Blackhawks

Kelly: 'history will have no effect on how this team plays'

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Kelly: 'history will have no effect on how this team plays'

A decade ago, Notre Dame was coming off an impressive 34-24 win in Tallahassee over then-No. 11 Florida State, vaulting the Irish to an 8-0 record. The next week Notre Dame was No. 4 in the AP poll...and promptly lost to an unranked Boston College 14-7 in South Bend.

That wasn't the first time BC crushed Notre Dame's championship hopes following a win that sent the Irish into the national championship picture. After beating No. 1 FSU in 1993, Notre Dame went to Boston and lost, eliminating any chance the Irish had at a title.

This year's Notre Dame team doesn't get Boston College until Nov. 10, instead facing Pittsburgh following last Saturday's 30-13 win over No. 8 Oklahoma. But with Notre Dame entertaining its best national championship hopes since 2002, coach Brian Kelly isn't looking to the past for answers.

"History will have no effect on how this team plays," Kelly said. "What will affect how this team plays is how they prepare during the week, and that is what I can control and that's what our players can control. So our focus is on what we can control. If we don't prepare well and have a good week, that's going to spill into how we play Saturday."

Those past letdowns are hardly exclusive to Notre Dame -- plenty of championship bids have been spoiled by unpredictable upsets. Ask the coaches from those games, and they'll probably say the preparation leading up a late-season game wasn't good enough.

"There were times that we did not practice well, especially on the offensive side of the ball and did not play well," Kelly recalled of previous weeks this season. "And so they know that there's a direct correlation to how they practice and how they perform. Certainly I've had some teams that are just better physically, more talent. We're not in that position yet. So we feel like it's directly tied to how we're going to play, especially on the offensive side of the ball."

Golson not the face of Notre Dame...yet

Everett Golson has largely been walled off to the media this season, with the first-year starter only fielding questions after his better games (Oklahoma, Miami, Michigan State). Last year, Notre Dame made quarterback Tommy Rees available every week -- but Golson's development with the media has taken a backseat to his development as a quarterback.

"I don't see it happening this year," Kelly said of Golson being made available more frequently to the media. "I see us really focusing on a lot of the little things that we have to get better at. And he has and he's committed to it. He's committed to wanting to do those things. But I'm not ready to put him out there yet. He's getting there, there's no question, and we want to continue on that trend."

If Golson's development goes as planned, he'll eventually have to be a regular with reporters. And Kelly has a benchmark in mind for when that'll happen.

"I'm almost of the opinion that we gotta see this start to happen consistently," Kelly said of Golson's improvement. "And when we do that, I think we're probably closer to that point."

Change of plans? Adam Boqvist could start season with Blackhawks

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USA TODAY

Change of plans? Adam Boqvist could start season with Blackhawks

That was quick. 

Hours after we wrote how Adam Boqvist has been flying under the radar this training camp because his NHL timeline could still be 2-3 years away — something even he admitted after the Blackhawks drafted him No. 8 overall in June — he put on a strong showing in his second preseason game on Thursday against the Detroit Red Wings playing on the top pairing and leading the team in ice time (22:15). 

His offensive skill is evident. So is his general skating ability. What really stood out was how he defended, particularly a 1-on-1 rush against the speedy Andreas Athanasiou.

This is the play that got Blackhawks fans excited. This is a player who has the ability to speed up his timeline if he takes advantage of this next year of development, which won’t begin in London on Friday after coach Joel Quenneville told reporters following Thursday’s contest that his debut with the Knights in the OHL is being put on hold because they want a longer look at him.

In fact, Quenneville didn’t rule out the possibility of Boqvist making the Blackhawks straight out of camp.

"I think as we've gone through camp and see him play through the games, we're watching him," Quenneville said. "We've been pleased with him. It's almost like, when you come to camp, we want to watch these guys. They make those decisions for us with how they play and it's been a positive one."

But that doesn’t mean he’d necessarily stick around for the full season.

Because he’s 18 years of age, Boqvist is eligible to play in up to nine games before getting sent to his respective junior team without burning the first year of his entry-level deal. He’s a slide candidate next year as well. It’s what the Blackhawks did with Ryan Hartman, who appeared in five games in 2014-15 and three games in 2015-16 before securing a full-time spot in 2016-17. That's the likely scenario if it were to reach that point.

It's hard to imagine the Blackhawks breaking in each of their top-two defensive prospects in Henri Jokiharju and Boqvist at the same time. And for Boqvist, you certainly don't want to waste any years of his entry-level contract when he could be using that time to truly develop so he could hit the ground running when he does enter the league on a full-time basis.

Perhaps the back injury to Connor Murphy, who is expected to be out until December, allowed the Blackhawks to view Boqvist's situation in a wider lense. Or maybe this was the plan all along.

Regardless, the Blackhawks may get a glimpse of the future quicker than they thought and it’s added a little excitement to training camp and the anticipation of Opening Day.

 

Melisa Reidy, Addison Russell's ex-wife, shares disturbing story of abuse

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USA TODAY

Melisa Reidy, Addison Russell's ex-wife, shares disturbing story of abuse

Melisa Reidy, the ex-wife of Cubs shortstop Addison Russell, posted a blog late Thursday night detailing years of enduring physical, emotional and psychological abuse.

The post can be read here, and much of it is pretty difficult to stomach.

The couple split up in June 2017 after Melisa posted a now-deleted Instagram photo alleging infidelity. A friend of Melisa's commented on the Instagram post that there had also been physical abuse during the relationship.

MLB caught wind of the deleted comment and opened an investigation of Russell under its then-new domestic violence protocol.

The Cubs sent Russell home during the investigation but he was never suspended by Major League Baseball.

Reidy opted not to speak with Major League Baseball as part of the investigation.

Before Russell returned to the Cubs he spoke with reporters and denied after the allegations.

“Any allegation I have abused my wife is false and hurtful,” Russell said in June 2017. “For the well-being of my family, I’ll have no further comment.”

Russell has struggled at the plate each of the last two seasons. Following a breakout campaign in 2016 in which he hit 21 homers and had 95 RBIs, he compiled a .722 OPS in 2017 and is down to .657 in 130 games this season.

Stay with NBCSportsChicago.com throughout the day for more details on this story.