It's been a long time since we've had a chance to write about a Bulls-Blackhawks double-bill in the pages of RedEye. Too long.
The NBA lockout robbed Chicago of many doubleheaders this fall, but that's about to change real fast. The condensed, 66-game NBA season means the Bulls will be playing four to five times a week, while the Blackhawks will see their usual three to four games a week.
Now'd be a good time to invest in a TV with picture-in-picture technology or, heck, just another TV altogether.
Why do we like Bulls-Blackhawks twofers so much? Because the nights go a little something like this.
Puck drop in Pittsburgh, and Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are off and running with new linemate Jeremy Morin. Morin
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville is already scowling, and nothing has happened yet.
The Blackhawks turn a penalty kill into a prime shorthanded goal opportunity, but Brent Seabrook cannot connect off a nice Toews pass, and the Captain can't get the rebound past Marc-Andre Fleury. Good-looking hockey.
John "Murdersaurus" Scott pummels Deryk Engelland after Engelland viciously slams Marcus Kruger into the boards. We have blood!
The Penguins score after Scott serves his penalty. It was worth it, though. SCORE: Pittsburgh 1, Blackhawks 0.
The ear-caressing, spine-tingling sounds of the Bulls pregame introductions begin, and new pickup Richard Hamilton gets a rousing ovation. Not as big as DRose's though.
Rip Hamilton is wearing the mask, and Benny the Bull is wearing a Santa hat.
Hamilton hits his first shot off a from-under-the-basket feed from Rose. I have a feeling we'll see that a lot.
It's the first dunk of the night, via Luol freakin' Deng.
Let's add a third sport, shall we? New White Sox manager Robin Ventura is spotted in the United Center crowd. Nice sweater, Rob. Can we call you Rob? No. OK.
Joakim Noah throws up a 16-footer. His delivery is, um, unorthodox. Stick to the paint, Jo.
Duncan Keith turns the puck over, and Pittsburgh scores on a breakaway. SCORE: Pittsburgh 2, Blackhawks 0.
The Luvabulls are rolling around on the court in Santa suits. Ho, ho, ho!
Dave Bolland is irritating opposing players. What's new?
In 55 minutes, it's clear Hamilton is light-years better than Keith Bogans—and the Bulls might be even better than last season.
Brian Scalabrine on the court. I repeat, Brian Scalabrine on the court.
Halftime at the United Center. SCORE: Bulls 50, Indiana 42. In Pittsburgh, the Penguins score again to give themselves a 3-0 lead on the Blackhawks.
First shot of the third quarter: Rip rips a 3-pointer. Boom.
The Blackhawks finally get on the scoreboard. Toews, naturally. SCORE: Penguins 3, Blackhawks 1.
The "M-V-P" chant echoes through the United Center as Rose steps up to the foul line. A "Champ-i-ons" chant would sound good next season.
The Blackhawks comeback continues as Viktor Stalberg scores off a nifty pass from Kane. SCORE: Pittsburgh 3, Blackhawks 2.
Blackhawk John Scott actually stops a breakaway with a beautiful stick move. Yes, John Scott.
Blackhawks go on a 2-minute power play with 1:29 left and trailing by 1. This is for all the marbles.
The horn sounds in Pittsburgh, and the Blackhawks' winning streak is stopped at five. FINAL: Pittsburgh 3, Blackhawks 2.
Taj Gibson fouls out. Which is sad, because he has to take his new beard with him.
Boozer is blocked from behind as he goes up for a dunk. No. Just, no.
THE BULLS ARE UNDEFEATED, THE BULLS ARE UNDEFEATED! They win 93-85 and finish the preseason 2-0.