CSN to air three 'Chicago Blackhawks Classics' telecasts in November

CSN to air three 'Chicago Blackhawks Classics' telecasts in November

COMCAST SPORTSNET TO AIR THREE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS CLASSICS TELECASTS IN NOVEMBER

Classic games include a vintage bw telecast from 1971 featuring Hull, Mikita & Esposito, the 1991 NHL All-Star Game from Chicago Stadium & the 2009 NHL Winter Classic from Wrigley Field

Chicago, IL (November 13, 2012) Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, will provide viewers with a special trip down memory lane this month as the network has announced it will replay three Chicago Blackhawks Classics telecasts beginning Friday, November 16 at 7:00 PM CT.

Chicago Blackhawks Classics will be hosted by Comcast SportsNets Pat Boyle, who will be joined in-studio on a rotating basis by Blackhawks game announcers Pat Foley & Eddie Olczyk, along with Blackhawks Hall of Famer Denis Savard & Blackhawks team historian Bob Verdi among other special guests.

Comcast SportsNet will televise its next Chicago Blackhawks Classic on Friday night, November 16 at 7:00 PM with a vintage 1971 re-air of a black and white Hockey Night in Canada telecast featuring Hockey Hall of Famers Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Tony Esposito and the Blackhawks taking on the rival Maple Leafs. In addition to former Blackhawks RW Cliff Koroll (who played in this game in 71) joining Boyle on set, this special telecast will also include an original interview with Mikita, who discusses that unique time period in our history, along with the strengths of that particular Blackhawks team. Additional games on Comcast SportsNets Chicago Blackhawks Classics schedule in November include the memorable 1991 NHL All-Star Game from the old Chicago Stadium and the 2009 NHL Winter Classic featuring the Blackhawks hosting the Red Wings in a game for the ages at historic Wrigley Field. NOTE: These games will only be made available within Comcast SportsNet Chicagos viewing territory.

Fans are also encouraged to visit Comcast SportsNets Blackhawks section on CSNChicago.com (CSNChicago.comBlackhawks) for the latest NHL news 247 from Blackhawks Insider Tracey Myers (via Twitter @TraMyersCSN), plus fans can interact during the games via Twitter by utilizing the HawksClassics hashtag.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS CLASSICS on Comcast SportsNet

Friday, November 16 at 7:00 PM

December 11, 1971: Chicago Blackhawks at Toronto Maple Leafs

This vintage black and white Hockey Night in Canada telecast from Maple Leaf Gardens features the on-ice brilliance of Blackhawks Hall of Famers Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, and Tony Esposito. This special re-broadcast will include an original interview with Mikita from Blackhawks Insider Tracey Myers.

Tuesday, November 20 at 7:00 PM

January 19, 1991: 42nd NHL All-Star Game (from Chicago Stadium)

Operation Desert Storm in the Gulf War had officially begun just two days prior to the 42nd NHL All-Star Game in Chicago, but this memorable game in league history will always be known for the patriotism shown by every single fan in attendance at Chicago Stadium via numerous American flags hanging from every bannister at the old barn to an emotional singing of our national anthem. The All-Stars representing the Blackhawks in this game included Chris Chelios, Steve Larmer and Jeremy Roenick. Among the Hall of Famers playing in this game included Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Steve Yzerman, Paul Coffey, Patrick Roy, Ray Bourque, Guy LaFleur and Denis Savard (as a member of the Canadiens).

Tuesday, November 27 at 7:00 PM

January 1, 2009: NHL Winter Classic - Detroit Red Wings at Chicago Blackhawks (from Wrigley Field)

In what will go down as one of the greatest events in Chicago sports history, the Blackhawks hosted the rival Red Wings at arguably the most iconic sports venue in the nation Wrigley Field. The ecstatic sold out crowd endured freezing-level temperatures in a game that forever solidified the Winter Classic as an annual event for the league. This NHL on NBC re-broadcast was also the highest-rated hockey game shown in the U.S. in 33 years.

All times are Central Time
Schedule Subject to Change

Joe Maddon vents frustrations with tensions already rising in Cubs vs. Pirates

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Joe Maddon vents frustrations with tensions already rising in Cubs vs. Pirates

PITTSBURGH — “Still smells like champagne,” said one wise guy walking through the visiting clubhouse at PNC Park late Monday night.

The Cubs had just beaten the Pittsburgh Pirates, with some of the same raw emotions from last year’s wild-card win resurfacing during a 7-2 win in early May. There’s that much at stake in the National League Central that maybe we shouldn’t spend so much time fixating on the St. Louis Cardinals.

The eye-for-an-eye moment came in the seventh inning, with Pittsburgh reliever Kyle Lobstein drilling Ben Zobrist with his first pitch. Home plate umpire Laz Diaz had already watched Cubs starter Jason Hammel hit Starling Marte with a pitch in the sixth inning and issued a warning to both benches.

Manager Joe Maddon yelled at Lobstein and Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli screamed at the visiting dugout, and it felt like October all over again.

“I was able to vent a little bit,” Maddon said. “It’s always fun to vent, isn’t it? I mean, we’ve all been there. You have to vent on occasion. That’s the worst thing you could possibly do for your health long-term — to hold that stuff in. I want to get it out.”

Maddon spent part of his pregame media session talking up Cervelli, calling him a “good dude” who worked out at his wife’s boxing gym in Tampa, Fla., during the offseason: “He came to my Gasparilla party, dressed as a pirate of all things.”

“It’s just a matter of judging intentions,” said Zobrist, who’s new to this emerging rivalry after earning a World Series ring with the Kansas City Royals last year. “As a team, you’re trying to think: ‘Well, was that intentional? Was it not?’ But I think in that situation it was pretty clear.

“Our whole team’s going to stick up for each other. Obviously, Joe took exception to it. I think a lot of other guys did, too. I’ve been around long enough — I’ve been hit before. I took my base and scored a run. That’s the way I look at it.”

Maddon had even more fun with the Pirates and the replay system in the seventh inning after Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle erased a double play with a successful challenge at first base. Maddon responded by using Major League Baseball’s new takeout rule to challenge Jordy Mercer’s slide into second base.

“I had no clue what I was doing,” Maddon said. “I just knew I could challenge. At that particular juncture, why not? Give it a roll. Bottom of the seventh inning, who knows what they’re going to think?”

Maddon kept rolling and filibustering during his postgame news conference, saying how much he loved the Pirates’ uniforms as a kid growing up in Pennsylvania and comparing this rivalry to his high-school quarterback days and Hazleton vs. West Hazleton.

“People in Pittsburgh can enjoy that,” Maddon said. “They can identify with ‘Friday Night Lights,’ ‘All the Right Moves,’ all of the above. I’m being this way specifically so I don’t comment on the hit by batter.”

Cubs top Pirates to stay baseball's best, but Theo Epstein won't stop making moves

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Cubs top Pirates to stay baseball's best, but Theo Epstein won't stop making moves

PITTSBURGH — Relentless is the word the Cubs keep using to describe a lineup that knocked out Gerrit Cole on Monday night with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates already trailing by two runs at PNC Park.

Relentless could also be a label for Theo Epstein’s front office, even after spending almost $290 million on free agents and even with an 18-6 record that’s the best in baseball following a 7-2 win over the Pirates.

The Cubs want nothing to do with the randomness of another elimination game and can’t take anything for granted with 85 percent of the schedule still remaining. They’ve already lost playoff hero Kyle Schwarber for the season, and the outfield picture is clouded with Jason Heyward dealing with a sore right wrist since early April and Matt Szczur scheduled to get an MRI on his right hamstring on Tuesday morning.

Not that Epstein needed a reminder, but the president of baseball operations flashed back to last year’s National League wild-card game when he flew into Pittsburgh, checked into the team’s downtown hotel across the Roberto Clemente Bridge and went running along the Allegheny River.

From his hotel room, Epstein could sort of see where Schwarber’s two-run homer off Cole flew out of PNC Park last October, giving this franchise a runaway sense of momentum.

“We’ve played really well,” Epstein said, “but I don’t think we’ve completely locked in yet or clicked in all facets of the game. Our pitching staff’s really been carrying us. It’s been the most consistent part of our team yet. As it warms up here, I think the bats will get going and they’ll probably carry us for a while.

“But as far as needs that we might have, or ways that we can get better, we’re always assessing that. I think there’s lots of different ways we could potentially improve the club before the end of the season.”

The Cubs will watch Tim Lincecum’s upcoming showcase in Arizona because they always check in on potential impact players at that level. Lincecum — a two-time Cy Young Award winner who helped the San Francisco Giants win three World Series titles — is making a comeback after hip surgery.

While the Cubs should have big-picture concerns about their rotation and a farm system that hasn’t developed the arms yet, Jason Hammel (4-0, 1.24 ERA) is making his own comeback.

Even if manager Joe Maddon doesn’t seem to completely trust Hammel, who gave up two runs across five innings and got pulled after throwing 89 pitches and accidentally hitting Starling Marte to lead off the sixth. Four different relievers combined to shut down the Pirates (15-11) the rest of the night.

Epstein — who is in the fifth and final year of his contract and used “status quo” to describe his extension talks with chairman Tom Ricketts — will have the position-player prospects to bundle if the Cubs do need a frontline pitcher this summer. A franchise-record payroll in the neighborhood of $150 million was also projected to have some room for in-season additions.

After beating up on the division’s have-nots and going 8-1 against the Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers, the Cubs should have a better idea of where they stand after Maddon’s “Minimalist Zany” road trip to Pittsburgh and a four-game showdown against the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field.

“There’s always the threat of somehow playing to the level of your competition in a negative way,” Maddon said. “I’m not denigrating any team that we’ve played to this point. That is not my point. But if you play teams with less-than (.500) records and maybe they’re not playing as well, you don’t turn that dimmer switch up to the full velocity. But when you’re playing really good teams, I think that naturally brings out the best in you.”

Preview: White Sox, Red Sox duel Tuesday night on CSN

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Preview: White Sox, Red Sox duel Tuesday night on CSN

The White Sox take on the Red Sox on Tuesday night, and you can catch all the action on Comcast SportsNet. Coverage begins live from the South Side at 7 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Tuesday's starting pitching matchup: Jose Quintana (3-1, 1.47 ERA) vs. Steven Wright (2-2, 1.37 ERA)

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