New Year's Day Bummer, Frigid Winter Classic, Good Deeds in Seattle, U.S. Women's Team Announced, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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New Year’s Day Bummer, Frigid Winter Classic, Good Deeds in Seattle, U.S. Women’s Team Announced, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

I sincerely hope you all enjoyed your New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. I hope, if you didn’t pay to watch or weren’t being paid to watch yesterday’s Blackhawks game against the Predators, that you spent it doing something else. Maybe you were with friends and/or family, maybe you went out in the snow, maybe you just sat in a chair and stared at the wall. All would have been better options than spending your afternoon seeing the Blackhawks get trounced 6-1 in Nashville.

•   Oddly enough, outside of defensive breakdowns and shaky goaltending, it was a game the Blackhawks probably could have won.

•   Seriously, it was a well-played game offensively, even without any of their chances finding the back of the net. Juuse Saros was again in net for the Predators, and he continues to own the Blackhawks in his career. In 12 starts against Chicago, Sarros holds a 7-2-2 record with a .932 save-percentage and a 2.07 GAA.

•   On the flip-side, the Blackhawks had to rely on Collin Delia and Arvid Söderblom in net with both Marc-André Fleury and Kevin Lankinen in COVID protocol. Delia, making his first start of the season, stopping four of seven shots in the opening period before being replaced for Söderblom, making his NHL debut. It was not good.

•   King was a bit subdued in his postgame media avialbailty for the coach of a team that had 13 days of rest between games and came out flat in each of the three periods. Chicago allowed a goal 62 seconds into the first period, 28 seconds into the second period, and 53 seconds into the third period.

•   They’ll have a short memory and turn around and face the Calgary Flames, at home, tonight at 6:00 p.m. CT. The Flames, after having eight games postponed in the month of December due to COVID issues, have played just one game since December 11.

•   Good news for the Blackhawks in net as they activated Marc-André Fleury from COVID protocols today, but will start Söderblom against the Flames, since Fleury has not played since before the Christmas Holiday break.

•   Tonight will be Söderblom’s first NHL start of his young career.

•   Yesterday was the NHL Winter Classic in freezing Minnesota. But you wouldn’t have known it by what the St. Louis Blues decided to wear to the game…

•   Insanity.

•   What was also insane, in a better way, was the setup of Target Field for the game. Check out this drone tour and stay to the end!

•   My jaw was down the whole time.

•   Also jaw-dropping, was how friggin’ cold the game was.

•   Coldest outdoor NHL game ever and the third-coldest sporting event in North American history.

•   So cold, that the $20 beers were freezing. Literally.

•   Braving the elements, the Blues topped the Wild 6-4, using a five-goal second period to propel them to the win.

•   Also happening at the Winter Classic last night was the announcement of the 2022 Winter Olympic U.S. Women’s Hockey team!

•   You can see the full roster here, highlighted by Kendall Coyne-Schofield, Hilary Knight, and 13 other returning Gold Medalists from the 2018 Olympic squad.

•   If the U.S. Men can’t win Gold, look for the U.S. Women to do it!

•   Hey, if it weren’t for the Bulls right now, Chicago sports would be utterly depressing. Mainly, if it weren’t;t for DeMar DeRozan…

•   Back-to-back games hitting the game-winner at the buzzer? Come on, that’s only made up in Hollywood.

•   I’m not all that well-versed in the NBA, but DeRozan feels like he’s having an MVP season. Bulls are back.

•   Someone who probably won’t be back: Matt Nagy.

•   As of this writing, the Bears are about to make it a two-score game against the Giants out at Soldier Field. 🐻⬇️

•   Ending today with an amazing story from the Canucks and Kraken. Yesterday, the Canucks posted a message from one of their equipment managers. They were looking to find someone who had randomly pointed out to them that a mole on their neck needed to be checked out. Turns out, that random act may have saved his life.

•   They found her. Nadia Popovici is a season-ticker holder for the Seattle Kraken and has seats behind the opposing team’s bench. She is going to medical school and pointed out the mole to Hamilton that day.

•   At last night’s Canucks-Kraken game in Seattle, Hamilton and Popovici reunited.

•   And in partnership with each other, the Kraken and Canucks put up some major cash to help her with medical school.

•   It doesn’t get any better than that.

•   That will do it for today. Hope you all enjoy your Sunday!

•   We will see you tonight for Blackhawks-Flames in Chicago at 6:00 p.m. CT.

Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.