CSN to celebrate 'Blackhawks Day' on Tuesday, Oct. 4

CSN to celebrate 'Blackhawks Day' on Tuesday, Oct. 4

COMCAST SPORTSNET TO CELEBRATE BLACKHAWKS DAY ON TUESDAY, OCT. 4

Network preps for the start of the 2011-12 Chicago Blackhawks season with a full day of Blackhawks-themed programming, including Live appearances from Blackhawks playerscoachesfront office execs & more!

CSNChicago.com to feature full-blown Blackhawks content including exclusive, live-streamed features, live interactive chats with players, plus - fans can win Blackhawks signed items via live interactive chat and Twitter
Chicago, IL (October 3, 2011) To celebrate the start of the upcoming 2011-12 Chicago Blackhawks season, Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Blackhawks, is celebrating Opening Week in a big way with BLACKHAWKS DAY on Tuesday, October 4.

Blackhawks Day on Comcast SportsNet is highlighted by the replay airings of a pair Blackhawks Classic telecasts from their thrilling, seven-game, 2011 first round Stanley Cup Playoff series against the rival Vancouver Canucks (airing at 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM). In addition, viewers can look forward to Blackhawks-themed season preview & player profile features, live playercoachesfront office exec interviews and full plate of online offerings via CSNChicago.com, will have fans whetting their appetites for the start of yet another action-packed Blackhawks season.

REMINDER: The 2011-12 Chicago Blackhawks regular season on Comcast SportsNet opens up in a big way with back-to-back nights of live coverage showcasing the SEASON OPENER on Friday, October 7 at 7:30 PM (live coverage starts at 7:00 PM on Chevy Blackhawks Pre-Game Live) and the HOME OPENER on Saturday, October 8 at 7:30 PM (live United Center coverage starts at 6:30 PM on SportsNet Central presented by AT&T U-Verse) as the Blackhawks face the Western Conference rival Dallas Stars on both nights.

Note the following on-aironline highlights from Blackhawks Day on Comcast SportsNet coming up TOMORROW (Tuesday, October 4)

THE DAN PATRICK SHOW (8:00 AM)

- Blackhawks Day festivities on Comcast SportsNet kick off with an appearance by NHL All-Star Patrick Kane on The Dan Patrick Show, which is scheduled for 9:05 AM. Kane will preview the upcoming Blackhawks season with DP among other topics of discussion.

BLACKHAWKS CLASSIC: BLACKHAWKS vs. VANCOUVER (2011 Rd. 1, Gm. 4) (3:00 PM)

- After returning to the Blackhawks line-up for the first time in six weeks after suffering a concussion, center Dave Bolland was determined to make his presence felt once again as he scored a goal and added three assists in the Blackhawks 7-2 rout over the Canucks at the United Center.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE LIVE presented by Captain Morgan (5:30 PM)

- It will be a star-studded Blackhawks edition of CTL as host David Kaplan will be joined by array of Blackhawks playerscoachesfront office execs and more including Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz, President & CEO John McDonough, Executive Vice President Jay Blunk, Vice PresidentGeneral Manager Stan Bowman, Head Coach Joel Quenneville, Comcast SportsNets Blackhawks play-by-play announcer Pat Foley, along with team members Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa, Brent Seabrook and newcomer Dan Carcillo. Plus Blackhawks legendteam Ambassador Denis Savard, Tommy Hawk and the Blackhawks Ice Crew will join the festivities andmake sure to tune in for a special feature as Kap learns exactly how hard it is to be a professional NHL goalie.

SPORTSNET CENTRAL presented by AT&T U-Verse (6:30 PM)

- Hosts Pat Boyle and Mark Schanowski will be a joined on set by a Blackhawks player during the telecast, while Chris Boden will also be on hand to host a roundtable discussion featuring Blackhawks players and head coach Joel Quenneville discussing the upcoming season. In addition, viewers can look forward to interaction with Blackhawks players throughout the network as help out CSN employees with their jobs. NOTE: The 10:00 PM & 10:30 PM editions of GMC SportsNet Central, along with the midnight edition of SportsNet Central, will also feature a heavy Blackhawks Day focus.

BLACKHAWKS CLASSIC: BLACKHAWKS vs. VANCOUVER (2011 Rd. 1, Gm. 6) (7:00 PM)

- After being down 3-0 in their first round series against the Canucks, the Blackhawks stormed back to force a Game 7 following right wing rookie Ben Smiths dramatic goal in OT, lifting the Blackhawks to a thrilling 4-3 victory in front of yet another sold-out, rocking night at the Madhouse on Madison.

CSNCHICAGO.COM (ALL DAY)

The Blackhawks will have a complete take over of CSNChicago.com on Oct. 4, providing a full interactive experience for fans. Note the following highlights:

Blackhawks Talk Live on CSNChicago.com will be a live stream and interactive chat showcasing the Blackhawks visit to the Comcast SportsNet newsroom including interviews with players via Comcast SportsNets Blackhawks PrePost Game Live host Chris Boden

Blackhawks players to answer fan questions via live chat on CSNChicago.com

The live stream will include CTL Interactive on Chicago Tribune Live with Blackhawks Insider Tracey Myers participating in the live chat with fans during the show and interacting with host David Kaplan and Blackhawks guests. Fans can interact via CSNChicago.com and Twitter CSNHawks.

CSNChicago.com home page take over by the Blackhawks with players serving as Managing Editors in selecting Blackhawks content to publish

Behind-the-scenes videos of Blackhawks interviews will be posted on CSNChicago.com during the CSN visit

Twitter Q&A with players via @CSNChicago , @CSNBoden and @TraMyersCSN

Fans can win Blackhawks signed items via live interactive chat and Twitter

Photo galleries and much more

Blackhawks assistant Kevin Dineen appreciates interview opportunities

Blackhawks assistant Kevin Dineen appreciates interview opportunities

Kevin Dineen is back with the Blackhawks but there were times this summer you wondered if another team would take him away.

The Blackhawks’ assistant coach was a major candidate for the Colorado Avalanche head coaching job, according to the Denver Post, following Patrick Roy’s surprising departure. There were probably other inquiries, too.

“It’s always nice to go through a process of talking about the way you do your business. It’s also a reflection of where you are,” said Dineen following the Blackhawks’ White-Red scrimmage on Saturday. “No. 1, you have to get permission to do that, and the Blackhawks have been great about giving me the opportunity to go out and do that. But also, when you have success, a lot of people want to get your feedback or whatever it is.”

Dineen’s name will likely come up whenever there’s a coaching vacancy. He coached the Florida Panthers from 2011-13 and coached Team Canada women’s team to a gold medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics. Dineen will get another opportunity in the NHL but for now, life is good in Chicago.

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“For me, I couldn’t be happier right here,” he said. “I have a great person and hockey mind to work with in Joel [Quenneville]. But you know, down the line, those things play their way out and we’ll see where it goes.”

Arriving soon

Patrick Kane, Ville Pokka and Michal Kempny will join the Blackhawks’ training camp on Tuesday. The three finished up round-robin World Cup of Hockey play with their respective teams on Thursday.

Dineen said there’s a chance one of the defensemen, Pokka or Kempny, play in Wednesday night’s preseason game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“They’ll get into the swing of things here on Tuesday,” Dineen said. “So that’ll give them a good rest after a long, tough September, and we expect them to hit the ice flying.”

Briefly

  • Duncan Keith will skate during one of the Blackhawks’ practices on Sunday and Monday.
     
  • Team White defeated Team Red 4-3 in Saturday’s scrimmage at the United Center. Spencer Abbott led Team White with two goals.

After locking up homefield advantage, Cubs flummoxed by Cardinals in blowout loss

After locking up homefield advantage, Cubs flummoxed by Cardinals in blowout loss

At the end of the day, a loss means essentially nothing for the Cubs right now.

But the Cubs also certainly don't want to hand games to their division rival as the St. Louis Cardinals make a run at the National League wild card spots.

After the Cubs clinched homefield advantage throughout the NL playoffs with the Washington Nationals' loss Friday night, they had no answer for the Cardinals in a 10-4 loss in front of 40,785 fans at Wrigley Field Saturday afternoon on national TV.

A few disturbing trends popped their heads above ground for the Cubs again Saturday, including the offense's struggles at manufacturing runs, Jason Hammel getting shelled and some bullpen woes.

The Cubs had no trouble putting runners on base against Cardinals phenom Alex Reyes, but they had a tough time plating those guys, cashing in only once with a runner on third base in six tries over the first four innings.

In two of those spots, a Cubs hitter came up with only one out, but failed to bring the run home as Addison Russell struck out in the first inning and Kris Bryant popped out to shallow left in the second.

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Hammel recorded only seven outs and was tagged for six runs on six hits and a walk, watching his season ERA rise nearly 30 points to 3.83. The veteran right-hander fell to 15-10 as he attempts to make a push for one of the Cubs' final postseason roster spots.

"Honestly, I would love to be a part of [the playoff roster], as the rest of the guys on the team would love to," Hammel said. "I know there's only a certain amount of spots, so if I'm handed the ball, I'll be ready. That's the way I'm gonna view it.

"Obviously you wanna be a part of something special like that, but I think everybody here has already been a part of something special to get to this point. We're all very proud. We still got eight regular season ballgames left to build some momentum. Whether I'm on the roster or not, I'm still gonna enjoy it."

Hammel was also clearly on the wrong end of some bad luck Saturday, as the four runs he allowed in the first came via a check swing and a couple hits just out of the reach of his fielders. 

Joe Maddon won't put too much stock into one rough start in late September.

"I'm not too worried about a good or bad outing right now. I'm not," he said. "Pretty much, you know who the guy is. You know if the guy's go this stuff going on or if he doesn't. ... The greater body of work matters."

Setup man Hector Rondon struggled in his appearance, needing 26 pitches to notch just one out, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk before handing the ball off to Felix Pena.

Of course, it's also just one game and one loss for a team with 98 victories and hopes of the World Series.

Rondon had been nearly unhittable since returning from the disabled list two weeks ago and the Cubs offense had been efficient and relentless in the past four games after Maddon's meeting with the hitters earlier in the week.

Maddon also used the blowout to get regulars like Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zobrist, Jason Heyward and Russell out of the lineup to help keep them fresh for October.

After the game, Maddon chose to look on the bright side.

"Our starter had a tough day today; that's it. Otherwise we did some nice things," he said, referencing the solid offensive days from Dexter Fowler and Ben Zobrist. "We had chances to score runs - runners on third, less than two outs - and we didn't fulfill that.

"We made their starter throw 115 pitches in five innings; I think that's a positive."

The Cubs will close out their season series with the Cardinals on another nationally-televised showdown Sunday night between Jon Lester and St. Louis ace Carlos Martinez.