Word on the Street: Boozer believes he's an All-Star

Word on the Street: Boozer believes he's an All-Star

Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Boozer believes he's an 'All-Star'

Averaging 19.9 points and 10.2 rebounds is a solid performance for a Bulls team that is a half-game behind the Heat for the Eastern Conference's second-best record. But because of injuries and 18 missed games, Carlos Boozer may not be named to the All-Star reserves. He believes that he is All-Star ready.

"I feel like I am deserving of an All-Star appearance. If not, I'm not going tobe disappointed," Boozer said. "If I am there, I will be extremely happy. I'll tell you that." (Chicago Tribune)

Sweet Lou headed to San Francisco

After leaving the grind of managing the Cubs to take care of his family, Lou Piniella will be joining the Giants front office as an advisor to general manager Brian Sabaen.

CSNChicago.com's Cubs Insider Patrick Mooney reports that it "was widely assumed that whenever Piniella decided to take a consulting job, it would be with the Yankees, because of his close ties to the Steinbrenner family."

Piniella will be another set of eyes for the defending World Series champions. (CSNChicago.com)

Lovie earns one Coach of the Year vote

Bears head coach Lovie Smith earned one vote for The Associated Press 2010 Coach of the Year Award issued Wednesday to Patriots' field general Bill Belichick. Kansas City's Todd Haley came in second with 4.5 votes while Atlanta's Mike Smith, Philadelphia's Andy Reid and St. Louis' Steve Spagnuolo also received one vote. Belichick garnered 30 votes. (Chicago Tribune)

ND coach Kelly happy with his 23 signees

After logging 15,000 miles and spending more than two days in the air, Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly says the time he spent to bring together this year's recruiting class was worth it.

"I can tell you the plan for this class came together very nicely for us," Kelly said.

Rivals.com agrees with Kelly's assessment, ranking this year's recruiting class as the ninth best in the country. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

ISU recruits eight local talent

Illinois State football coach Brock Spack announced the Redbirds' 16-man recruiting class featuring eight from Illinois. Spack signed three offensive linemen, tight ends and defensive backs, a pair of defensive linemen and wide receivers and a quarterback, linebacker and running back.

Five top Chicago area programs are represented in the Redbirds' 2011 signing class, including Wheaton Warrenville South, Mount Carmel and Lincoln Way East. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

[PHOTO] Joe Maddon, Miguel Montero patch things up over a drink

[PHOTO] Joe Maddon, Miguel Montero patch things up over a drink

Despite the Cubs ending their 108-year World Series drought, Miguel Montero made offseason headlines for all the wrong reasons when he complained about his role in the Cubs' 2017 championship campaign.

Montero criticized Maddon's communication skills, catching rotation and bullpen decision-making after the team's Grant Park celebration. Maddon brushed off the criticism, and last week at spring training Montero said he hadn't spoke with the Cubs' skipper.

That tension appears to be all but a thing of the past, as Montero posted this picture of him and his manager sharing a drink together sporting nothing but smiles.

It's safe to say Montero would describe his relationship with Maddon now as: #WeAreGood.

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks clash with Wild tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks clash with Wild tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Minnesota Wild tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Blackhawks.

Five Things to Watch:

1. Road warriors.

The Blackhawks have won six straight games away from the United Center, and are looking to make it a seventh in Minnesota tonight. They've scored the game's first goal in four of those wins, and in the other two, overcame 1-0 deficits to beat Dallas 5-3 and Edmonton 5-1, the latter of which they scored five unanswered goals.

2. Corey Crawford vs. Devan Dubnyk.

Crawford hasn't quite been the same since undergoing an emergency appendectomy on Dec. 3, but he turned in probably his best outing since then in the Blackhawks' last meeting against Minnesota on Feb. 8 when he stopped 35 of 38 shots in a 4-3 overtime win. He essentially stole two points, and prevented the Wild from picking up the extra one. Across from him tonight will be Dubnyk, who leads the league in wins (32), goals against average (1.97) and save percentage (.934).

3. Jonathan Toews on fire.

After a tough offensive drought earlier in the season that lasted longer than expected, the Blackhawks captain has six goals and 10 assists in his last 12 games, and upped his point total to 37, which now ranks fifth on the team. In the last meeting against Minnesota two weeks ago, Toews had a three-point night and scored the game winner in overtime. 

4. Mikael Granlund among league's most underrated players.

File Granlund under the category of players who don't get enough attention. He has 17 goals and 36 assists in 58 games this season, and his 53 points is tied with Jeff Carter and Artemi Panarin for 13th in the NHL's scoring race. The next highest point total on the Wild is Eric Staal with 45, an eight-point gap between him and Granlund. The 24-year-old forward registered his first career hat trick earlier this month, and also had a 12-game point streak just two weeks ago.

5. Ryan Hartman's closing in on 15 goals.

In Saturday's 3-1 loss to Edmonton, Hartman defended his teammate by fighting an Oilers defenseman that was practically twice his size. He called it a "no-brainer" to stick up for Tanner Kero and did well in the scrap, but it led to an Oilers power play and 10-minute misconduct which didn't do the Blackhawks any favors. He responded in a great way Sunday by scoring the game's first goal that helped his team win 5-1 in Buffalo. The next goal he scores will be No. 15, which would give the Blackhawks six 15-plus goal scorers on the year. They had only four a season ago.

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