Chicago Blackhawks

CSN hires Susannah Collins as full-time reporteranchor

CSN hires Susannah Collins as full-time reporteranchor

COMCAST SPORTSNET HIRES SUSANNAH COLLINS AS FULL-TIME REPORTERANCHOR FOR SPORTSNET CENTRALAND ADDITIONAL ON-AIRONLINE INITIATIVES

Chicago, IL (September 18, 2012) Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, today officially announced the full-time hiring of anchorreporter Susannah Collins as its newest on-air talent member (effective September 20) for the networks signature nightly sports news program, SportsNet Central. Collins will also handle on-site, post-game reporting duties throughout the year at home games for all four of CSNs pro team partners. In addition, Collins will frequently host viewer interactive studio segments on the networks post-game shows, along with a variety of digital initiatives that will be showcased on CSNChicago.com. Collins can also be followed via Twitter @SusannahCollins. The announcement was made by Charlie Schumacher, Senior News Director for Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

We are very pleased to bring someone of Susannahs experience and local sports enthusiasm to our network on a full-time basis, said Schumacher. Providing the very best live, daily local sports news coverage continues to be our focus and Susannah has certainly done an excellent job for us on a free-lance basis over the past several months and will no doubt be a terrific full-time addition to our already solid on-air team.

Currently the co-host of Comcast SportsNets popular Gas Money sports trivia show, Collins has already been handling post-game reporting duties for CSNs White Sox telecasts, along with reporting and anchoring on SportsNet Central. Previously, Collins gained national attention for her on-air work at Showtime Sports, where she appeared as a special correspondent for the networks weekly studios shows Inside the NFL and Inside NASCAR. At Showtime, Collins primarily reported on both topical and light-hearted stories, along with frequent on-set studio interaction with the programs hosts and analysts. Over the past two years at Showtime Sports, Collins reported from both Super Bowls in Dallas and Indianapolis interviewing numerous athletes and celebrities. Collins also covered MMA and boxing events for Showtime as a live event reporter and web-feature contributor.

In addition to her work at Showtime, Collins also served as a correspondentreporter for the NFL Network, NBC and CBS over the past two years. In 2011, Collins anchored the weekend sports broadcasts at WCBS-TV in New York. This past summer, Collins hosted numerous Fan Fest events for MLB.com at the 2012 All-Star Game in Kansas City.

Collins, who grew up in the Chicago western suburb of Downers Grove, IL, attended Downers Grove North H.S. She graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana in 2001, where, as an undergraduate, worked extensively on both ends of the microphone for student radio station WPGU-FM 107.1.

Five Things from Blackhawks-Blue Jackets: Shots and slashes

Five Things from Blackhawks-Blue Jackets: Shots and slashes

It’s preseason: you don’t need a lot of build-up. Let’s just delve right in, shall we?

1. Lots of shots, but…

The same Joonas Korpisalo that the Blackhawks’ youngsters scored five goals against on Tuesday was on top of his game on Saturday. The Blackhawks peppered him with 54 shots but only two got through, and the second was a 6-on-4 power-play goal in the final two minutes.

“I thought we could have gotten a little more traffic in front of him," Nick Schmaltz said. "I thought we were playing along the outside. I mean we had some great looks. He made some big saves. Some nights you get the bounces and some nights you don’t.”

2. Bérubé’s Blackhawks debut.

Jean-François Bérubé had a tough sequence early in the second period, when he gave up two goals in a 28-second span. This was against a Columbus team that didn’t send many of their top players. He also didn’t see a ton of action in this one; the Blue Jackets fired just 21 shots his way.

3. Growing pains.

Alex DeBrincat had his up and down moments on Saturday night. His turnover led to Columbus’ first goal, he took a slashing penalty and he fought the puck quite a bit. You still saw glimpses of that skill, though, especially with his quick release. Hey, he’s a 19-year-old guy getting his first taste of the NHL. Nights like this are going to happen.

“We all make mistakes,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “You gotta be safe in certain areas and you learn from that.”

4. Slash-o-meter.

Four more were called on Saturday night. Don’t be surprised if that number starts dwindling sooner rather than later, though, because the edict has apparently changed already. Sportsnet’s John Shannon reported earlier on Saturday that the league told officials to ease up on slashing and faceoff violations. But we all figure that’s going to happen once the regular season begins anyway, right?

5. Notre Dame bound.

The destination is familiar but the Blackhawks threw it into their second week of camp this season. It’ll be bonding time for the Blackhawks, who will send a smaller group for several practices there this week. Quenneville figures it’ll be a productive time. “We’ll get some bonding in, play golf together, have a nice outing, couple of road games and a nice campus.”

Nick Schmaltz's confidence, hold on second-line center, continues to grow

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USA TODAY

Nick Schmaltz's confidence, hold on second-line center, continues to grow

Nick Schmaltz seemed to be everywhere the puck was on Saturday night. Great pursuit of the puck, great passes to Patrick Kane or Alex DeBrincat and an all-around confidence that’s becoming more apparent by the game.

So has coach Joel Quenneville seen what he’s needed to from Schmaltz at second-line center?

“And more.”

It’s been a pretty impressive showing for Schmaltz this month. The 21-year-old has played in all three of the Blackhawks’ preseason games and keeps getting better in each one. The uncertainty Schmaltz understandably showed as a rookie is gone; the NHL game no longer feels uncomfortable.

“I feel like the game’s slowing down for me, just seeing plays,” Schmaltz said. “I know what I’m doing with the puck before I get it. It feels good and just trying to get better every day.”

Schmaltz and his fellow second liners didn’t connect for goals in the Blackhawks 3-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday but it wasn’t for lack of trying. The three combined for 12 of the Blackhawks’ 54 shots on goal – Kane and DeBrincat each had five – and the chemistry continues to build between the three.

Jonathan Toews talked on Saturday morning of how much more relaxed Schmaltz looks with the puck now, and that was evident again later that night.

“He’s really starting to get comfortable physically at this level,” Toews said. “He thinks the game so well, puts himself in good spots, much like Kaner where he can skate with the puck and use his speed. He has his head up so he backs guys off. Those two were making great plays tonight and Brinksy was fitting in well. They couldn’t buy a goal but Schmaltzy’s getting better and better, and you’re’ seeing that calm poise that he has really come out the more he gets comfortable.”

Schmaltz was likely getting a second-line audition in some capacity this fall; the original thought was at left wing in the wake of Artemi Panarin’s trade. But Schmaltz has always felt at his best at center. He’s showing that. And more.

“It’s always fun to play no matter if it’s preseason or regular season," he said. "I’m always happy to play, especially when you’re playing with great players. I feel like I’m more comfortable in the middle, able to use my speed a little bit more, create more offense that way.

"I think it’s going well. Wherever I end up, I’ll be happy.”