Blackhawks

Vitters On Track For Mesa

Vitters On Track For Mesa

Thursday Nov. 11, 2010
Posted: 6:10 p.m.
ARIZONA FALL LEAGUEMesa Solar Sox Cubs
Josh Vitters extended his hitting streak to four games on Thursday but it wasnt enough as Mesa dropped a 6-5 decision to Surprise.

Vitters was 1-for-4 with a run scored and is 7-for-18 during the streak, pushing his average to .270. Ryan Flaherty was hitless in four at-bats.

Peoria Saguaros White Sox
Charlie Leesmans flirtation with AFL stability proved to be a brief one. The right-hander that won 14 games as a starter during the regular season while splitting time between Winston-Salem and Birmingham has been pitching out of the bullpen this fall with limited results.

His latest effort came in Peorias 9-4 loss on Thursday to the Peoria Javelinas. Leesman allowed two runs on two hits and three walks over 2 23 innings pushing his ERA to 11.17. The opposition is hitting .431 against him and he has allowed runs in nine of 10 outings. He had pitched a scoreless inning on Tuesday, his first effective outing of the season, but couldnt build on it Thursday afternoon.

Henry Mabee allowed a run on a hit and two walks in 1 13 innings, breaking his string of scoreless outings at three. Catcher Jason Bour was hitless in four at-bats.

Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at ktczerwinski@gmail.com.

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks look to bounce back against Panthers

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Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks look to bounce back against Panthers

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Florida Panthers Saturday on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

(Reminder: Use #AskEdzo on social media and your questions may be answered by Eddie Olczyk, who will be in studio along with Adam Burish, Brian Campbell and Pat Boyle).

1. Another fast start coming?

The Blackhawks had one of their best starts of the season Wednesday in Tampa Bay, and the numbers favor Chicago to dictate the pace of play early again.

The Panthers are tied with the Buffalo Sabres for the fewest goals scored in the first period (13), and have taken a lead into the second period only four times (3-1-0) in 21 games. They are 2-7-1 in the 10 games they've trailed after the opening frame.

The Blackhawks, on the other hand, are tied for fourth when it comes to first-period goals (22) — albeit, five of them came on Opening Night against Pittsburgh — but they are just 4-2-2 in eight games when leading after one period. In fact, they took a 2-0 lead into the second in their most recent game against the Lightning and lost in overtime 3-2.

So while a fast start could certainly be in the cards, the finish must also be there.

2. Take advantage on special teams.

The Panthers are one of two teams ranked among the bottom six in both power play percentage (26th at 16.0) and penalty kill percentage (30th at 73.2).

Meanwhile, the Blackhawks are coming in hot in both areas. They're 6-for-17 (35.3 percent) on the man advantage in their last four games, and own the fourth-best penalty kill unit (84.8 percent).

This is the area to exploit for the Blackhawks going into the matchup, and it could decide the game.

3. Feed Lance Bouma!

In his seventh season, Bouma has faced every NHL team at least five times in his career, with the exception of Vegas (pointless in one game this season).

Bouma is not known for his offensive prowess (72 points in 325 career games), but it's a different story when he plays Florida.

In six career games against the Panthers, Bouma has one goal, six assists and a career-high plus-8 rating. That one goal also happens to be one of his six career game winners.

Florida is the only team Bouma is averaging at least a point-per-game against for his career, so you know what that means: Feed No. 17!

Is Steve Kerr trolling the Bulls?

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AP

Is Steve Kerr trolling the Bulls?

With Kevin Durant (ankle) and Draymond Green (rest) out, the Golden State Warriors had two starting forward positions open for Friday's game against the Bulls.

One of the two starters replacing them? Jordan Bell. Does his name ring one, too?

Selected by the Bulls with the 38th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Bell was eventually traded to the Warriors in exchange for cash considerations.

The Oregon product hasn't played much this season for the defending champs, averaging just 3.2 points and 8.3 minutes in 12 games, but he will make his first career start against ... his "former" team. Coincidence?

Warriors coach Steve Kerr (jokingly) explains why he's giving the 22-year-old rookie the nod in the lineup.

Prior to the game, Bell also had this to say about his trade:

Buckle up, Bulls fans. Lauri Markkanen vs. Jordan Bell Part II is coming your way too.