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CHICAGO | From the moment he committed an unprecedented three penalties in the second period Thursday, Jonathan Toews was portrayed as a one-man team practically responsible for the Blackhawks’ Game 4 loss.
CHICAGO | Conor Gillaspie couldn't keep his eyes of the images from Moore, Okla., as the White Sox prepared for Monday night's game.
Sorry, Ozzie Guillen won’t be there except as a fan. He won’t be managing either team.
CHICAGO | Execute the game plan or start digging your own grave.
LINCOLNSHIRE | Kevin Kuchta had the right motivational idea Friday.
CHICAGO | Almost to a man, the Blackhawks were at a loss for words Friday on how to raise their game above the defensively-stifling level of Game 1 against the Detroit Red Wings.
CHICAGO | Nine o’clock lightning finally sparked the United Center late Wednesday to brighten up a scrum of an opener of the Western Conference semifinals.
Emotion vies with skill as Chicago Blackhawks duel archrival Detroit Red Wings in Stanley Cup Playoffs
CHICAGO | It hasn’t been as much a rivalry as a drum pounding.
CHICAGO | LaTroy Hawkins put his arm this year where his mouth was in 2012.
CHICAGO | The Blackhawks waited four playoff seasons and one severe concussion for Marian Hossa to be the load that opponents could not bear.
CHICAGO | As they rubbed sleep out of their eyes Wednesday, 11 hours after their 2 a.m. arrival from the Twin Cities, the Blackhawks acknowledged the necessity of a much better performance against the Minnesota Wild.
Lost in the hubbub of Tom Ricketts’ threat to move from Wrigley Field is the Cubs chairman’s desire for vastly increased TV rights fees that could bump WGN out of the picture for the first time in 65 years.
CHICAGO | Minnesota Wild backup goalie Josh Harding, gamely playing with multiple sclerosis, had to share the spotlight with the Blackhawks’ Michael Frolik and Patrick Sharp by the end of Friday night's game.
CHICAGO | Playoff surprise No. 1 for the Blackhawks: backup Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding suddenly playing Tuesday night to trade save for save with counterpart Corey Crawford for almost four periods.
CHICAGO | Almost unstoppable with their speed and skills all season, the Blackhawks have a small Achilles heel at which playoff opponents might try to target.
CHICAGO | John Danks is coming, eventually.
Tony Cingrani’s zooming ascent to the majors has been capped by two sterling starts as the first Cincinnati Reds’ lefty to win his big-league debut since Tom Browning in 1984.
CHICAGO | Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville had three pressing tasks in his NHL-leading team’s final two-regular season games this weekend.
CHICAGO | In past years, a budding batting slump by Alex Rios might spiral out of control, with the entire year lost.
Las Vegas somehow just didn’t seem Frank Thomas’ style, even after years of raising his second family just off of The Strip.
CHICAGO | The White Sox have been in the wheels-falling-off-the-wagon stage for nearly two weeks, yet could always take comfort in a still-effective bullpen if they had the lead.
CHICAGO | Tuning up for the postseason means turning on the power play’s switch for the Blackhawks.
Without a manager’s job to weigh him down, Tony La Russa can come and go pretty much as he pleases.
CHICAGO | After a three-game absence, Corey Crawford took his turn Friday night as grist in the Blackhawks’ only burning issue left: which goalie starts in the playoffs.
CHICAGO | It was 1951, and Nathan "Sonny" Weston was a 19-year-old recent graduate of Bloom Township staring down his big break: an invitation to spring training with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He remembers summoning his courage to approach Jackie Robinson in the dugout.
CHICAGO | The Blackhawks officially clinched a playoff spot Sunday night on, appropriately, captain Jonathan Toews’ third-period goal in a 5-3 victory over the Nashville Predators.
Jeff Samardzija of Valparaiso, Curtis Granderson of Lynwood and Lloyd McClendon of Chesterton are household names in the majors. John Mallee of Schererville soon will be as Astros hitting coach.
CHICAGO | White Sox manager Robin Ventura said backup infielder Conor Gillaspie “wants to be a storm chaser.”
CHICAGO | When a team’s bullpen – the perceived team strength -- performs according to plan, smiles and humorous body English prevail in the winning clubhouse.
CHICAGO | Even though he kept the nay-sayers away with a game-winning homer Monday, White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers still had his priorities straight after he helped guide Chris Sale to a 1-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
CHICAGO | Three and one-half hours before the loud tumult of another Opening Day commenced, the familiar lyrics of “by dawn’s early light” reverberated around a nearly empty U.S. Cellular Field.
The White Sox’s strategy to contend in the American League Central is to field a deep pitching staff and hope three or four lineup regulars improve through experience.
With the Theo Epstein-mandated rebuilding process’ end not yet in sight, the Cubs don’t yet have a true rotation ace and a certified team leader.
CHICAGO | Increased confidence, team camaraderie and the pure joy of winning have sprouted out of the Blackhawks’ record-breaking 24-3-3 start.
CHICAGO | They don’t use “domino effect” much in hockey with its unique sport-specific terminology often originated north of the border.
CHICAGO | Speed traditionally kills in the NHL.
CHICAGO | Andrew Shaw doesn’t quite possess a choirboy-innocent face.
WINNETKA | His tough self-criticism over his second-place Illinois state diving finish Saturday probably lasted only until Joe Cifelli tackled a post-meet dinner with his parents and two brothers at a nearby pizza restaurant.
CHICAGO | Call them the Goldilocks Blackhawks.
If Theo Epstein’s long rebuilding process is likened to a capital “U,” then his Cubs are at the bottom of the letter and looking up at the long climb on the right side.
The White Sox have such an embarrassment of riches in the rotation that all the qualified left-handers cannot be accommodated.
VALPARAISO | Dave and Debbie Cook, owners of Valparaiso's Hoosier Bat Co., will receive the Charlie Hum Club Service Award at the 67th annual Pitch and Hit Club Banquet Sunday in Lombard, Ill.
CHICAGO | It all comes back to Corey Crawford, the last line of defense in goal.
CHICAGO | Even though their first post-lockout practice Sunday drew a packed house at Johnny’s Ice House, Blackhawks management is following Rocky Wirtz’s admonition to never underestimate paying customers.
Homewood’s Jack Ely got an early Christmas present when son John was traded from the Dodgers to the Astros and the American League.
Jeff Keppinger may not possess one-for-one the career persona of Kevin Youkilis, the man he’s replacing at third base for the White Sox.
Blackhawks loyalty put on ice, some chilled cash flow and the cold-shoulder.
Potentially making more money in a longer-term free-agent contract took a back seat to loyalty to the White Sox for Jake Peavy.
CHICAGO | New White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said he has the nucleus to contend in 2013, wants free agents-to-be Jake Peavy and Kevin Youkilis back, and does not expect a payroll cut even after the team dropped ticket prices and parking fees.
Adam Dunn still isn't thrilled with his production and hitting mechanics despite winning the American League Comeback of the Year Award Tuesday.
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