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updated: 4/6/2012 6:29 AM

Toews' return to Blackhawks comes with mixed feelings

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  • Cubs manager Dale Sveum smiles as he answers questions during a news conference at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Wednesday, April 4, 2012, the day before the Cubs open their season against the Washington Nationals.

      Cubs manager Dale Sveum smiles as he answers questions during a news conference at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Wednesday, April 4, 2012, the day before the Cubs open their season against the Washington Nationals.
    Associated Press

  • George LeClaire/gleclaire@dailyherald.comActor Bill Murray tries to fire the crowd up and get them to sing louder during the seventh-inning stretch at Wrigley Field.

      George LeClaire/gleclaire@dailyherald.comActor Bill Murray tries to fire the crowd up and get them to sing louder during the seventh-inning stretch at Wrigley Field.

 
 

When it comes to the return of Jonathan Toews to the Blackhawks lineup, I have to admit I'm a little torn.

I'm pulling for the guy to get back after suffering a concussion because he has worked so hard and desperately wants to return to the ice despite setback after setback during a recovery in which he's missed 21 games through Thursday.

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But when and if he does return, you know he's going to have a huge target on his head -- literally.

I know the league and the players have talked a lot about curbing all the hits to the head, and that top cop Brendan Shanahan has done a good job of handing down stiff penalties to violators ... but it keeps happening.

Whether it's boarding or elbows or shoulders to the head, the hits keep on coming. Watching Shanahan's Department of Player Safety videos is enough to make you cringe.

Two of the league's best players -- Toews and Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby -- are about to be headliners (no pun intended) in the postseason. The question is, will both still be on the ice with their teammates when their playoff runs conclude, or will they be alone in a dark room watching the games on TV?

Fighting the odds:

When you pick a fight with Mr. D. and Arlington Park, you're just not going to win.

Simple as that.

The guy can be charming as heck, but he's also one tough son-of-a-gun ... and he never forgets.

I'm thinking:

Dale Sveum is the closest thing yet to Bob Brenly in the dugout.

Now that's how it's done:

As much as I'd like to see the whole guest conductor thing fade away at Wrigley, I have to say Bill Murray and Todd from Big Head Todd and the Monsters struck just the right notes on Opening Day.

Unfortunately ...:

You know what's coming soon to a seventh inning stretch near you: "Ladies and gentlemen, from the CW's Vampire Diaries ... please welcome Zach Roerig and Candice Accola!"

Poor Len and Bob.

Old school:

They can dress up the opening to Cubs broadcasts all they want, but until they bring back "Jump," I'm just not going to be satisfied.

Kidding of course, but one time for old time's sake would be cool.

Pick to click:

Lee Westwood this weekend at Augusta.

And yes, that was the pick before Thursday's opening round.

Thanks, they needed that:

The Blackhawks went through a nine-game losing streak and are a stronger team for having survived it.

The same applies to the Bulls and their current two-game skid.

A little turbulence during the regular season can be a real good thing.

Is it wrong?

To want to attend Tom Skilling's tornado seminar at Fermilab?

If it is, then I don't want to be right.

What?

Speaking of weather:

In this upside down spring we've had, 50 degrees is the new 30.

Crickets.

That was a little too Larry Kingy, wasn't it?

Don't forget:

Illinois Derby at Hawthorne. Saturday. 5 p.m. Channel 9.

Should be a doozy.

Question:

When is the last time Chicago had both MLB Comeback Players of the Year?

Could happen.

Also could be the only hardware won on either side of town. How depressing is that?

mspellman@dailyherald.com

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