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Dan & Terry
 
Lambeau Field will be the site of the Midwest Manure Summit, Feb. 15-16.
Halas Hall must have been booked.
 
Kevin Conerton
Peru, Ill.

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Boers and Bernstein,
 
I have been playing hockey since the 90’s and I have always thought fighting is stupid. Hockey is a great sport but fighting is unnecessary and caters to the non-thinking, UFC crazed, “Chicago” tough, and immature fans. Of course I get called every name in the book because I don’t want to see fighting in sports.
Not sure if either of you saw this weekend, that 2 players were both put on IR because of fighting. The 1st, the very patriotic goalie Rick DiPietro, the fight also got a lot of play on the Boo-Yah network. Then 2nd, ex-Hawk punching and sleazebag Adam Burish, who suffered a broken orbital bone. It is embarrassing to me that the sport I enjoy so much has to have fighting still relevant.
 
Thanks,
James

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Seriously Dan,

Why is Keith Bogans on the Bulls’ roster?  He needs to be cut right away.  There are better basketball players in high schools all over the country.  There has to be 2’s in the D-league that can play better than Keith Bogans!  Are the Bulls going to make a roster move to get a guy that can at least do something?  Brewer is nice once in a while but he can’t play offense, he’s just a spark off the bench.  Please, please tell me that the Bulls are trying to make a move for a 2.  I don’t care if it’s just Rip Hamilton as long as he doesn’t screw up our long term cap situation.  Just please tell me they are going to do something before the deadline.  Oh, and tell Terry that the game last night was game number three that the Bulls would have won if Noah was on the floor.  Yes, I have been keeping track.  No way Alderidge puts up 42 if Noah is on the court.
 
 
-The Rass

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Hey Dan-

  Just read your blog post and I can’t really disagree with anything as far as the Blackhawks “buzz” is concerned. However, I wanted to offer one point with respect to the actual team. There’s plenty to be concerned about this year that goes beyond the current standings (inconsistency from Keith and Seabrook, lack of secondary scoring, Kane and Hossa falling off the face of the earth, etc.). However, while the Blackhawks certainly aren’t as dominant as they were a year ago, they’re actually much better than their record suggests. Much like baseball and basketball, goal differential often gives a better indication of a team’s ability than their actual wins and losses, and if you check out goal differentials in the West, here’s what you find:

1. Vancouver (+56) — Clearly the best team in the West.

2, 3 and 4. Los Angeles (+21), Detroit (+20) and Chicago (+18) — Yes, Chicago is rightly in the second tier of Western Conference teams. Given the Hawks’ early-season injury woes, I think you can draw comparisons to this team and last year’s Red Wings who were actually out of a playoff spot at the end of January.

5. Nashville (+12) — What do you want me to say about Nashville? Blah.

6-8. San Jose (+6), Dallas (+2) and Phoenix (0). — All blob teams who would currently be seeded 6, 3 and 5.

So here’s the point… You’ve got eleven teams that are within five points of the Blackhawks (above and below) and they’re all fighting for five playoff spots. The only one of those eleven teams that has a higher goal differential is L.A. Seven of those teams are even or below (including your current 5, 7 and 8 seeds). So while this season has been beyond frustrating, and certainly not what fans such as myself expected, this is still a team that could end up in the Western Conference finals… Not saying it’s likely, but when you consider the kinds of low seeds that go far in the playoffs (think last year’s Flyers or–if you want to cross sports–this year’s Packers), this Hawks team fits the profile. The question is whether someone like Kane or Hossa can come alive over the next two months, and while it’s a legitimate question I think it’s more likely than, say, Keith Yandle and Ray Whitney (yes, those are the Phoenix Coyotes’ current points leaders) doing the same for another team in the hunt.

~Russ

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