MESA, Ariz. – This is a big bowl of wrong: Cubs manager Joe Maddon might have missed his only window to make the "Curb Your Enthusiasm" cameo appearance Jeff Garlin promised.
Garlin – a Second City alumnus and one of several celebrity fans within the team's orbit – had offered Maddon a role whenever Larry David brought the band back together for the loosely scripted HBO comedy.
But last week's Cactus League media event at the Arizona Biltmore conflicted with filming in Southern California, where "Curb Your Enthusiasm" is working on a ninth season after a five-year hiatus.
"There was one matchup, and I couldn't get there," Maddon said before Sunday's World Series rematch against the Cleveland Indians at Sloan Park. "I just couldn't do it. It'll happen."
During an all-over-the-place session with reporters that lasted 20-plus minutes, Maddon declined to make any Oscar predictions, saying he's into Netflix and Hulu now and doesn't really go to the movies anymore.
Maddon also hasn't watched much – or any – of the World Series highlights or documentaries. When it came to the handling Aroldis Chapman part, there were some boos inside Chicago's Civic Opera House during the premiere of Major League Baseball's "The 2016 World Series."
But Maddon said he basically skipped that type of content after being Mike Scioscia's bench coach for the 2002 Anaheim Angels and managing the Tampa Bay Rays to the 2008 World Series.
"You get busy and I don't know," Maddon said. "I need to start reading more and watching Netflix less."
Didn't you say that last spring?
"I did," Maddon said.
Maddon had been addicted to cable news during last year's polarizing presidential campaign: "But, damn, it's gotten really annoying, so I stopped watching all that stuff. It's just not good for your brain. It's really not. There's nothing to be gained."
When Maddon starts rolling, it's not hard to picture him in a scene with David and J.B. Smoove. Shaquille O'Neal, John McEnroe and Bill Buckner are among the sports figures with "Curb Your Enthusiasm" credits.
"That was the only day, so I don't know how we're going to figure this out," Maddon said. "First, they had one day set up, and that was going to be good. And then they had to change it to this other day, which was not good. So we'll have to (come up with something else), even if it's maybe a picture on the wall or a phone call."
The Blackhawks were already without Niklas Hjalmarsson on Sunday night. Now they’re without Corey Crawford as well.
Crawford is ill and Scott Darling will start in his place when the Blackhawks host the St. Louis Blues at the United Center. Crawford was expected to start but did not skate this morning – goaltending coach Jimmy Waite took the other net. Coach Joel Quenneville does not believe Crawford has the mumps – “I haven’t heard the word mumps around here,” he said. The Vancouver Canucks are currently working through an outbreak of the mumps and several teams battled it a few seasons ago.
As for the backup, Quenneville was hoping Lars Johansson could be up in an emergency situation, as long as logistics work out. The Rockford IceHogs are scheduled to play at the Ontario (Calif.) Reign later today.
Marian Hossa did not skate this morning but he is expected to play tonight. As Quenneville said on Saturday, Hjalmarsson is day-to-day with the upper-body injury he sustained on Thursday against the Arizona Coyotes but is out tonight.
The last time the Blackhawks faced the Blues was in their Winter Classic game on Jan. 2. A month later coach Ken Hitchcock was fired and, now under Mike Yeo, the Blues have gone 7-3-0 since then. That includes two losses heading into their bye week, however, which they come out of tonight.
“I think usually teams seem to respond pretty well with coaching changes. Whenever you get something new, something to renew the group, whether it’s systems or different energy in the locker room, teams seem to respond at least in the beginning,” Jonathan Toews said. “We can expect this team to be really hard to play against and obviously pretty eager to, maybe, be better overall than they have been all year, knowing what they’re capable of as a team. We know whether we’re playing St. Louis or Minnesota, teams that are close to us in the points race, the points are always huge.”
BLACKHAWKS VS. ST. LOUIS BLUES
Live stream: NBC Sports app
Radio: WGN 720 AM
Nick Schmaltz -Jonathan Toews-Richard Panik
Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane
Tomas Jurco-Marcus Kruger-Marian Hossa
Ryan Hartman-Tanner Kero-Andrew Desjardins
Duncan Keith-Trevor van Riemsdyk
Michal Kempny-Brent Seabrook
Brian Campbell-Michal Rozsival
INJURIES/ILLNESS: Corey Crawford (ill).
St. Louis Blues (via NHL.com)
Alex Steen-Paul Stastny-Vladimir Tarasenko
Jaden Schwartz-Patrik Berglund-David Perron
Dmitrij Jaskin-Jori Lehtera-Magnus Paajarvi
Scottie Upshall-Kyle Brodziak-Ryan Reaves
Jay Bouwmeester-Alex Pietrangelo
Carl Gunnarsson-Kevin Shattenkirk
Joel Edmundson-Colton Parayko