Preps Talk

Coyotes follow through on threat of retaliation

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Coyotes follow through on threat of retaliation

Raffi Torres vicious hit on Marian Hossa in the opening minutes of last nights game has been dissected every way, and if Brendan Shanahan does the right thing Torres wont be taking the ice for some time. What is not being discussed is that the hit is without a doubt a blatant retaliation for Andrew Shaws hit on goalie Mike Smith.

In my previous post, I made note of Shane Doans pregame comments that proved prophetic in the wake of Hossas injury. As reported by the Chicago Sun Times, Doan told the media, its time to get personal."

When Duncan Keith was suspended for elbowing Daniel Sedin a few weeks ago, the Canucks went out of their way to let the media know that Keiths hit was pre-determined. Why are Doans comments being overlooked?

Speaking with reporters after the game, Torres didnt have much to say about the hit.
As far as the hit goes, I felt like it was a hockey play. I was just trying to finish my hit out there, Torres told NHL.com before being asked about his skates leaving the ice in an apparent charge. Im not going to answer that.

Speaking with the Associated Press, Smith offered some well wishes for Hossa before pleading his case that the NHL needs to quickly change their image.

Its scary; your heart goes out to him and his family. Its past hockey, said Smith. Obviously, the head hits have to be cut down. Its peoples livelihood. We all love to play and its a fun sport, but people have families and kids at home, and wives, and when youre getting into head and concussion issues around the whole league, we need to put a stop to it.

Captain Jonathan Toews acknowledged that the Blackhawks are angry, and will do whatever it takes to win the next game for Hossa.

Of course were angry. Its a natural reaction for anybody, the Captain told the A.P. Everyone loves Hoss, respects him and loves him as a teammateWe wanted to win that game tonight for him, but came up short. Weve got to focus on getting the next one for him.

NBC Sports Chicago's 100 Days to Kickoff

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USA Today

NBC Sports Chicago's 100 Days to Kickoff

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

In case you missed any of our previews, here is our rundown:

100. De La Salle

99. Crystal Lake South

98. Eisenhower

97. Back of the Yards

96. Jacobs

95. Waubonsie Valley

94. Kaneland

93. West Aurora

93 Days to Kickoff: West Aurora

93 Days to Kickoff: West Aurora

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: West Aurora

Head coach: Nate Eimer

Assistant coaches: Tony Melchiori, DC Bob Fowler, DL Patrick Stremel, LB Charlie Graves, DB Mike Runge, OL Joe Howell, RB Ron Murphy and QB Alex Shaw

How they fared in 2017: 7-3 (4-1 Upstate Eight Valley Conference). West Aurora made the IHSA Class 8A playoff field last season. The Blackhawks lost to Naperville Central 35-14 in opening round action.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Larkin

Aug. 31 @ West Chicago

Sept. 7 vs Streamwood

Sept. 14 @ Glenbard East

Sept. 21 vs Bartlett

Sept. 28 vs Glenbard South

Oct. 5 @ Elgin

Oct. 12 vs East Aurora

Oct. 19 vs South Elgin

[MORE: 94 Days to Kickoff - Kaneland]

Biggest storyline: Game 11. Can the Blackhawks get back to the IHSA state playoffs for the fourth straight season and then advance past the opening round?

Names to watch this season: QB Will Tammaru, RB/DB JaQuan Buchanan and DT Denver Warren

Biggest holes to fill: The Blackhawks welcome back an impressive 17 starters (nine offense, eight defense) to the mix. However, the group will be a bit inexperienced in some spots on both the offensive and defensive line.  

EDGY's Early Take: The Blackhawks' turnaround under head coach Nate Eimer and staff has been a terrific story to follow. That said, the bar for West Aurora football has also been raised. No longer are they satisfied by just "getting" to state. The Blackhawks welcome back a deep group on both sides of the football led by a potentially high powered, balanced offense. On paper, this team has the makings of being one of the better Blackhawks teams in their history. They will challenge for the Upstate Eight conference title and get another shot at the Class 8A playoff field.