Cubs

Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson to be next featured guest on Inside Look

Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson to be next featured guest on Inside Look

“Inside Look presented by Cadillac,” hosted by Comcast SportsNet’s Pat Boyle, featuring Niklas Hjalmarsson to debut Thursday, October 15 at 9:00 PM CT 

CSNChicago.com to provide additional web-exclusive coverage of ‘Inside Look,’ including extended video clips

Chicago, IL (October 13, 2015) – Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, continues to delve into the lives of some of the biggest names in Chicago sports with its candid, monthly, one-on-one interview series Inside Look presented by Cadillac

Debuting Thursday, October 15 at 9:00 PM CT, Comcast SportsNet’s Pat Boylehosts an exclusive one-on-one interview with Chicago Blackhawks defenseman and three-time Stanley Cup champion NIKLAS HJALMARSSON.  Regarded as one the NHL’s top overall defenseman and one of the league’s elite shot blockers,Hjalmarsson discusses everything from his youth hockey days in his native Sweden, to being drafted by the Blackhawks and eventually winning three championships over the course of his NHL career, winning a Silver Medal with Sweden at the Sochi Olympics, his thoughts on changes to this season’s Blackhawks roster, and much more.   

In addition, viewers are urged to check out Comcast SportsNet’s website - CSNChicago.com - for additional interview content never before seen on TV.  Fans will also be able to watch every Inside Look guest interview online after it debuts on Comcast SportsNet.  Comcast SportsNet will also re-air Inside Look with Niklas Hjalmarsson on the following dates/times: Fri, Oct. 16 at 1pm & midnight on CSN+ - Sat, Oct. 17 at 11pm - Sun, Oct. 18 at 2:30pm on CSN+ - Mon, Oct. 19 at 8:30pm - Fri, Oct. 23 at 11pm on CSN+ - Sat, Oct. 24 at 7pm - Sun, Oct. 25 at 6pm - Mon, Oct. 26 at midnight on CSN+ - Tue, Oct. 27 at 11:30pm - and Sat, Oct. 31 at 5:30pm on CSN+ and 11:30pm.  Schedule subject to change.

Note the following quotes from Inside Look with Niklas Hjalmarsson presented by Cadillac premiering Thursday, October 15 at 9:00 PM on Comcast SportsNet:

HJALMARSSON on winning three Stanley Cup championships over the past six years

“It has been a surreal journey.  It’s tough to realize when you are actually living in it now and I think it is something you are going to look back after you are done with hockey and realize what a unique situation this is to have this amount of guys on the same team for such a long time, to be so successful, to get three rings and grew up together.  It is a great story”

HJALMARSSON on the key winning three Stanley Cup titles:

“First of all you have to have the players. We have extremely talented players. Second of all, you have to play the best hockey when it matters the most. That is something that is unique with this group. Looking back at all the playoff rounds that we had (over the years), we may have met equal opponents, but we played better hockey and that is not a coincidence when we have done it so many times. That is the one thing that is most noticeable.”

HJALMARSSON on adjustments to off-season roster changes:

“You realize you are in a business where things change and you cannot really affect those kinds of things and you have to focus on your own and make that as good as possible. Just enjoy every year we have in the league and take advantage of every year, because you don’t know when it is going to end. Players leave a team and players come and there is a lot of change around the team from year to year. I am just trying to take it year-by year because you never know what will happen in this league.”

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Jon Lester struggles against the division-rival Cardinals

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Jon Lester struggles against the division-rival Cardinals

It was a tough day for the North Siders.

The Cubs got obliterated by the Cardinals as Matt Carpenter had a three-homer, two-double day. Ben Finfer, Seth Gruen and Maggie Hendricks join David Kaplan on the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast to talk about the blowout.

Was Jon Lester due for this kind of terrible outing? And do the Cubs have enough to swing a big trade before the deadline?

Plus, the panel discusses Matt Nagy’s first training camp practice in the rain and Roquan Smith’s absence in Bourbonnais.

You can listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

Could Bears improve and still lose ground? The MMQB's Albert Breer weighs in on tough NFC North

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USA TODAY

Could Bears improve and still lose ground? The MMQB's Albert Breer weighs in on tough NFC North

NBC Sports Chicago’s John "Moon" Mullin talked with The MMQB's Albert Breer, who shared his thoughts on where the Bears stand — and if they’ll be able to compete — in a highly competitive NFC North.

Moon: The Bears have made upgrades, but they’re in the NFC North and not many divisions are tougher, given the strength at quarterbacks.

Breer: Yes. You look at the other three teams, and they all very much believe they’re in a window for winning a championship. The Packers are going through some changes, but they’ve gotten Mike Pettine in there as defensive coordinator and a new general manager who was aggressive on draft day. I know that internally they feel that’s going to give them a boost, and bringing Aaron Rodgers back obviously is the biggest thing of all.

Minnesota, all the things they did this offseason, signing (quarterback) Kirk Cousins, (defensive lineman) Sheldon Richardson, and they were knocking on the door last year.

The Lions have been building for two years under (general manager) Bob Quinn and (new coach) Matt Patricia, who lines right up with the general manager — the two of them worked together in New England. They really believe that Matthew Stafford is ready to take the sort of jump that Matt Ryan made in Atlanta a few years ago, where you see that mid-career breakthrough from a quarterback that we see sometimes now.

It’s one of the toughest divisions in football, and every team in the division believes that it’s in the position to contend right now.

Moon: We didn’t see a lot of Mitch Trubisky — 12 games — so it sounds possible that the Bears could improve and still lose ground.

Breer: The Lions were pretty good last year. The Vikings were in the NFC Championship game. And who knows where the Packers would’ve been if Rodgers hadn’t broken his collarbone. The biggest change is that Aaron Rodgers will be back, and that’s the best player in the league. It was a really good division last year, and you’re adding back in a Hall of Fame quarterback.

As far as the Bears, there’s going to be questions where the organization is going. It’s been seven years since they were in the playoffs. I think they certainly got the coach hire right. This is a guy who I know other organizations liked quite a bit and was going to be a head coach sooner or later.

And I think he matches up well with Mitch. I think the Bears are in a good spot, but as you said, they’re competing in a difficult environment, so it may not show up in their record.

Moon: A lot of love for the Vikings after they get to the NFC Championship and then add Kirk Cousins.

Breer: A lot of people look at Minnesota and think Kirk Cousins’ll be a huge improvement. And maybe he will be. I think he’s a very good quarterback, top dozen in the league. But Case Keenum played really, really well last year, so it wasn’t like they weren’t getting anything out of that position last year.

The NFC right now is clearly the strength of the league. If you picked the top 10 teams in the league, you could make a case that seven or eight of them are in the NFC. I think there will be NFC teams that miss the playoffs who could be in the Super Bowl coming out of the AFC. There’s a little bit of an imbalance there.

Moon: Trubisky projects as part of a wave of new quarterbacks league-wide, a sea change in the NFL.

Breer: The interesting thing is that this is probably as stable as the league has been at quarterback in a long time. There’ve been questions where the next great quarterbacks will come from, but I don’t know that there’s a team right now in the NFL like you looked at the Jets or Browns last year, where you say that team is definitely drafting a quarterback in 2019.

Everyone either has a big-money veteran or former first-round pick on their roster. One team that doesn’t is the Cowboys, but they’ve got Dak Prescott who’s played really well. Every team in the league has some stability at the position. I think the position is as healthy as it’s been in a long time, and you’ve got a lot of good young prospects.