Cubs

Shaw ready to accept any punishment that NHL hands down

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Shaw ready to accept any punishment that NHL hands down

Andrew Shaw will accept whatever punishment he receives -- if any -- for his hit on Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith, and the Blackhawks were working their revamped lines again as they prepared for Game 3 against the Coyotes.

Shaw has his hearing this afternoon with Brendan Shanahan for the hit on Smith, which led to Shaw getting a five-minute charging and a game misconduct. Smith finished the game and deemed himself fine, 100 percent afterward.

Ive thought about (what Ill say) but theyve probably made the decision by now and Ill respect the outcome, Shaw said after practice Monday. I watched (the replay), Im upset that I made contact. I tried to get out of the way. Its just that last minute his head coming forward it looked bad.

Coach Joel Quenneville said the Blackhawks will adjust, if need be, after the decision comes down.

(Smith) was fine after the game, he played (the rest of) the game, and I dont think there was any intent, he said. You could see (Shaws) focus was on the puck. He wasnt even looking at the guy.

If the Blackhawks lose Shaw for a game or two, it would hurt them some. The rookie has brought great energy to the teams checking line, and has been part of their power play. But teammates say getting kicked out of Game 2 was punishment enough.

I dont think the intent was there at all. The effort to get out of the way and to avoid the head contact was enough, their goaltenders healthy, hes fine and he played well the rest of the game. Thats the main thing, captain Jonathan Toews said. You know its going to get ugly sometimes; (playoffs) are intense and bad things will happen. As long as were playing clean and hard thats all we can ask. I think penalty we received there was fair enough.

Meanwhile, the Blackhawks went with the lines they finished with in Game 2, with Patrick Kane centering Andrew Brunette and Marian Hossa and Toews centering Patrick Sharp and Viktor Stalberg. The lines brought more balance for the Blackhawks and more familiarity for Kane, whos centered with Brunette and Hossa plenty this season.

Steve Montador also skated on his own this morning prior to the Blackhawks practice.

Cubs still owning second place in the NL All-Star vote standings

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USA TODAY

Cubs still owning second place in the NL All-Star vote standings

One Cubs player is within shouting distance of starting at the 2018 MLB All-Star game. But this time around, as compared to last week, the vote deficit is a bit larger.

MLB updated its second round of All-Star ballots for the National League. Catcher Willson Contreras trails Giants catcher Buster Posey by 90,000 votes. The margin was only 22,000 votes at this time last week.

And for other Cubs players such as Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and others, the margin is a little more substantial.

Rizzo is behind Braves first basemen Freddie Freeman by nearly 870,000 votes. Baez trails Braves second basemen Ozzie Albies by 148,000 votes.

Bryant trails Rockies third basemen Nolan Arenado by 447,000 votes. At shortstop, Addison Russell is in third place, trailing the Dansby Swanson of the Braves and Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford.

In the outfield, Jason Heyward moved up to the seventh spot with 447,359 votes, dropping Kyle Schwarber to eighth with 442,471 votes, and Ben Zobrist ranks ninth with 434,943 votes.

There will be another All-Star ballot update for the NL next Monday, and voting ends on July 5 at 11 p.m. Central.

 

NHL Draft Profile: F Brady Tkachuk

NHL Draft Profile: F Brady Tkachuk

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Brady Tkachuk

Position: Forward
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 196 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report:

"I know Tkachuk isn't a center, but Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks) is another player who comes to mind with his combination of size, strength, skill and nastiness. Tkachuk has impressive hand skills and his upside has only begun because I think there's lots of maturity and growth to come. I've seen his speed and skating improve each of the past three years and I think he'll still get stronger and his balance will get better. His man strength will come and it'll be like, 'Oh boy, look out.'"

NHL player comparable: Matthew Tkachuk/Wayne Simmonds

Fit for Blackhawks:

If you're looking for a player that checks all the boxes in this year's draft, it's Tkachuk. And man could the Blackhawks use a player like him.

He's got offensive skill, willingly goes to the greasy areas, can provide net-front presence while playing a top-six role, and perhaps the most important part for the Blackhawks: he's very close to NHL ready. The Blackhawks will be patient with whoever they draft, but there's also some urgency to turn things around in 2018-19.

If they can draft a player like Tkachuk who can potentially jump into the lineup as early as this upcoming season, that would be ideal. Because he's the type of player that can make an impact, not just get by.