By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Morning, lunatics …
>> Before we begin, the amazing, stupendous, ridiculous Chicago Blackhawks, the No. 1 story in sports …
Wow. That’s the first 24 games — half the 48-game schedule! — with no regulation losses, no overtime losses, just the three in shootouts. Nothing else in sports compares right now. Nothing else is close.
The NHL must air every game Chicago plays nationally until it ends. It’s an incredible opportunity, a godsend for a league constantly in search of ways to cross into the mainstream. Luckily, the next one — Friday at Colorado — is on NHL Network.
>> The weekly chat will be at noon today, as always. All topics welcome.
>> Our Karen Price will take over the Pirates coverage for a few days, beginning this morning. I’ll have one more piece on baseball — a collection of utter randomness — in tomorrow’s paper, then get back to the more seasonal stuff.
>> My news notebook focuses on Joel Hanrahan, who will be missed more than most seem to realize.
And here’s video of some of our talk yesterday outside the Red Sox clubhouse …
>> The concept of scratching Simon Despres when the Penguins face a physical opponent needs to be put to rest today in Philadelphia. Either Dan Bylsma and Todd Reirden trust the kid to play in the NHL or not. Can’t cherrypick his spots.
Here’s a look at the matchup of two teams who really hate each other’s guts.
And here’s Joe Starkey’s column at the near-midpoint.
>> Losses don’t get much worse than blowing a 17-point lead with 10 minutes to go, but Duquesne somehow managed to pull even that off last night. Awful. Just awful.
If Greg Amodio had hoped to extend his tenure as AD by pushing back the goal posts — in firing Ron Everhart, he cost the Dukes their best class in a long time — well, mission accomplished on the latter. Amodio set the program back years.
>> Hope to have you in the chat. If not, remember, transcripts go up right here on the blog.