A Columbus Finale, Rockford's Special Signing, Gavin Hayes Stays Hot, and Other Blackhawks New Year's Eve Bullets

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A Columbus Finale, Rockford’s Special Signing, Gavin Hayes Stays Hot, and Other Blackhawks New Year’s Eve Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

Since this is the final bullets of the year, I wanted to take a brief personal moment to say thank you. As many of you may know, I owned my own Blackhawks’ site for almost 13 years and have written about the Blackhawks fore almost 16 in total. But back in May I took the bold step of moving on from doing my own thing and joining the team here at Bleacher Nation — and I couldn’t be more happy (well, unless my Powerball ticket hits). The team here is absolutely top shelf in every regard, and the audience is engaging. I’m excited for what the new year will bring, both for the Blackhawks and our conversations here about the team we love.

  • The Blackhawks will look to close out one of the hardest calendar years in franchise history with a W tonight in Columbus. Whether it’s tonight or the game on Dec. 23, the Blue Jackets will be the final team to lose to the Blackhawks this year, so at least they can celebrate that in tonight’s battle for the bottom of the NHL standings (and top of the draft lottery).
  • Seth Jones hasn’t played a game in Columbus since he was traded to the Blackhawks (he had COVID last year), so this might be his revenge game. Maybe he’ll do something crazy like… I dunno, score a power play goal?
  • As a reminder: the Blue Jackets are self aware enough that this game starts at noon so the rink isn’t empty. Ohio State (vomit emoji) plays in the College Football Playoff nightcap tonight, so this game got moved up a few hours.
  • It sounds like Alex Stalock will get the net tonight and the lineup will stay the same as it was on Thursday. Which means we can bank on more “where is Ian Mitchell?” and “why is Boris Katchouk on the ice?” questions flooding twitter after lunch.
  • The IceHogs introduced an addition to the organization yesterday. As a dad, and someone whose family has been hit by cancer, these moments always make me smile from ear to ear and choke me up at the same time. I hope Samuel has the best day ever — and wins his fight. Good on ya, IceHogs!
  • Gavin Hayes has been absolute fire for the Flint Firebirds lately. The Blackhawks’ third-round pick they acquired in the Kirby Dach trade had another multi-goal game last night. He’s now up to 20 goals in 32 games in the OHL this season. He also leads Flint with six power play goals and 105 shots on net.
  • Canada plays an enormous game against Sweden in the World Juniors tonight. They need a win and this is their biggest test of the tournament; with one loss in regulation, they’re in third place in their group. Sweden has three wins (one in overtime) to lead the group. All five of the Blackhawks’ prospects will be in action in this game that starts at 5 PM CT on NHL Network.
  • Finally, Zach LaVine went off on the Pistons last night. Eli put the hope of this season’s Bulls (partially) on him earlier this week. This is a terrific read for your New Year’s Eve.

Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab