Blackhawks

Burger of Champions? Culver's could be perfect winning meal

903943.png

Burger of Champions? Culver's could be perfect winning meal

Nothing goes better in college football with an upset win than a good ol' fashioned cheeseburger, or at least that's how Oregon State feels.
The No. 14 Beavers, one of college football's biggest surprises this season, have celebrated each of their past two road wins (at UCLA and at Arizona) with stops at In-N-Out Burger, a burger restaurant chain based out of Irvine, Calif.
And as the Wall Street Journal points out, the stops were easy to make for OSU. UCLA's home stadium, The Rose Bowl, was just 4.7 miles from the nearest In-N-Out Burger. And Arizona Stadium was just three miles away, making travel easy.
But what if the Big Ten wanted to celebrate with burgers? When thinking Midwest burger chains, Culver's comes to mind. Of the 424 franchise locations, 346 (81.6 percent) are located in Big Ten country, including 124 in Wisconsin alone. Illinois (82), Minnesota (52), Iowa (27), Michigan (27), Indiana (25) and Nebraska (9) are also well-represented.
Despite the locations in Wisconsin, the Illinois Fighting Illini have a Culver's location just 1.3 miles from Memorial Stadium in Champaign, the closest in the Big Ten. Iowa (1.9 miles), Michigan State (3.4) and Wisconsin (3.5) are next closest, while team buses won't have to travel far after road games in Minnesota (4.6 miles), Nebraska (4.8), Purdue (4.9), Michigan (5.8) and Northwestern (7.3). Ohio Stadium in Columbus isn't bad, either, with a ButterBurger just 10.7 miles away.
With 25 locations in Indiana, opponents may be upset to learn that the closest Culver's is more than 35 miles away in Columbus, Ind.
Opponents of Penn State will likely want to wait until they fly back home to pick up their frozen custard. There are Culver's in 17 different states, but the Eastern-most location is in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, 312 miles from Happy Valley.
The Big Ten champion can also celebrate with Culver's, as a location sits just nine miles away from Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Rose Bowl participant would have to travel 332 miles to Arizona to find the Western-most Culver's location.
Should any Big Ten team find themselves fortunate enough to play in this year's BCS National Championship game in Miami Gardens, Fla., it's a 716-mile hike to the nearest Culver's, located in Greenville, S.C.

Four takeaways: Blackhawks suffer first regulation loss, but Corey Crawford looks sharp in season debut

crawford_usatoday.jpg
USA TODAY

Four takeaways: Blackhawks suffer first regulation loss, but Corey Crawford looks sharp in season debut

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 4-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes at the United Center on Thursday:

1. Return of the Crow

The Blackhawks got their man back between the pipes after a 10-month layoff due to a concussion. And he looked like same old "Crow."

Crawford stopped 27 of 30 shots for a save percentage of .900. He faced 12 shots and eight scoring chances in the first period, but nothing too out of the ordinary. The biggest save he made was on a Michael Grabner breakaway in the third period, bailing out a turnover in the neutral zone.

"I think I felt better in the second and third," Crawford said. "But they really didn’t get that many opportunities early. It was nice. I think they flipped one in for the first one, so that was kind of good just to get in it and feel one early. We were close in that one all game and we created a lot. I thought [Antti] Raanta played really well.

"It was a tough, tough break at the end. Still felt I should have stopped that one. We were right there, we were creating a lot and gotta try to come up with that one. Just gotta forget about it and worry about the next game."

2. Alex DeBrincat, Jonathan Toews extend point streaks

The hot start continues for the Blackhawks' two leading scorers, both of whom assisted on Erik Gustafsson's goal in the second period to stretch their point streaks to six games. DeBrincat and Toews each have 10 points this season.

3. Overtime streak ends

The Blackhawks made history by forcing five straight overtime games to start the season, something no team has ever done in the four major sports (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB). But they didn't have the comeback magic in them this time.

Entering Thursday, the Blackhawks were 1-0-1 when trailing after two periods. They were 5-28-2 last season for a win percentage of .143.

4. Familiar faces, new places

Five former Blackhawks took the ice for the Coyotes: Vinnie Hinostroza, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Jordan Oesterle, Richard Panik and Antti Raanta.

It was Hjalmarsson's first trip back to Chicago since being traded in the 2017 offseason. He received a nice video tribute during the second TV timeout of the first period, which made him very emotional.

"I almost got emotional too seeing his reaction," Toews said. "He's one of those guys you'll never forget what he meant to this locker room. He was a quiet guy in the room but we all know how he played and put everyone else before himself. Pretty cool reaction from the fans too. I think we were all sad to see him leave this locker room, he did a lot of special things and was a massive part of our championship wins. Happy for him to get that reception. It's well-deserved and obviously we miss having him around."

As far as the game, Hjalmarsson logged a team-high 22:18 of ice time and blocked three shots. Oesterle registered a secondary assist on Arizona's first goal, which was its first 5-on-5 of the season.

Hinostroza, who was also part of the Marian Hossa trade over the summer, scored twice in his return to his hometown, beating Crawford with a wrist shot to make it 2-1 in the second period and an empty-netter in the third; his second goal turned out to be the game winner, the fourth of his career and first as a member of the Coyotes.

Panik recorded four shot attempts (three on goal). And Raanta improved to 16-0-3 in his career at the United Center, a remarkable record for any goaltender in any situation.

Kyle Hendricks takes in a Blackhawks game with... Bastian Schweinsteiger?

hendricks-schwein-1018.jpg
NBC Sports Chicago

Kyle Hendricks takes in a Blackhawks game with... Bastian Schweinsteiger?

A Cubs pitcher taking in a Blackhawks game in a suite is nothing special, but doing so with a World Cup winner is... different.

Kyle Hendricks was spotted by the cameras of Thursday's Blackhawks-Coyotes broadcast on NBC Sports Chicago. The guy he was standing next to was none other than Chicago Fire midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, a World Cup with Germany and Champions League winner with Bayern Munich.

Hendricks is known for being reserved on the mound and in his interviews with the media. Meanwhile, Schweinsteiger was filmed yelling "Bear Down" in the hallway of Toyota Park after a Fire practice earlier in the day.

There's no telling what inspired Schweinsteiger to do this, but he has definitely embraced Chicago sports teams since joining the Fire in March of 2017.

Makes you wonder what Hendricks and Schweinsteiger were talking about. Best places to get brats in Chicago?