What Happened Last Night: The Start Of The NHL Season, Plus Bulls-Grizzlies Battle In OT
That’s right, folks. The NHL season has finally begun. If that doesn’t get you excited a little bit for the rest of winter/spring, then Gary Bettman may have officially killed the NHL. If not, let’s take a look at how the new season started, plus I write about the Chicago Bulls because that’s just how I do.
The NHL season finally begins with a packed schedule of thirteen games
Saturday marked the start of the 2013 NHL season, delayed over 100 days thanks to a lockout. Twenty six teams were in action Saturday, all of whom were able to get on the board except Detroit, who was shutout by St. Louis. What a great way to start the season.
The first goal of the 2013 NHL season belongs to Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks, who easily handled the defending champion Los Angeles Kings 5-2, spoiling the Kings banner raising celebration before the game. Take a look at Kane’s goal that helped get the season started:
In case you’re brushing back up on your hockey vernacular after the long layoff, that’s what the kids call a “one-timer.”
Grizzlies oust Deng-less Bulls in their second overtime game in two nights
The night’s only interesting NBA matchup (sorry, Clippers-Wizards, Bobcats-Kings, Jazz-Cavs, and the rest, but only NBA die-hards care about you) lived up to the hype as the Chicago Bulls, playing without key forward Luol Deng due to a hamstring injury, hosted the Memphis Grizzlies in a battle of two of the best defensive teams in the NBA. The two teams lived up to the billing, combining to shoot less than 40% from the field and finishing the game with a score of 85-82 despite having gone to overtime with Memphis emerging victorious.
Chicago, led by Carlos Boozer with 17 points and 14 rebounds and Jimmy Butler with 18 points as he started in place of Deng, came back from as many as 17 in the second half, including a 13-point deficit to start the fourth quarter, to force overtime against the visiting Grizzlies. The Bulls mounted their comeback mostly without possible All Star center Joakim Noah, who was benched for all of the fourth quarter and overtime. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau just called it a “coaching decision,” but with Noah ending the game with five rebounds and a plus/minus of -19 in just 27 minutes, not to mention the Bulls came back without him, it’s hard to argue with Thibs’ decision.
In victory, the Grizzlies were led by Marc Gasol with 19 points and 8 rebounds and Zach Randolph with 13 points (albeit on 6-for-20 shooting) and 19 rebounds. Forward Rudy Gay, whose name keeps coming up in trade rumors, had 16 points on 6-for-19 shooting and 8 rebounds, perfectly complimenting the team’s big men in a weird way.