Dobbins fined 30k for hit on Cutler

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Dobbins fined 30k for hit on Cutler

It wont get Jay Cutler back on the field any sooner, but Houston linebacker Tim Dobbins may give pause before administering another blow similar to the one he delivered on Cutler to give the Bears quarterback a concussion.
Dobbins is being fined 30,000 but not suspended for his helmet-to-helmet shot on Cutler, ESPNs Adam Schefter reported on Wednesday.Cutlers exact status will not be declared officially until later in the week, although an out designation could be given as early as Thursday. The same will apply to rookie defensive end Shea McClellin, who sustained a concussion on the first play of the Houston game and was removed from the game.Cutler is getting better, coach Lovie Smith said. Were still evaluating him, hes meeting with people, medical staff, our trainers and all of that, but hes getting better. We do have a little bit more time and thats always good.Cutler has had previous concussions and the increased awareness of cumulative damage done by brain injuries raises serious shorter- and longer-term questions, this immediate season as well as his future.Careers of quarterbacks like Troy Aikman and Steve Young were shortened by concussion effects. Running back Merrill Hoges career was ended in 1994 as a member of the Bears because of multiple concussions. Bears linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyers career ended with a final concussion in the 2010 preseason.But Smith is not and can not look beyond the San Francisco 49ers at this point.I just worry about the one he had the other night, Smith said. I cant look into the future or anything like that. Every case is different. Jays feeling a whole lot better. Itll all play out.When a guy has a concussion, whether its the first or whatever, its a concern for you. We will do everything thing possible to get him back but itll all take care of itself, whether its two or whatever. Hes not going to go back practicing until hes completely well and ready to go. He wont play until theres no issues with that.

Rangers win riveting goaltending duel over Blackhawks in overtime

Rangers win riveting goaltending duel over Blackhawks in overtime

When Scott Darling and Antti Raanta vied for the Blackhawks’ backup goaltending job two seasons ago, there was definitely a strong competition. But it was still one built on respect.

“We had no bad blood in that situation,” Darling said on Friday. “We’ve remained friends. He’s having a great season and I’m happy for him.”

On this night, Raanta may have been just a bit happier.

Raanta stopped all 26 shots he saw against his former team, notching his first shutout of this season, and Nick Holden gave the New York Rangers a 1-0 overtime victory over the Blackhawks on Friday night. The Blackhawks are 1-2-1 in their last four games but remain atop the Western Conference with 38 points.

The Blackhawks were missing Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook and Corey Crawford in this one. Nevertheless, it was a tight game, one in which both goaltenders were stellar. Darling stopped 36 of 37 shots – Holden’s overtime winner was the first goaltender allowed to New York in two games against them.

Considering the players missing, the Blackhawks will take the point.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

“With or without Toews, you’re always thinking when it’s in the third period and it’s close and getting inside 10 minutes, let’s get it to overtime,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “We’ve seen a ton of overtimes in the league. You gotta get the one point. We’ve had some success trying to get the extra one. Tonight, not, but that’s got to be the mindset.”

The Blackhawks were close to taking the 1-0 lead six minutes into the third period, when Marian Hossa thought he scored his 15th goal of the season. But the Rangers challenged for offside. Upon further review, the goal was nullified.

“Well, obviously that’s a tough one,” Hossa said. “I mean, I didn’t notice it was close to offside but obviously with today’s technology, with this new rule, it’s a game of inches. It’s slowing the game down, I think. You’re getting confused, what exactly the coaches are looking for. They created this new rule and we just have to deal with it. But sometimes it’s more frustrating because the league wants to increase the scoring and right now, I think more goals are disallowed because of this.”

Hartman, who had the pass to Hossa, was also disappointed but agreed with the review’s ruling.

“You get your excitement up a little bit and you try not to get too ahead of yourself when you know they are reviewing it. You just try to see it as both ways, if they do call it a goal, if they call it back,” Hartman said. “Obviously it was the right call. It was just a tough one.”

The Blackhawks will take the point out of this one. Despite the players they were without they played a solid game. They had good, quality scoring chances. Their current backup was just slightly bested by their previous one.

“Both [goalies] were great, both [teams] had excellent looks at the net,” Quenneville said. “We missed some good opportunities on 2-on-1s and they had some good looks around Darling as well. Both guys got their teams to overtime, got a point. It’s a good point if you want to look at it like that. I didn’t mind the way we played but Darls was excellent.”

Blackhawks preparing for EPIX all-access look leading up to Winter Classic

Blackhawks preparing for EPIX all-access look leading up to Winter Classic

The 2017 Winter Classic featuring the Blackhawks and Blues is right around the corner.

Players from both sides already squared off in a game of NHL 17 to generate some hype into the game, but nothing compares to behind-the-scenes footage of the two teams leading up to it.

Beginning Dec. 16 at 9 p.m., EPIX will air a one-hour episode each week that provides an all-access look inside the lives of the Blackhawks and Blues, on and off the ice.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

The game will be on Jan. 2 at 12 p.m. on NBC, with the final episode airing Friday, Jan. 6.

Here's a two-minute preview involving the Blackhawks, who are labeled "A Good Bunch of Guys."