Word on the Street: Playoff Beards for the Bears?

Word on the Street: Playoff Beards for the Bears?

Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010
CSNChicago.com

Playoff Beards for the Bears?

Playoff beards are very common in the NHL, as Blackhawks fans can attest to over the past two seasons. But, are the Bears now following suit?

Jay Cutler is among the notable Bears looking scruffy lately, but he is joined by Robbie Gould, Pisa Tonoisamoa, Marcus Harrison and Johnny Knox in the bearded crew. However, none have openly admitted the facial hair is for the playoffs.

As Peggy Kusinski from NBC Chicago writes, maybe the Bears are just superstitious and don't want to jinx their luck by talking about it. (NBC Chicago)

Toews out two weeks

Just when the Blackhawks get Patrick Kane back, Jonathan Toews goes down with a shoulder injury. Coach Joel Quenneville said the Chicago captain is likely to miss two weeks after he was checked near the boards by St. Louis forward Matt D'Agostini in the Blackhawks' 3-1 loss to the Blues on Tuesday night. (CSNChicago.com)
Stephen Jackson heading to the Bulls?

Trade rumors continue to swirl around the Chicago Bulls as Stephen Jackson's name is starting to pick up some heat. Rumors are the Bulls could swing a deal for the veteran shooting guard, as his outside shooting prowess would be a better fit with Derrick Rose in the offense. (Associated Content)

Rodgers named Player of the Week

The Bears may be meeting the Packers at just the wrong time, as Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers is riding a high after earning the NFC Offensive Player of the Week after throwing for a career-high 404 passing yards with 4 TDs against the New YOrk Giants Sunday. (Miami Herald)

Hester rewards teammates with gifts

Nobody can call Devin Hester ungrateful. The history-making kick returner found a good way to pay back his special team blockers who helped him return a record-setting 14th kick for a touchdown last Monday night against the Minnesota Vikings. Hester bought 14 remote-control cars and helicopters, but not just any.

"The big ones," he said. "Gas remote-control cars and everything." (Chicago Tribune)

Metrodome collapse impacting baseball now
The disastrous collapse of the roof of the Metrodome in Minnesota may be done ruining football until next season, but it is not mixing up baseball. The Minnesota Twins hold an annual winter festival at the end of January, but the Metrodome will not won't be repaired by then, leaving a huge question mark that impacts hundreds of college baseball games as well. (Chicago Tribune)

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks look to bounce back vs. Lightning tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks look to bounce back vs. Lightning tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 6 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. How will Blackhawks respond to worst loss of season?

The Blackhawks suffered their worst loss of the season on Saturday in a 7-0 rout at the hands of the Panthers. It was the first time they've lost by at least seven goals since 2011 when Edmonton beat them 9-2 and the first time they lost 7-0 since 2001 against San Jose; the Blackhawks lost to Washington 6-0 earlier this year. But by no means was Saturday their worst effort of the season. A questionable interference penalty by Marcus Kruger led to a two-man advantage, which Florida cashed in on with a goal and another shortly after, and it opened up the floodgates. Expect a big bounce-back against a hungry Lightning team.

2. Lightning fighting for playoff lives.

Every game is a must-win for the Lightning with eight games remaining on their schedule. They're three points out of the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with a game in hand on the Bruins, who currently occupy that spot, but still have to jump the Islanders. The Lightning didn't do themselves any favors by losing three straight in regulation last week, but they've won two in a row and tonight will be the first of a four-game homestand for them.

3. Keep the puck off Nikita Kucherov's stick.

There isn't a hotter player in the NHL right now than Kucherov, who has seven goals and two assists in his last four games. He's had two hat tricks in the past month, and he ranks sixth in the league with 78 points and second in goals with 38. You know how lethal Artemi Panarin's slapshot is from the left faceoff circle? That's Kucherov, but on the right side.

4. Staying disciplined.

The Blackhawks are the second-least penalized team in the league, but they acted out of character Saturday by racking up 30 penalty minutes. They were also slapped with a pair of unsportsmanlike penalties, which isn't something you normally see from Joel Quenneville's teams. Ryan Hartman, who along with Marcus Kruger was penalized for "yapping" at the officials, accepted responsibility for it after the game, and insisted it "won't happen again."

5. Special teams to play key factor?

On the flip side, the Lightning are the second-most penalized team, averaging just over 11 penalty minutes per game. Power plays will be key for the Blackhawks in an effort to keep Tampa Bay's collection of talented young goal scorers off the ice. The Lightning also boast a top-five power play unit with a 22 percent success rate. Both teams would be better served staying out of the box and making this a 5-on-5 battle.

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White Sox may have to deal with Francisco Lindor for a while, according to unlikely source

White Sox may have to deal with Francisco Lindor for a while, according to unlikely source

Sources have confirmed that kids really do say the darndest things. 

In a spring training game Sunday afternoon, 6-year-old Brody Chernoff, son of Indians general manager Mike Chernoff, spilled the beans on his dad's prospective moves. Goated by announcer Todd Hamilton, Brody said that his dad was trying to keep Lindor in Cleveland for seven more years.

On one hand, Brody's honesty rivals a young Abraham Lincoln. Not even Adrian Wojnarowski could cultivate a source so honest and to the point. On the other, his dad probably is a little shocked that contract offer leaks are coming from his own family. 

Either way, though, hearing that Lindor may be in Cleveland for a while is bad news for the White Sox. The 23-year-old stud shortstop has hit over .300 in his first two big-league seasons. So definitely not someone you want to have in your division for years to come. Oh, plus he's absolutely nasty with the leather. 

Cubs fans know all about Lindor's talents, too. The shortstop hit .296 in his first World Series and was almost a key reason the Indians captured the crown. Almost!

Watch the hilarious exchange in the video above.