Blackhawks

Red Sox send down Lillibridge before Chicago series

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Red Sox send down Lillibridge before Chicago series

The Boston Red Sox designated infielder Brent Lillibridge, who was involved in the trade for Kevin Youkilis last month, for assignment, prior to the team's three-game series with the Chicago White Sox.
Lillibridge, 28, was traded along with pitcher Zach Stewart from the White Sox in exchange for Youkilis, who has racked up 18 hits in 16 games with the South Siders. Chicago has won 11 of 16 games since acquiring Youkilis.
Lillibridge, who went 2-for-16 in 10 games with the Red Sox, was sent down to make room for left fielder Carl Crawford, who will make his 2012 debut after missing 89 games with an elbow injury.
Stewart is 1-1 with a 3.74 ERA in four starts with Triple-A Pawtucket. He was 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA in 30 innings pitched for the White Sox before the trade.

Instant reaction: Blackhawks squander late lead, fall to Golden Knights in shootout

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USA Today

Instant reaction: Blackhawks squander late lead, fall to Golden Knights in shootout

FINAL SCORE:

Golden Knights 2, Blackhawks 1 (SO)

Snap judgments:

— The Blackhawks played a Golden Knights team that was on the second of a back-to-back and coming off an ugly 6-2 loss in Philadelphia on Monday. They knew the visiting team would come in desperate and it was an even battle, except in the third period when the Golden Knights took control and tied it up at 1-1 with 1:33 left in regulation.

— It took just two games for Kirby Dach to score his first career NHL goal, which will be the first of many. Olli Maatta's pass went off Dach's leg and in, to which Dach said on NBC Sports Chicago during first intermission: "It wasn't the prettiest goal, but I'll take it."

— This was a straight goaltending battle between two of the league's best in Marc-Andre Fleury and Robin Lehner. Fleury was coming off a 29-save shutout against Pittsburgh on Saturday and he followed that up by stopping 31 of 32 shots for a save percentage of .969 against the Blackhawks. Lehner was just as good, if not better, turning aside 33 of 34 shots for a save percentage of .971. He's now 1-0-2 on the season .

Three stars:

1. Golden Knights G Marc-Andre Fleury — Stopped 31 of 32 shots for .969 save percentage

2. Blackhawks C Kirby Dach — First career NHL goal

3. Blackhawks G Robin Lehner — Stopped 33 of 34 shots for .971 save percentage

Must-see highlights:

— Dach's first career NHL goal

— Lehner's desperation save in overtime

What's next:

The Blackhawks host the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday, Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.

Thomas Jones tweets plan to fix Bears' struggling offense

Thomas Jones tweets plan to fix Bears' struggling offense

It didn't take Thomas Jones long to become a fan-favorite during his tenure with the Bears, which spanned three seasons from 2004-2006.  Jones, who was the seventh overall pick in the 2000 NFL draft, resurrected his career in Chicago with back-to-back seasons over 1,200 rushing yards in 2005 and 2006.

So, when he speaks about how to improve the offense through the running game, coach Matt Nagy and the rest of Chicago's offensive staff should at least give it a listen.

Technically, Jones tweeted his plan to repair the Bears' struggling offense. But, the point remains.

"Nagy should learn the history of the Bears," Jones tweeted. "When they've won in the past it's because they ran the ball 1st! The fans & the makeup of the Bears is blue-collar. Hard-nosed, physical fundamental football. Limit turnovers, chew up the clock & let the defense get you the ball back.

"And where is their fullback? How can you run the ball in Chicago without a fullback in the game? When u have a fullback in the game the linebackers know they have to strap up their helmets. It's going to be a physical game & some of them don't want that. Can't make it easy for them."

To be fair, fullback is a nearly extinct position in the NFL. But Jones' suggestion runs deeper than that; the Bears need to at least appear like they want to run the ball in order to make the defense respect the threat of a running game.

"They NEVER try to establish the run which puts all of the pressure on a young QB who is still learning & trying to figure out who he's going to be in this league," Jones said. "The O line won't get into any rhythm if they don't run block enough & the defense can only hold up for so long."

According to Jones, Mitch Trubisky isn't ready to be the centerpiece of Chicago's offense just yet.

"Mitch is too young to have all of that pressure on him at once. He's talented but he's not ready yet. You have talented backs & an incredible defense. The O Line just needs to gain confidence run blocking in real-time. They have to establish a running game or things won't change."

Jones drew on some experience from the 2005 season when the Bears kept things pretty basic for then-rookie quarterback Kyle Orton, who enjoyed some moderate success that year. He also chimed in on the Trubisky vs. Patrick Mahomes and DeShaun Watson debate.

"Everyone matures at different times in the NFL. He's not those other guys so comparing him to them isn't going to help them win games right now. Establish a run game & take pressure off of him. Simplify the offense by giving him basic pass plays like we did with Orton in 05."

So how do the Bears get their offense back on a winning track? You guessed it: run the ball!

"It's not a old times sake thing. It's football. Every winning team establishes some sort of running game. Even if it's running back by committee or a running QB. The more tired a defense is from having to chase & tackle the more mental mistakes they're going to make.

"Which gives you a higher chance to win the game. When you run the ball you can take more chances throwing the ball downfield, running specialty plays such as screens and reverses. The defense can't just lay their ears back because they know they can get gashed at any time."

Head over to Jones' Twitter page to follow along with his complete Bears breakdown. It's pretty epic and is a great reminder of just how passionate he is about this team, this city, and winning.