Word on the Street: Sideshow Bobrovsky?

Word on the Street: Sideshow Bobrovsky?

Monday, April 11, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Sideshow Bobrovsky unveils new Simpsons-inspired mask

Flyers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky has found a new way to show off for the playoffs. The rookie netminder unveiled his new mask just in time for playoffs.

And his inspiration was Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons.

On the other side of the helmet, Philadelphia icon Rocky Balboa in front of the US flag raises his arms like the champion he is. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Crains Chicago Business interviews Bulls exec Steve Schanwald

Ed Sherman from Crains Chicago Business recently conducted a three-part Business of Sports video interview with Chicago Bulls Executive Vice President-Business Operations Steve Schanwald. Among the topics Sherman discusses with Schanwald include Bulls superstarNBA MVP candidate Derrick Rose, the teams on-going domination in overall league attendance, the Jordan effect and more. Plus Sherman also posted a pair articles focusing on Comcast SportsNets extremely busy spring season, along with the hyper-serving goal of SportsNet Central. (Crain's Chicago Business)
Bulls finish No. 1 in NBA Power Rankings

The Bulls clinched their 60th win of the season yesterday, and in doing so secured the top position in NBC Sports NBA Power Rankings.

They have repeatedly won with a strong defense, and have improved on the offensive end. Pro Basketball Talk believes Derrick Rose's decision-making has improved across the board. The blog also insists that the team is "legit." (Pro Basketball Talk)

Wild fire head coach

Just hours after he lead his team to a victory over the Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild head coach Todd Richards was fired. Richards was with the team for two years.

"Without question you look back, and there's always hindsight," Richards said. "Would you do some things differently? Absolutely there are some things I'd do differently, but for the most part there's not too many things I would change."

The Wild defeated the Stars 4-3 in their last regular season NHL game, boosting the Chicago Blackhawks into the playoffs. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

Father of Bulls' Noah receives death threats

The father of Bulls' center Joakim Noah, Yannick, said he was the target of death threats and racial slurs from neo-Nazis before playing a concert in France.

According to a French newspaper, the former tennis star turned singer received the threats in a theater in Roanne, and immediately contacted the police.

A local extremist group called Phinehas sent the threatening messages. (Chicago Sun-Times)

Chicago Sky select Gonzaga point guard

In the 2011 WNBA Draft, the Chicago Sky selected Courtney Vandersloot from Gonzaga University. The point guard was the first ever Division I player (man or woman) to notch more than 2000 points and 1000 assists in a career.

Some of her career highlights include being named All-West Coast Conference three times, West Coast Conference Player of the Year twice, and West Coast Conference Tournament Most Valuable Player twice.

In her senior season, Vandersloot averaged 18.6 points, 10.2 assists, and 3.4 rebounds per game. (WNBA.comSky)

Illini's Malcolm Hill breaks backboard with practice dunk

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Illini's Malcolm Hill breaks backboard with practice dunk

One of John Groce's goals for his team this offseason was to improve the Illini's strength.

Things seem to be going nicely.

Malcolm Hill broke a backboard in the Illini's practice gym on Monday, and there's photo evidence to prove it.

Take a look at these tweets from Hill and Illinois strength and conditioning coach Adam Fletcher.

Hill was already the team's best player in numerous facets. He led the Illini with 18.1 points and 3.3 assists per game and ranked second with 6.6 rebounds per game.

Now he's shattering glass with some mean slams. It could be a crazy senior year for Hill.

Bullpen's ridiculous performance bails out Cubs in win over Dodgers

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Bullpen's ridiculous performance bails out Cubs in win over Dodgers

The Cubs' MLB-leading starting rotation has gotten plenty of buzz this season, but the bullpen had their breakout game on Memorial Day.

With Jason Hammel limited to only two innings because of hamstring cramping, the bullpen stepped up big time, setting down 25 straight in the Cubs' 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in front of 41,470 fans at Wrigley Field.

Hammel allowed just a bloop single with two outs in the first inning on a ball that Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward might have lost in the sun.

Hammel walked the next hitter, but no Dodger reached base after that.

Travis Wood was the standout performer from the bullpen, coming in on short notice in the third inning and tossing four perfect innings with four strikeouts.

Justin Grimm pitched a perfect seventh, Pedro Strop finished with a perfect eighth and Hector Rondon nailed down the ninth to close things out.

Wood picked up his third victory of the season, and Rondon is now 9-for-9 in save opportunities.

The Cubs got on the board in the fifth inning when Zobrist led off with a single and wound up on third after Dodgers right field Yasiel Puig booted the ball.

Heyward plated Zobrist on a 60-foot chopper down the first-base line, reaching safely for an infield single. He then came around to score the game's final run on Anthony Rizzo's double to right field two batters later.

The Cubs have won six straight games and send ace Jake Arrieta to the mound Tuesday night at Wrigley Field.

Cubs holding their breath as Jason Hammel forced to leave early with hamstring cramping

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Cubs holding their breath as Jason Hammel forced to leave early with hamstring cramping

Before anybody really knew what happened, Jason Hammel was sitting on the ground behind the pitcher's mound at Wrigley Field surrounded by Cubs trainers and coaches.

The veteran starting pitcher had just come out to warm up for the top of the third inning after Hammel and Ben Zobrist struck out to strand the bases loaded for the Cubs in the bottom of the second.

He eventually got up and tried to throw a few more warmup pitches, but Cubs manager Joe Maddon and pitching coach Chris Bosio ultimately decided to roll with Travis Wood, removing Hammel from the game after only 39 pitches.

Two innings later, the Cubs announced Hammel was being evaluated for right hamstring cramping.

After two shutout innings Monday, Hammel now has a 2.09 ERA and 1.16 WHIP on the season and has been a revelation in helping the Cubs to the best starting rotation in baseball slotting behind Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester and John Lackey.

Hammel was pitching at an All-Star level (2.89 ERA) before running into a leg injury in early July last season. He was never the same after, posting a 5.03 ERA in his final 15 starts.

Over the winter, the 33-year-old Hammel responded by shedding some weight and rededicating himself to a training regimen designed to help take some pressure off his lower body.

If Hammel is forced to miss any time, the Cubs have Adam Warren, Trevor Cahill and Wood as options to jump into the starting rotation.