It begins

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Chicago Inside Slant for Breaking Sports
April 13, 2017 View email in browser
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Butterfly effect

There’s nothing quite like the feeling before Game 1 of a playoffs opener. That’s exactly what the Blackhawks are experiencing right now ahead of tonight’s game against the Predators (7 p.m., CSN). There’s some extra motivation for Hawks winger Jordin Tootoo, also, who will be playing against his former team. So, how do the Blackhawks match up against the Predators? The Hawks have won four of five meetings this season. In the event the Blackhawks do advance to the next round, we looked at their potential path to the Stanley Cup.
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They’re in

It took all 82 games to do so, but the Bulls finally clinched a playoff berth on Wednesday. They’ll be the No. 8 seed, though, and will open their postseason at No. 1 Boston on Sunday.
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Ring tone

The Cubs have their World Series rings after Wednesday night’s ceremony at Wrigley. (Here’s a closer look at the rings.) But good luck moving past 2016, David Haugh writes.
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Q&A

From Jose Quintana trade talk to Charlie Tilson’s health, Tribune reporter Colleen Kane answers your questions in the 2017 season’s second edition of the White Sox mailbag.
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Year 2

There’s a new buzzword these days in Champaign: “Organized.” After Illinois finished 3-9 in Lovie Smith‘s first season at the helm, Smith and the Illini are feeling much more confident in 2017.
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Golden girls

By the end of their struggle, Team USA would beat Canada for another gold medal. But for weeks, Kendall Coyne and her teammates weren’t even sure they would play.
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End game

This year’s tight end class is as talent-rich as any in recent memory. So, will the Bears look to add one? Our position-by-position preview for the NFL draft continues.
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