Cubs

Shaw suspended three games for hit

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Shaw suspended three games for hit

It took quite a while for Brendan Shanahan to make his ruling on Andrew Shaws hit on Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith. When he did, it was noticeable.

Shaw was suspended three games for his hit on Smith in Game 2 of the Blackhawks first-round series with the Coyotes. It seemed a harsh ruling, when compared with some of the others that have come down recently. It also took long enough to come; the ruling was announced around 2 p.m. Central time, just six hours before the Blackhawks and Coyotes dropped the puck for Game 3 at the United Center.

Shaw will miss tonights game, as well as Games 4 and 5. Michael Frolik is his likely replacement. Smith finished Game 2 but did not practice Monday. While Smith participated in morning skate on Tuesday, coach Dave Tippett said the goaltender was a game-time decision.

In his video explanation of the ruling, Shanahan said that a goalkeeper is not fair game, just because hes outside the crease area.

However, incidental contact will be permitted when the goalkeeper is in the act of playing the puck outside his goal crease, provided the attacking player has made reasonable effort to avoid such contact, said Shanahan. Shaw does not make a reasonable effort to avoid such contact.

Whats more, this is not a skater and goaltender colliding while pursuing a loose puck. Shaw skates a considerable distance and hits the head of stationary goaltender who has possession of the puck. There is no opposing player near Shaw, therefore the path he takes to Smith is entirely up to him, and the onus is on him to make every effort to avoid the goalie.

Shanahan said the NHL took into consideration the fact that Smith remained in the game and suffered no apparent injury. He also took into consideration that Shaw has no prior finessuspensions in his brief NHL career.

The Coyotes were not happy from the hit from the start, and never backed down from their opinions. That includes Tippett, who reiterated his thoughts on it this morning.

Its a blatant hit to the head, with no intent to miss the goalie, Tippett said. Ive gone through a lot of these meetings with the NHL. Thats the exact same hit theyre trying to take out of the game.

Now the Blackhawks will go on without Shaw, whose energy and aggressive play has been critical down the stretch.

Hes really come along since he came up the second time, Patrick Sharp said. Hell be in their face, quick to pucks and he goes to puck areas hard. Hes a key player for us.

Jamal Mayers echoed the same sentiment.

You lose a lot of energy, he said. Im sure the other team has to be aware where he is. Hes not afraid to go to those tough areas. Hes been chipping in, in a lot of areas for us.

See the complete explanation video below:

Anthony Rizzo on his miraculous return to Cubs: 'I love this team'

Anthony Rizzo on his miraculous return to Cubs: 'I love this team'

The story could not have followed a more perfect trajectory:

Injured star (Anthony Rizzo) makes a miraculous recovery, hits a big home run in a huge game and helps will his team to victory.

Except for the last part. 

After suffering a nasty-looking ankle injury in Sunday's game, Rizzo was announced as the Cubs' leadoff hitter and first baseman about 20 minutes before first pitch Thursday night and hit a game-tying homer in his second trip to the plate.

It was the only offense the Cubs were able to muster against Jack Flaherty, but they pulled off an epic comeback in the ninth inning — with Javy Baez scoring the game-tying run in his first action since Sept. 1.

That was quickly erased with Matt Carpenter's go-ahead homer off Craig Kimbrel in the top of the 10th inning and the Cardinals went on to win 5-4 and bury the Cubs 4 games back in the division.

But nobody's pointing the finger at Rizzo, who has spent the last four days in a walking boot and was unable to even put weight on his right ankle up until Wednesday, when he retired his snack-filled scooter. 

Joe Maddon was planning on being without one of his most important players until the moment Rizzo was out in left field, running and jumping on the grass

Rizzo didn't even know he was going to be able to play until that moment, either.

"You get the questions of waiting a couple more days, but we don't have a couple more days," Rizzo said. "We gotta win now. And I love this team. ... I love playing. That's what I want to do. It's what I love doing — playing baseball, especially for this team that we're fighting at Wrigley Field in late September to go to the playoffs and that's where all the magic happens."

He exited the game after the fifth inning and immediately went back into the training room to continue treatment. He received a cortisone shot Monday and otherwise has been religiously following the "RICE" treatment plan (rest, ice, compression, elevation), with help from the Cubs medical staff at the ballpark and his wife — "Nurse Emily" — at home.

"I kept saying, 'this ankle doesn't stand a chance,'" Rizzo said. "It's still obviously sore, but it was good enough to play."

Rizzo walked into and out of the Cubs press conference room without the boot and said he felt "good" and was hoping to play Friday, though he admitted he would be smart and let the team know if he was unable to suit up.

Quite the turnaround from a guy who stood at his locker Monday afternoon with his right knee bent and resting on the scooter (which did not yet have tassels or a horn or snacks at that point) and the Robocop-like boot on his ankle. 

"Honestly, when I told you guys [Monday] 'I'll let you know in a few days,' I did not think in a few days I'd be doing this," he said. "I had a positive mindset — 'It's gonna take me three days. Watch, it's gonna take me three days.' And everyone was just kinda like, 'no way.' I believed I was healthy and I am."

Still, even with the made-for-Hollywood return, the Cubs will wake up Friday morning out of a playoff spot for the first time since April 30. 

Thursday could've been an epic, season-altering comeback, but instead the Cubs are forced to find a way to move on after another gut-punch.

At least they now have Rizzo, Baez and Kimbrel back in the fold, even if they're not all 100 percent.

"It's just all hands on deck," Rizzo said. "We have to win and I think guys want to win and are pushing themselves. Everyone is banged up this time of the year, so it's just mind over matter, really."

Is Ryan Arcidiacono trying to become the fourth Jonas Brother?

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USA TODAY

Is Ryan Arcidiacono trying to become the fourth Jonas Brother?

The Jonas Brothers are in Chicago for concerts that are taking place on Thursday and Friday night, and they have enjoyed quite a week. This week the trio has enjoyed a nice golf outing at Village Links in Glen Ellyn, had some quality BBQ at Bub City and even got the amazing opportunity to play a touch football game at Soldier Field. But one particular Bulls guard is looking to add another fun experience to their Chicago trip.

The Bulls organization welcomed the Jonas Brothers to the city with a set of custom jerseys for the trio and their significant others and that's when Ryan Arcidiacono chimed in with his offer. 

Since the Jonas Brothers have already got to play some football on the actual Soldier Field grass, Arci figured they might as well keep the Chicago sports-themed fun going and shoot some hoops with him. 

Now, Arcidiacono didn't make it clear whether or not he was offering for the Jonas Brother to get some shots up with him at the United Center, where their shows take place on Thursday and Friday night. But, either way, his time is running out as they will be moving on to Jackson County, MO for their next stop on tour on September 21.

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