Bulls

Checking line clicking at right time for Blackhawks

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Checking line clicking at right time for Blackhawks

Andrew Shaw was in front of the net again, deflecting a shot again, this time off the shaft of his stick. Again, he didnt mind how the goal came.

Ill take it, he said. And considering the points he and fellow checking liners Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland have put up lately, so will the Blackhawks.

The checking lines mantra is always the same: defense comes first. But lately, theyve also been coming with plenty of offense. Bickell, Bolland and Shaw have combined for 13 points in the Blackhawks last three games. And Bolland or Shaw has also scored the opening goal in the last three contests. Getting that type of offense from the line thats also shutting down the oppositions top trio? Thats not so bad.

When they score early and they get that assignment, winning that battle youre happy with that type of an exchange, coach Joel Quenneville said. When they score it really helps you in a lot of ways. Its like getting a shorthanded goal.

The checking lines recent success is a culmination of three individual players games clicking at the right time. Bolland usually hits his ready-for-the-playoffs stride around this time of year, and hes doing it again now. Bickell, who struggled through a good part of the season, had a goal and two assists on Sunday for his first multi-point game since Dec. 21. Hes also riding a three-game point streak. And Shaw, who has three goals in his last two games, is bringing the right balance of offense and agitation.

When youre playing good defense, good offensive chances will come, said Shaw, who now has 10 goals in 29 games this season. Were trying to play solid defensively and we know they dont like to play in their own end.

The Blackhawks usually get the great defensive outings from their checking line. Now theyre getting the best of it on both ends of the ice.

Jimmy Butler leaves game unable to put any pressure on right leg after apparent non-contact injury

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ESPN

Jimmy Butler leaves game unable to put any pressure on right leg after apparent non-contact injury

The NBA may have lost another top superstar due to injury.

On Friday, Jimmy Butler appeared to have suffered a non-contact injury to his right knee. He left the game against the Houston Rockets unable to put any pressure on his right leg and needed assistance getting back to the locker room. 

Here's a video of the incident:

Coach Tom Thibodeau said that Butler will have an MRI when the team returns to Minnesota on Saturday.

Butler drew a lot of headlines last weekend after not playing in the NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles.

Entering Friday, Butler led the league with 37.3 minutes played per game.

The Bulls also take on the Timberwolves in Minnesota on Saturday night.

White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo sidelined with elbow injuries

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USA TODAY

White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo sidelined with elbow injuries

PHOENIX, Ariz. — One of the White Sox prized prospects will be on the shelf for a little while.

Outfielder Micker Adolfo has a sprained UCL in his right elbow and a strained flexor tendon that could require surgery. He could avoid surgery, though he could be sidelined for at least six weeks.

Though he hasn’t received the same high rankings and media attention as fellow outfield prospects Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert, Adolfo is considered a part of the White Sox promising future. He’s said to have the best outfield arm in the White Sox system.

Adolfo had a breakout season in 2017, slashing .264/.331/.453 with 16 homers and 68 RBIs in 112 games with Class A Kannapolis.

Adolfo, along with Jimenez and Robert, has been generating buzz at White Sox camp in Glendale, with a crowd forming whenever the trio takes batting practice. Earlier this week, the three described their conversation dreaming about playing together in the same outfield for a contending White Sox team in the future.