DENVER -- Consider it the annual routine: the Chicago Blackhawks always seem to play the Colorado Avalanche when the Avs are surging. And that holds true again this season.
The Blackhawks will play an Avalanche team that has won five in a row, all of them coming on the road. Keep in mind the teams the Avalanche beat are a combined 8-17-3 in this early season, but five road victories is nevertheless five road victories.
So how do the Blackhawks make sure the Avs don't bring their road success home? It starts with playing their own road game.
"We should look to continue on from our game in Phoenix (on Tuesday), that's what we're looking for," said coach Joel Quenneville, referring to the Blackhawks' 5-2 victory. "(The Avs) have pace on their game and we have to respect their team speed."
Dave Bolland has his own concerns.
"(Matt) Duchene and (Paul) Stastny, a few of those guys," said Bolland. "They're on fire right now so we have to be aware of them and their firepower. Our defensive zone (work) is going to be key. And if we stay out of the penalty box and we'll have a great game."
The Blackhawks will also have to contend with Colorado's power play, which is converting a league-best 31.8 percent of its chances right now. But the Blackhawks have killed off 93.3 percent of power plays thus far, the fourth-best percentage in the NHL.
Corey Crawford will get the start tonight against the Avalanche.
The Chicago Bears 2019 season was a lesson in disappointment in almost every way possible, from the quarterback to the offensive line and even the vaunted pass rush. But no position underwhelmed more than tight end, and Adam Shaheen was a big reason why.
The former second-round pick of the 2017 NFL draft failed to make any impact whatsoever. And that's not hyperbole. He appeared in just eight games, registering nine catches for 74 yards and zero touchdowns. Believe it or not, his stat line was an improvement over 2018 when he had just five catches for 48 yards in six games.
Shaheen's career narrative has been defined by injury, and it continued last season. He was placed on injured reserve in late-November with an apparent foot injury, marking the second-straight season that his year came to an early end.
It's been a remarkably disappointing career for Shaheen so far, who was viewed as a Rob Gronkowski-lite coming out of Ashland University. His jump from the small-school ranks to the NFL was expected to include a steep learning curve, but after three forgettable seasons, it's safe to say Shaheen's failed in almost every way possible.
The Bears are expected to bring Shaheen back for 2020 and he'll likely be in a training-camp battle for a roster spot. Chicago is going to add more talent to the position via either free agency or the NFL Draft and it wouldn't be a surprise if Shaheen begins the offseason schedule last on the depth chart.
It's been an unfortunate outcome for a draft pick that seemed so promising in 2017. Instead of growing into a fixture in the Bears' lineup, Shaheen will be left to fight for his NFL future this summer.
Former Bull and Chicagoland native Dwyane Wade posted an emotional video Sunday reacting to the death of Kobe Bryant.
"I came in the league and I chased him," Wade said. "That's who I chased. I wanted to be respected by him, and once I reached that level, I knew I did something.
"Kobe, thank you, man. Thank you for all the memories — we've got a lot of good ones. These tears that we cry, we're going to miss you. And it's not leaving today, a week from now, a month from now, a year from now. We'll forever, forever miss you, man.
"You're a legend, you're an icon, you're a father, you're a husband, you're a son, you're a brother, you're a friend. Thank you for being my friend. I love you, brother."
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