Thibodeau on Lovie: Unfortunate part of the business

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Thibodeau on Lovie: Unfortunate part of the business

The overlapping NBA and NFL seasons never allowed Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau to meet Lovie Smith, but he has admired from afar the work the former Bears coach has done.
Smith was fired Monday morning after nine seasons in Chicago.
"I think he's a great coach and I'm saddened to hear it. He had a great run, and I thought they got the most out of the team," Thibodeau said, "but it's anunfortunatepart of the business and you hate to see it. Chicago native Doc Rivers knows Lovie, always spoken veryhighlyof him so I watch their teams play and they always play hard. It's sad."
Two NBA coaches -- Mike Brown (Los Angeles Lakers) and Avery Johnson (Brooklyn) -- have already been shown the door two months into the NBA season, and Thibodeau said that speaks volumes to how organizations operate as businesses and someone must take the fall when things go poorly.

"It's pro sports," he said. "It's unfortunate. As I said, Lovie has proven to be a terrific coach and he seems like a great guy. So you hate to see anyone lose their job, but that's the nature of the beast I guess."
Hinrich (knee) out vs. Bobcats
Bulls point guard Kirk Hinrich is out of the lineup this afternoon against the Bobcats. He suffered a knee injury last weekend and could not get ready to go, despite sitting out Sunday's practice to rest.
Thibodeau said his starting point guard felt better yesterday and again today, but will sit out as Nate Robinson gets the start in his place.

Rangers win riveting goaltending duel over Blackhawks in overtime

Rangers win riveting goaltending duel over Blackhawks in overtime

Antti Raanta stopped all 26 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season and Nick Holden netted the winner as the New York Rangers beat the Blackhawks 1-0 in overtime on Friday night.

The Blackhawks, playing without Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook and Corey Crawford, are now 1-2-1 in their last four games. Nevertheless, they remain atop the Western Conference with 38 points.

Scott Darling stopped 36 of 37 shots in the loss.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Two seasons ago Darling and Raanta battled for the Blackhawks’ backup spot. Friday marked their first head-to-head matchup, and it was stellar.

The Blackhawks thought they broke the scoreless tie six minutes into the third period, when Marian Hossa got one past Raanta. But the Rangers challenged for offside and officials agreed, nullifying the goal.

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."