Trade updates remain stagnent, Garza prepares to return

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Trade updates remain stagnent, Garza prepares to return

While Saturday morning found the Cubs in a holding pattern in regards to the looming trade deadline, this time remains far from uneventful for Matt Garza.

Not only is Garza the subject of trade rumors, hes recovering from a right arm injury that forced him out of his last start after only three innings last Saturday. Its uncertain when -- or if, in the instance of a trade -- hell return to the Cubs rotation, though it appears he could be ready for the Cubs series against the Dodgers that begins Friday in Los Angeles.

But all that might take a back seat to some personal news. Garzas wife is expecting the couples fourth child. The Cubs reported doctors will induce labor on Serina Garza on Tuesday, the same day of the nonwaiver trade deadline.

As for the injury, Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Garza is progressing well. An MRI this week on Garzas throwing arm revealed a slight fluid buildup in his right triceps area.

Garza threw from flat ground Saturday morning before the Cubs afternoon game against St. Louis at Wrigley Field. The Cubs look to even the series after Fridays 9-6 setback.

Everything is gradually progressing, Sveum said of Garza. Hes doing much better and well try to get him out there late next week. Everything is going really well, so it if I had to say, it should happen. Everything is just getting better each day, so thats looking pretty good.

Garza is expected to throw a bullpen session Monday, and the Cubs will evaluate his progress after that. Sveum added that Garza may be ready to pitch against the Dodgers.

He could. Were looking at late next week so well see what happens, Sveum said.

Meanwhile, nothing new has happened regarding the Cubs and potential trades. Garza and Ryan Dempster remain on the team, but are considered the Cubs prize pieces on the trade front.

Sveum said the players and coaches will all be happy once the deadline passes, and the rumor mill takes a break.

I think everybodys going to be glad its all over with, he said. Its really not over with a lot of the times because of the waiver wires and all that. But the main things will be shut down one way or the other.

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Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks host Lightning tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks host Lightning tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Blackhawks.

Five Things to Watch:

1. Grab the first goal.

The Blackhawks have scored the game's first goal in seven of the last eight games, and of those seven, they've won six of them. Meanwhile, the Lightning have scored the first goal only 17 times in 48 games this season, and are 12-5-1 in those games. They're 9-17-4 when they allow the first goal, so getting out to a lead first will be important against a struggling Lightning team looking for signs of life.

2. Will the floodgates open for Jonathan Toews?

After a four-point game in a 4-2 win over Vancouver, the Blackhawks captain matched his point total over his previous nine games. He's up to 26 points on the season, which is now fifth among Chicago forwards. When Toews has offensive droughts, they usually last longer than they should. But when he gets hot, he gets extremely hot. Perhaps we'll see the floodgates open offensively.

3. A chance for the team lead in scoring.

With an empty-net goal on Sunday, Marian Hossa tied Artem Anisimov for the team-lead with 18 goals. Artemi Panarin is right behind with 17, and Patrick Kane isn't far either at 15. The Blackhawks had four 20-goal scorers last season, and haven't had more than that since the 2013-14 season. They're definitely on pace to hit four, but could they surprass that? Richard Panik, who scored another goal Sunday as well, is fifth with 11 goals while Ryan Hartman has 10. Toews is at eight, but a flurry after a drought could make things interesting.

4. The triplets reunited?

In an effort to jumpstart a struggling offense, Lightning coach Jon Cooper reunited the triplets line of Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat that was so successful during their 2015 playoff run in their latest game, a 5-3 loss to Arizona. It's unclear whether they will begin tonight's game on the same line, but if not, it's worth watching throughout the game whether they do. The Blackhawks have been coming at opponents in waves lately, so Cooper could look to separate the three to distribute the scoring.

5. Take advantage on special teams.

The Lightning have racked up the fifth-most penalty minutes in the league, and own a bottom-10 penalty kill unit at 80.1 percent. The Blackhawks are the second-least penalized team, and have converted on 17.9 percent of their power plays, which sits at 16th. But they haven't scored one on the man advantage in five straight games, going 0-for-9 during that span. Here's a chance to change that.

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