach Dick Jauron (Yale) returns as a candidate. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

Adam Dunn 'too hard on himself'

It seems the new DH for the Chicago White Sox may be a bit too critical of his performances in Colorado. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Adam Dunn said that Chicago was his "favorite city," and that U.S. Cellular Field is built for him, though he's never actually played there before. But he wasn't quite as confident about his performance in Colorado.

"See, everyone says Colorado and I can't buy a hit there," he said.

The thing is, Dunn actually does pretty well at Coors Field. His slugging percentage there? .592. Not too shabby, Adam. (Sports Illustrated)

Wimbledon coming to a theater near you

The men's semifinals and men's and women's finals at this summer's Wimbledon tournament will be shown live by 3-D-capable movie theaters around the world. The deal was announced as part of the Wimbledon's multi-year partnership with Sony.

Wimbledon becomes the latest major sporting event to be available in 3-D. (Tribune News Services)

Five takeaways from Blackhawks' overtime loss to Lightning: Missed opportunities and one too many penalties

Five takeaways from Blackhawks' overtime loss to Lightning: Missed opportunities and one too many penalties

Here are five takeaways from the Blackhawks’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night:
 
1. One too many penalties.

The Blackhawks flirted with danger in the first period when they handed the Lightning three straight continuous power plays, a four-minute double minor high-sticking penalty from John Hayden and a Jonathan Toews hooking call that resulted in a 5-on-3 opportunity for Tampa Bay for 43 seconds. 

The penalty kill unit that ranked fourth in the league entering the matchup, however, killed off all three of those penalties against the NHL's top-ranked power play, and did so in commanding fashion.

The Blackhawks went 5-for-5 on the penalty kill in regulation, but couldn't stop the sixth one — a questionable slashing call on Nick Schmaltz —  in overtime when Brayden Point buried the winner on a 4-on-3 opportunity.

It was also interesting that Jon Cooper elected to go with four forwards (Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov, Point and Steven Stamkos) and zero defensemen during that man advantage, putting all of his offensive weapons out on the ice. It's something more teams should do in that situation.

2. Patrick Kane gets going.

After scoring just one goal in his previous 10 games, Kane found the back of the net twice in the opening frame against Tampa Bay and stayed hot against a team he historically plays well against. And he nearly netted a hat trick in overtime but couldn't cash in on a breakaway opportunity.

Kane has 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in 14 career regular-season games against the Lightning, and extended his point streak to five games. He has three goals and four assists over that stretch.

We wrote about how important it is for the Blackhawks' superstars to get going again with the offensive contributions mainly coming from role players as of late, and Kane getting into a groove is a perfect step in that direction.

3. How about that goaltending battle?

Corey Crawford and Andrei Vasilevskiy showed us exactly why they belong in the Vezina Trophy discussion, and as of this moment, it's hard not to include both of them as finalists. They put on a goaltending clinic, seemingly topping the other as the game went on.

The two teams combined for 71 scoring chances, and Crawford and Vasilevskiy came up big when their teams need them the most.

Crawford finished with 35 saves on 38 shots (.921 save percentage) in the loss while Vasilevskiy stopped 29 of 31 (.935 save percentage), and improved to 15-2-1 on the season. 

4. Missed opportunities.

You couldn't have asked for a better start for the Blackhawks. They scored the first goal 3:49 into the game and the second on the power play at 15:54, killed off three penalties, including a 5-on-3, had 24 shot attempts (13 on goal) compared to the Lightning's 16 attempts (11 on goal) and led in even-strength scoring chances 9-6.

It was a different story the rest of the way.

The Blackhawks took their foot off the gas pedal a bit and let the Lightning back in the game by getting away from what they do best, and that's control the puck. Obviously, you expected the league's best offense to push back and it's certainly not an easy task to keep them off the scoresheet all together. 

But the Blackhawks had their chances to stay in front or retake the lead and just couldn't bury them. Tampa Bay had 50 shot attempts from the second period on while the Blackhawks had only 32, and finished with 44 scoring chances compared to Chicago's 27.

5. Richard Panik in the doghouse?

Joel Quenneville didn't go to his line blender in this one, but he did shorten some leashes. Panik, most notably, had a season-low 12:28 of ice time in the loss and had 15 shifts, which was second-fewest only to Ryan Hartman (13) on the team.

Panik had a prime chance to break a 2-2 tie in the third period but was denied by Vasilevskiy, who made a remarkable left-pad save. Instead, Panik extended his goal drought to 12 games and didn't get a shift in overtime.

He's certainly better and will get his scoring chances when playing on the top line with Toews and Brandon Saad, but the missed opportunities are magnified in tight losses. It doesn't look like a move down in the lineup is coming given the success of Alex DeBrincat, who gives the Blackhawks an offensive weapon on the third line, but perhaps it should be considered.

Bring your own stuffing: Jazz swat Bulls on Thanksgiving Eve

Bring your own stuffing: Jazz swat Bulls on Thanksgiving Eve

On the second (turkey) leg of a back-to-back, the Bulls didn't bring much energy in a 110-80 loss to the Utah Jazz. 

Instead of diving into the nitty-gritty of the uninspiring effort, though, we decided to just serve you up a Thanksgiving meal of highlights. Here are the top blocks from Wednesday's game: 

5. Derrick Favors is no Rudy Gobert -- that we know -- but imitation is the highest form of flattery. 

4. Are Bobby Portis chase down blocks the new LeBron James chase down blocks? Let's not get carried away... yet. We'll chalk it up to just a real nice hustle play by Bobby. 

3 and 2. Speaking of hustle plays... Jonas Jerebko isn't exactly known as a dominant defender. He sure made it hard for the Bulls on what should of been an easy fast-break bucket in the third quarter, though. First, he silenced Kris Dunn's reverse. Then, he met Lauri Markkanen at the rim and sent the rookie packing. The Baby Bulls 2.0 can blame it on fatigue, but they just handed Jerebko a highlight tape for years to come.   

1. In fairness, Jerian Grant had to get up a shot as the quarter was coming to a close. It is as vicious as it looks, though.