In Quenneville We Trust: Bring on Game 6

It’s do or die for the Blackhawks tonight as they go into Game 6 with the Coyotes leading the series 3-2. Coach Quenneville and his Hawks are coming back to Chicago. After Saturday’s dramatic overtime win (as every game in the series has gone to overtime), the Hawks absolutely have the momentum, especially coming to play in front of their fans at the United Center. The Yotes took both games at the UC earlier in the series (games 3 and 4) and this time the Hawks need to capitalize on their home ice.

After his game-winning overtime goal in game 5, captain Jonathan Toews said Sunday, “You can imagine the feeling they have now; they didn’t want to come back to Chicago, they wanted to end it there. Any time we can keep pushing it to another game, they’re getting that feeling it’s theirs to lose. We’re trying to put the pressure on them and playing hard. We want to do that again tomorrow night, just like we did last game.”

Andrew Shaw returns to the team tonight after serving his three-game suspension for hitting Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith. We’re hoping he gives the Hawks an additional boost of energy. On a negative note, the Blackhawks will be without Marian Hossa, who is still recovering from his nasty hit from Raffi Torres (did I mention that punk was suspended for 25 games). Quenneville said there hasn’t been a change in Hossa’s status since the hit in game 3.

Here’s what the Hawks need to do tonight: they need to score quick and early. The Coyotes are NOT a better team offensively, and they’re basically just playing “keep away” with the Blackhawks. If the Hawks can find their intensity early on, the Coyotes don’t stand a chance. Kaner – I’m looking to you to get in there and score some goals – you too Sharpie.

The Blackhawks have avoided elimination once. We can win tonight and force the series to go to game 7!

The Humber Games

On Saturday, White Sox pitcher Philip Humber accomplished something only 20 other pitchers have ever done in the history of the MLB (making him the 21st), he threw a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners. He pitched all nine innings, not one runner advanced to first, not one walk, not one home run, he was perfect. It’s not every day you get to use the word “perfect” to describe any    sport, let alone baseball.

Here’s how it went down. The count was 3-2 against Mariners’ Brendan Ryan, he swung at Humber’s breaking ball, it was a bit of a wild pitch getting away from the batter’s box, but A.J. Pierzynski looking quick and agile, pounced on the ball and easily threw Ryan out at first (hopefully Humber bought Pierzynski a drink or two to thank him for the sweet play). Humber was then mobbed by his teammates on the field in a celebratory dog pile.

Humber threw 97 pitches to retire all 27 batters. Although he threw a perfect game, he was so incredibly humble, “I don’t know that I dominated them. Obviously the ball was hit at people. I’m thankful for that. It was a well-pitched game. Definitely something I’ll never forget.” He even thanked his wife and little girl on air; too precious.

There were two things missing from Saturday’s success. Being on the road for such a remarkable task is never as great as being on your own home field, however, the Mariners fans gave Humber a standing ovation when he closed out the game (well deserved buddy). Also, for whatever reason, the game was televised on FOX and Sox fans didn’t get to hear Hawk Harrelson’s voice. Hawk IS the voice of White Sox baseball; he would have made the moment so much better.

It was the third perfect game in White Sox history Saturday afternoon. Humber joins Charlie Robertson (1922) and Mark Buehrle (2009) as a White Sox legend. Not too shabby, only 21 pitchers have ever accomplished a perfect game, and 3 of them have been in White Sox uniforms.

How’d this little Nugget get onto the WhiteSox Field?

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We’re used to seeing drunken fans running around the field, but this, this was different. During Thursday’s White Sox Orioles game a kid, no older than 5 or 6, made his way onto the field during the 7th inning and Dayan Viciedo had to actually pick him up and carry him to a security guard.

Generally the punishment for such an act is rather steep, but what happens to a little kid who most likely escaped his parents? “What’s the fine going to be? A Dozen Oreos?” suggested the announcer.

Honestly though, where were this little nugget’s parents?

Once a Canuck, Always a Canuck: Raffi Torres Suspended Indefinitely

Raffi Torres, a Coyote player who’s name wouldn’t sit well with any Blackhawks’ fan at the moment, has been suspended indefinitely for his dirty hit on our beloved Marian Hossa.

During the first period of game three of the Coyotes-Blackhawks series, Torres left his feet and slammed his shoulder into Hossa’s head, who did not have the puck at the time. Totally illegal. Hossa laid motionless on the ice for what seemed like forever (it was about 5 minutes) and was then carted away on a stretcher. He was taken to the hospital, but reports state that he left on his own two feet after undergoing some tests.

The best part, “none of the officials saw the hit” – there was an official standing RIGHT THERE. Because this massive hit went unnoticed, Torres did not receive any sort of penalty during the game.

First things first, Hossa we hope you’re okay. #WinItForHossa

Second, Torres is a dirty rat and I hope he’s suspended for the rest of the season. I know hockey is a rough sport and there are obvious risks you run playing a dangerous sport. Don’t get me wrong I love the fighting, but a hit to a player’s head is unnecessary. Torres has an in-person hearing scheduled for Friday with the NHL. Because the hearing is in-person means he could face a six game suspension or more.

After game 3, Torres told the Arizona Republic that as far as the hit goes, he felt it was a “hockey play”. Blackhawks’ Captain Jonathan Toews didn’t like that much, “Well, that’s obviously the way he thinks,” he said. “I said it before, it’s the same when he was with Vancouver last year. There’s no remorse at all with a guy like that. You pretty much take him out and have a guy carried on a stretcher and he probably doesn’t feel bad about it at all. That’s not hockey to me.” That’s why we love you Toews.

The Coyote forward doesn’t have the cleanest track record either. Last April, it was a hit on Brent Seabrook from Torres during the Vancouver- Chicago first round series. He was not suspended for this hit, but had been previously in the 2011 season. Like I said, once a Canuck, always a Canuck.

It seems like this year’s run to the Stanley Cup has been violent all over the league. I’m a little worried what will happen in the next rounds when things heat up even more!

Get Pumped for NBA Playoffs

 

TNT and Linkin Park teamed up for this little playoffs promo, using the song “Burn it Down.” If you want to get pumped for the post season, I recommend giving the above video a nice click.

After such a crazy jam packed and injury prone season, the playoffs will almost be a relief. Just the best of the best going head to head trying to get that championship.

I can’t take the credit for finding this gem on my own, shout out to Billy Zureikat (@Thagoods22).

Prime-Time Bears 2012 Schedule

The wait is over ladies and gents, the official 2012 NFL schedule was released tonight. You may think football season is just a mere idea this early on, but you have to plan ahead and mentally prepare!

After a rough end to the 2011 season, analysts wouldn’t think the Bears are a prime contender for the Lombardi trophy, but the NFL has them playing five prime-times games this season. The Bears have a Thursday night game Week 2 in Green Bay and three Monday Night Football games.

For the third year in a row the Bears will open their season at home. In a press conference Lovie Smith said, “I love starting the season at home in front of our fans. I don’t think there is a better place to kick off the season than playing at Soldier Field on the lakefront.” Preach.

Check it out for yourself, plan your fall weekends accordingly:

All in all, it’s going to be an interesting season. As always, the Bears will have grueling competition in the NFC North. The Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions will be meaner and deeper than ever – What’s new? Bring it on NFC North. Bring. It. On.

Dirty Penguins

Everyone loves a good hockey brawl, it’s one of the reasons the NHL is so entertaining. HOWEVER – the current Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers playoff series is more of a novice UFC fight. Talk about a rivalry between the state of Pennsylvania. It’s the Penguins who are playing like dirty little birds out of frustration. Hot damn this was crazy, and this fight in the first period was just the beginning.

Three players were tossed in the first period, even superstars Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby and Claude Giroux got in a scuffle. Each team had their top defenseman – Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang and Philadelphia’s Kimmo Timonen – booted to the locker room.

Talk about the “Fight to the Cup” – I think the Penguins might be taking it a little too literally. The score was overshadowed by the slugfest, but in the end the Flyers won 8-4 and lead the series 3-0. Things might get even uglier

Brent Seabrook Saves the Hawks – Until OT

You may have thought all hope was lost for the Blackhawks in game one of their playoff series with the Phoenix Coyotes, but in came Brent Seabrook to save the day with a clutch goal tying the game 2-2 and sending it into overtime. He just happens to be my favorite.

“Kaner did a great job getting the puck to the net and like I said I was just in the right spot at the right time,” Seabrook said afterward.

Unfortunately, the Hawks went on to lose 3-2 in overtime. It’s still a great highlight, win or lose.