Ceiling more important than floor with Emery

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Ceiling more important than floor with Emery

How much different the Bears would be under new GM Phil Emery, given that he is operating with essentially the same personnel department and staff as predecessor Jerry Angelo, will be the single biggest story line of 2012 and probably 2013.

Sports Illustrated NFL maven Peter King, in his latest Monday Morning Quarterback, points out perhaps the main change that already has gone into the Bears draft, which is the reason Angelo is no longer GM (that and Jay Cutlers fractured thumb).

Angelo and college scouting director Greg Gabriel used the floor approach with high picks whats the worst the player could be. In theory, it is a conservative, measured tack on talent decisions.

But Emery has espoused the riskier ceiling methodology I want players with high ceilings, with the largest capacity for growth.

Its notable in more than the draft. Emery taking a flyer on Brandon Marshall is betting heavily that Marshalls upside includes his dealing with Borderline Personality Disorder. In Marshalls case that is a distant equivalent of looking at tight end Evan Rodriguez from Temple, who has had maturity issues, and going for his ceiling with a fourth-round pick in this years draft.

Risk-reward. The equation indeed has morphed under Emery.

Rangers win riveting goaltending duel over Blackhawks in overtime

Rangers win riveting goaltending duel over Blackhawks in overtime

Antti Raanta stopped all 26 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season and Nick Holden netted the winner as the New York Rangers beat the Blackhawks 1-0 in overtime on Friday night.

The Blackhawks, playing without Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook and Corey Crawford, are now 1-2-1 in their last four games. Nevertheless, they remain atop the Western Conference with 38 points.

Scott Darling stopped 36 of 37 shots in the loss.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Two seasons ago Darling and Raanta battled for the Blackhawks’ backup spot. Friday marked their first head-to-head matchup, and it was stellar.

The Blackhawks thought they broke the scoreless tie six minutes into the third period, when Marian Hossa got one past Raanta. But the Rangers challenged for offside and officials agreed, nullifying the goal.

Blackhawks preparing for EPIX all-access look leading up to Winter Classic

Blackhawks preparing for EPIX all-access look leading up to Winter Classic

The 2017 Winter Classic featuring the Blackhawks and Blues is right around the corner.

Players from both sides already squared off in a game of NHL 17 to generate some hype into the game, but nothing compares to behind-the-scenes footage of the two teams leading up to it.

Beginning Dec. 16 at 9 p.m., EPIX will air a one-hour episode each week that provides an all-access look inside the lives of the Blackhawks and Blues, on and off the ice.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

The game will be on Jan. 2 at 12 p.m. on NBC, with the final episode airing Friday, Jan. 6.

Here's a two-minute preview involving the Blackhawks, who are labeled "A Good Bunch of Guys."