On Saturday Night Live this weekend, the Weekend Update anchors made a series of jokes about the federal government shutdown, one illustrated by this graphic showing the Illinois Capitol instead of the big, white one in Washington, D.C.
INDIANAPOLIS -- For anyone who missed it, or wants to relive it, here’s a detailed account of Derrick Rose’s return to NBA action on Saturday against Indiana.
--Bulls fans were plentiful at Bankers Life Arena, but not a majority. The atmosphere was nothing like Game 4 of the 2011 playoffs, when Bulls fans made up at least 67 percent of the crowd. Also, plenty of empty seats or the
--Rose was introduced second, after Jimmy Butler, which seemed to catch the Bulls fans by surprise. The cheer was delayed slightly.
--Bulls fans explode the first time Rose touches the ball on offense. Maybe there are more Bulls fans here than I thought.
Ben Smith will get his chance at right wing on the third line on Saturday when the Blackhawks face the Tampa Bay Lightning at the United Center.
It figures to be a back-and-forth platoon situation most of the season between Smith and Jimmy Hayes.
"It's part of the sport, part of the job," Smith said. "You're always competing against a lot of guys. It's not going to be just training camp. As I said during camp it's going to continue well on during the year and you just have to play your best everyday and hope the opportunities keep coming."
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville would like to get all 23 of his players into a game sooner than later.
We've heard through various channels from everyone in the local delegation that everyone at the Capitol is OK.
U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth tweeted she was on the House floor at the time of the shooting, for example, and U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk's spokesman says he was at the World War II memorial.
U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam put out a video late Monday with his take on the late-night shutdown fight.
Last season, the Blackhawks went into the Staples Center on opening day and spoiled the Kings' banner-raising ceremony by beating the then Stanley Cup champs.
The Hawks are hoping to avoid a similar letdown tonight at the United Center when they raise their banner of winning the Cup in 2013.
"Enjoy it because it's a special moment in your life, very memorable," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "At the same time, when that's over and they drop the puck it's time to play for keeps. Our guys have always responded in the right way to big challenges and big games and big moments."
So what will Quenneville be thinking watching the banner being raised to the rafters?
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Mike Kostka was a better fit on defense than Ryan Stanton because "offensively he really compliments our style of play."
Kostka won the eighth job on defense over Stanton, who was waived and claimed by the Vancouver Canucks on Monday.
"He's one of those defensemen who is useful as far as both sides of the puck," Quenneville said of Kostka. "He can give us some nice offense from the back end and is versatile and can defend well. He's very handy with the puck.
"Last year for the majority of the season (in Toronto), he was playing against the other team's top lines and handled it very well."
The Blackhawks took the safe route with Corey Crawford on Saturday after the goalie complained of stiffness in his lower body.
Rookie Antti Raanta was recalled from Rockford to back up Nikolai Khabibulin, who was to start the final preseason game against Washington at the United Center.
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville expects Crawford to be OK to start Tuesday’s regular season opener against the Capitals.
“It’s more precautionary than anything,” Quenneville said. “Crow should be fine.”
Quenneville isn’t worried that it will be more than a week since Crawford played a game.
“He’s been on the ice every day so he hasn’t missed any time,” Quenneville said. “He’ll be ready.”
Busy day on the South Side.
On Friday afternoon, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn talked about the miserable season that ends Sunday and looked ahead to the future.
Later, Paul Konerko addressed his future.
Let's start with Konerko.
Given his subpar season (.248, 12 home runs, 54 RBI), age (37) and health (he missed a month with a sore lower back), I thought retirement was pretty much a slam-dunk.
But after listening to Konerko lay out his options, I changed my mind a bit. Konekro said he might be open to playing one more season, even though he's had no formal talks with the Sox.
Marian Hossa returned to practice Friday at his normal spot at right wing on the second line with Michal Handzus and Patrick Sharp.
Hossa has missed the entire Blackhawks preseason while nursing a sore back but feels like he will play in Tuesday's season opener against Washington.
"I definitely feel much better after the week off," Hossa said. "I took my time and the last few days and I feel much better. I went to the gym and did some stuff there. I skated on my own (Thursday) and woke up today feeling pretty good so it was time to go back with the team.