Keeping one eye on the White Sox and one eye on the NHL playoffs tonight, I noticed the Sox scored all of their runs in Thursday's 7-3 loss to Toronto via the home run.
We've heard a lot of talk all spring and this early season about how the Sox are "changing their philosophy," forgoing the home run for more speed and small ball. As a matter of fact, Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has been talking about more bunts, more steals and more hit-and-runs for three years. Alas, much to the chagrin of a lot of Sox fans, this "Ozzie Ball" style has never materialized.
The Sox are a home run hitting team. They have been this entire decade. That's their identity. Through the first 10 games of this season, they have been a home run hitting team.
Yes, I'm serious.
It's obviously very early, but would you believe it if I told you the Sox are on pace to set a new club record for home runs? They've hit 15 in the first 10 games of the season. At this rate, they would hit 243 over the course of the year. The team record is 242, set in 2004.
Paul Konerko (pictured) has three homers. So does Andruw Jones. Carlos Quentin and Alex Rios have two each. Heck, even backup catcher Donny Lucy got into the long-ball act Thursday night.
The Sox have scored 45 runs in their first 10 games. Twenty-five of the 45 have come on homers. That's 56 percent of the total offensive output.
Ozzie Ball? I haven't seen it so far. Until proven otherwise, this talk of speed and small ball is just a bunch of gibberish. This team is still relying on its power.
Through the first six games of the NHL playoffs, five underdog teams have won. On Wednesday night, Ottawa beat defending champion Pittsburgh. Philadelphia won at New Jersey. Phoenix knocked off defending Western Conference champ Detroit. Colorado upset the top-seeded team in the West, San Jose.
On Thursday night, the top-seeded team in the East -- the Washington Capitals -- lost in overtime to Montreal.
Does any of that necessarily mean anything? No. These are seven-game series, and winning Game 1 guarantees nothing. But all these early surprises should be instructive for the Blackhawks, who are favored in their first-round series with Nashville. The lesson here is don't sleep on anybody.
That's especially true in the Western Conference, where seven teams reached the 100-point plateau this year. The NHL playoffs are wide open, and no favorite is safe.