Hawks-Flyers, Game 5: The lines they are a-changin'

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Hawks-Flyers, Game 5: The lines they are a-changin'

Sunday, June 6, 2010
12:49 AM

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

CHICAGO All indications are that significant line changes are due the Chicago Blackhawks when they hit the ice Sunday in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Many moves that were anticipated as early as Game 4 seem to be on the horizon. Most prominent is the dissolution of the top line. Dustin Byfuglien has been an utter non-factor in the Finals so far, and coach Joel Quenneville will have to find a place to stash him where he can regain his footing and confidence, as on Friday he simply looked lost. The lone Blackhawks rallying point in the game, at minutes ticked short on the third period, came when phenoms Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane were split apart, so its a safe bet that Q will keep that mojo working and force Philly to find ways to defend the two talents separately.

On the defensive end, Brian Campbell has gotten better with every game played so far in the Finals, so expect him to continue to see increased minutes, perhaps at the expense of Niklas Hjalmarsson, who Quenneville acknowledge had a very rough start to Game 4.

On the Flyers side, why change a thing? Coach Peter Laviolette has pulled off the improbable feat of outfoxing Quenneville so far in the series, his minor tinkers trumping Chicagos consistent rolls.

Consistent until Game 5, that is. Quenneville has fought his own nature by bringing minimal change to the lineup in the first four games of the series. With the Finals reduced now to a best-of-three, the veteran mentor is faced with the coaching job of his life.

Brett Ballantini isCSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnikon Twitter for up-to-the-minute Hawksinformation.

Teammates see Mike Glennon taking command of Bears offense

Teammates see Mike Glennon taking command of Bears offense

The Bears are expected to add a quarterback this week, possibly as soon as the third overall pick. But the starting quarterback the team already has in place is beginning to take control of the Bears' offense. 

With the Bears' nine-week offseason program getting underway last week, Mike Glennon has had his first opportunity to work with coaches and teammates here at Halas Hall, largely in conditioning drills. And the early evaluations of the 27-year-old have been positive. 

"(What) I've seen from Mike is just him taking command," receiver Josh Bellamy, this year's veteran recipient of the Piccolo Award, said. "He's taking command and he's willing to take all responsibility of what's going on, and that's what you want in a leader. And I'm willing to follow. And I know everybody else in the locker room is too."

Jordan Howard, the Bears' rookie recipient of the 2016 Piccolo Award, echoed Bellamy's praise of Glennon.

"He's a hard worker," Howard said. "He's been trying to motivate guys to push through things."

Having three different starting quarterbacks (Jay Cutler, Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley) last year was part of why the Bears sunk to a 3-13 record. Even if the Bears pick their quarterback of the future in two days, having consistent leadership from Glennon could be a positive for this group in 2017. 

"There's not a whole lot of teams that go through that (having three starting QBs) that have success," coach John Fox said last month. "That's over a 16-game regular season schedule. In Mike's case, he's been steady, he's been consistent, he just hasn't had a lot of opportunity. But everybody that I've known that's been around him both in college football and pro football people that I respect and know pretty well feel really good about him moving forward."

And that leadership would come from a guy who last started in 2014 and only attempted 11 passes in the last two seasons. But the Bears lauded Glennon's leadership abilities in signing him last month, and so far, the front office has been proven right in their assessment. 

"He's first out," Bellamy said. "He wants everybody on time, he's demanding everything, what a quarterback should do, he's showing leadership with the whole team. And he interacts with the players, with his guys. He'll call us, hey, you guys want to go to the game or just stuff, just building camaraderie and building a brotherhood. And that's all it's about."

Report: Jay Cutler's agent says QB has no plans to retire

Report: Jay Cutler's agent says QB has no plans to retire

Jay Cutler has no plans to retire, according to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Quoting Cutler's agent, Bus Cook, the former Bears quarterback "wants to play football. He has never mentioned retirement to me. Jay Cutler, as far as I know, is ready to play and wants to play, and his skill set is as good as any quarterback in the league."

The Bears parted ways with Cutler this offseason after eight seasons. They were reportedly shopping him as part of a trade but nothing surfaced, leading them to cut the 33-year-old.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said in March that the Jets had interest in Cutler, and the quarterback has been linked to the Texans as well.

Quarterbacks needs around the league will gain more clarity following next week's draft, but Cutler may have to wait until a potential training camp injury to find a spot in the league in 2017.