Word on the Street: Scott: 'I'll kick the - out of him'

Word on the Street: Scott: 'I'll kick the - out of him'

Thursday, March 31, 2011
CSNChicago.com
Scott on Thornton: 'I'll kick the (bleep) out of him'

Shawn Thornton of the Boston Bruins received approximately 40 stitches above his eye following Tuesday's win over the Blackhawks. After the game, he labeled the Hawks as a "team that will chirp a lot." The Hawks' John Scott, apparently, took offense.
"He said that? That's fine. He can say what he wants," Scott said. "He's going after some of our littlest guys on our team to start a fight.""He's Mr. Tough Guy and he's trying to challenge Pisani. If I'm in the lineup, he's more than welcome to come chirp at me. I'll kick the (bleep) out of him." (CSNChicago.com)Sox over the Tigers in the AL Central - barely

In the AL Central section of the Chicago Tribune's 2011 baseball predictions, Phil Rogers has the White Sox finishing one game ahead of the Tigers for the division title. Meanwhile, he predicts the Twins will fall back to third place with an 86-76 record, followed by the Royals and Indians - both of whom he predicts to finish with 90-plus losses. (Chicago Tribune)
Barney to start on opening dayDarwin Barney, not Jeff Baker or Blake DeWitt, will get the opening day nod at second base, Mike Quade said Thursday. Quade said that both Baker and Barney had great springs and that Baker would likely start on Saturday against the lefty starting pitcher for the Pirates. (CSNChicago.com)Cubs to finish 3rd in 2011?

Dave van Dyck, reporter for the Chicago Tribune, laid out his predictions for the Cubs' 2011 season on Thursday. He picked the Cubs to finish third, with a record of 84-78, behind the Reds and the Cardinals. He picked the Brewers, who added top starters Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum to go along with Yovani Gallardo and an already-talented offense, to finish fourth. (Chicago Tribune)

Ozzie still hates Wrigley

It's an old story, Ozzie Guillen is not a fan of Wrigley Field, but today it has a new chapter. This time Guillen tweeted that Winston-Salem stadium, the Sox class-A ballpark, is nicer than the Friendly Confines.

"People in Chicago are going nuts right now; but it is, it's true," said Guillen. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Blackhawks sign Hayes

The Blackhawks signed forward Jimmy Hayes to a three-year deal on Wednesday. Hayes, who was selected by the Maple Leafs with the 60th pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft and then traded to the Blackhawks in July 2010, will forego his senior year at Boston College to join the Blackhawks. His begins at the start of the 2011-2012 season. (HockeyJournal.com)

Reports: Dolphins assistant Jeremiah Washburn to be Bears' new O-line coach

Reports: Dolphins assistant Jeremiah Washburn to be Bears' new O-line coach

The Bears have reportedly found a new offensive line coach.

According to multiple reports Monday, Jeremiah Washburn will become the team's new offensive line coach, replacing Dave Magazu.

Washburn worked as an assistant offensive line coach this past season with the Miami Dolphins under Adam Gase, the Bears' former offensive coordinator.

Prior to his season in South Florida, he spent seven seasons with the Detroit Lions, working three of them as the team's offensive line coach after three as an assistant offensive line coach.

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This past season, the Bears ranked 17th in the NFL in rushing with 1,735 yards as a team. Only eight teams allowed fewer sacks than the Bears, who saw quarterbacks dropped by opposing defenses just 28 times. Bears quarterbacks were hit 73 teams, also a top-10 mark in the league.

The Bears also committed a good number of holding penalties, 1.68 per game, which was only bested by seven teams.

Magazu was a longtime member of John Fox's staffs in Chicago, Denver and Carolina.

Blackhawks' rough weekend 'a little bit of a wake-up call'

Blackhawks' rough weekend 'a little bit of a wake-up call'

Patrick Kane was summing up the Blackhawks' weekend, one that didn't go well in terms of points.

"Good way to kind of judge ourselves, where we're at," he said Sunday night. "Might be a little bit of a wake-up call to see how good we really are."

Well, in a way, it is. You can't really compare Friday's loss to Washington and Sunday's loss to Minnesota on performance; the Blackhawks didn't show up for the first game and were much better in the second. Nevertheless, it was the same result in each. The Blackhawks' lengthy hold on first place in the Western Conference ended, with the Wild taking over following Sunday's 3-2 victory.

It's not a sound-the-alarm situation, but the Blackhawks are certainly cognizant of the missed opportunity last weekend and that they came up short against the league's best.

Artem Anisimov agreed with Kane's assessment.

"We just need to play better. All four lines need to play better in all areas of the ice. Just be better in the little things," Anisimov said. "Back check, put stick in the right position, box the guy out, short shifts. All little things need to be better."

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Many of the little things that were absent against the Capitals were back against the Wild. But coach Joel Quenneville wasn't happy with mistakes made on goals allowed, especially the first two. And while Kane and the second line were a consistent scoring threat against the Wild, the other three lines weren't. It's a problem that's plagued the Blackhawks a good deal this season, even when they were stringing together victories.

There is no reason to think that, because of this weekend's results, the Blackhawks are going to falter against strong teams. They've done well against others already this season. They beat Montreal earlier this season, when the Canadiens were healthy and steamrolling everyone. They beat the New York Rangers when the Rangers and former Blackhawks backup goaltender Antti Raanta were on their respective hot streaks.

Still, Kane's analysis is correct: This should get the Blackhawks' attention. The Wild have beaten the Blackhawks in eight consecutive regular-season games now and will face them three more times this season. They have two more meetings with the Edmonton Oilers, who beat them soundly in November.

The Blackhawks' long reign atop the Western Conference standings is over. They’re currently second in the Central Division, with an eight-point cushion over the St. Louis Blues. The Blackhawks have done fairly well this season. But this weekend was a reminder that they can be better.

"The game (on Friday) was kind of like a shock to the system thinking maybe you're one of the top teams in the league, or being able to compete with one of the top teams, and we obviously got thoroughly outplayed. We came back (Sunday night). It was pretty even in chances. We might've even had more so, just kind of didn't pull it out," Kane said. "But (when) you've played two of the better teams in the league and lose, there's got to be room for improvement, right?"