Saturday, March 26, 2011
Posted: 12:00 PMBy Tracey Myers
The Chicago Blackhawks have said it several times lately. Every game is big. But its arguable that this one may be their biggest yet.
When the Blackhawks host the Anaheim Ducks at the United Center tonight, itll be the last time they face a Western Conference foe thats in the same bunch as they are among the final four playoff spots. As the Ducks continue on their road trip, they play a Blackhawks team that has won six consecutive home games.
But for the seventh-seeded Blackhawks, dazzling the home fans takes a backseat to getting two crucial points.
We want to put on a show but we have to play simple hockey, forward Troy Brouwer said. We control where we want to be and this is the last time we play a team thats this clumped together with us.
The Blackhawks have gone back and forth from fifth to seventh in this recent stretch. The Ducks are one point (87) and one spot (eighth) behind them.
Obviously the implications of the game, this could shape up to be the two most valuable points of the year, coach Joel Quenneville said. Thats got to be the way we prepare, the way we have to play and we have to be excited about it.
Meanwhile, Dave Bollands (concussion) status remains the same, as he is doing the minimal as far as workouts, Quenneville said.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.
As one of the cooler presidents ever, President Obama knows cool when he sees it.
The president talked about numerous members of the Cubs during the team's visit to the White House on Monday, but he only offered the "cool" label to manager Joe Maddon, who most folks can agree is probably the coolest person to ever manage the Cubs.
"Let's face it, there are not a lot of coaches or managers who are as cool as this guy. Look how he looks right now," Obama said, pointing out Maddon's non-traditional suit. "That's cool."
The president also praised Maddon's unique style, with his themed road trips and visits from zoo animals, as well as his on-field prowess, throwing in a joke about something the skipper couldn't control during the World Series.
"He's got a lot tricks to motivate. But he's also a master of tactics and knows how to make the right move at the right time: when to pinch hit, when to pinch run, when to make it rain in Game 7 of the World Series. It was masterful."
Maybe President Obama really does admire Maddon's style. Or maybe he's just extending his bromance with Vice President Biden to other famous Joes.
Check out the video above for more from the president.
Unlike her husband, Michelle Obama hasn't made a big deal out of her baseball fandom over the past eight years.
But as President Obama mentioned while he honored the World Series champion Cubs on Monday at the White House, it turns out the First Lady is a pretty big Cubs fan and watching the Cubs win the World Series meant an awful lot to her.
"It is no secret that there's a certain South Side team that has my loyalty," the president said. "So I can't claim that I have the same visceral joy of some in this White House. But FLOTUS is a lifelong Cubs fan, and I will tell you ... in the eight years that I've been here, we've hosted at least 50 teams. Football, baseball, basketball, soccer, you name it. Michelle has never come to a single event celebrating a champion until today. She came and shook hands and met with every one of these members of the Cubs organization and told a story about what it meant for her to be able to see them win. She remembers coming home from school, and her dad would be watching a Cubs game, and the bond and the family, the meaning that the Cubs had for her in terms of connecting with her father and why it meant so much to her. And I almost choked up listening to it. And it spoke, I think, to how people feel about this organization and that it's been passed on generation after generation. It's more than just sports."
And one ex-Cub even got a special invite to the White House so the First Lady could meet her all-time favorite player. That was former pitcher Jose Cardenal, once famous for his large afro. According to President Obama, his wife used to try and wear her hat over her afro just like Cardenal did.
So while President Obama was presented with a lifetime pass to Wrigley Field, perhaps it's Michelle who will get more use out of it.
Check out more from the president in the video above.