Artem Anisimov will miss 3-4 weeks
The Chicago Blackhawks second line center Artem Anisimov will miss 3-4 weeks with a lower body injury. He was hurt Tuesday night in Montreal when Alex Radulov collided with him at the boards behind the net and fell on Anisimov’s left leg as the Canadiens tried to score at the end of the first period. Anisimov could not put weight on the leg as he left the ice, causing Chicago to fear the worst. He was then seen at the airport early Wednesday morning wearing a walking boot.
The Hawks will have Nick Schmaltz center the second line with Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin. And newly signed top prospect John Hayden, fresh off finishing his senior year at Yale, will be taking Schmaltz’s spot at wing alongside Jonathan Toews and Richard Panik.
Hayden is a big kid at 6’3, 223lbs. As a Captain for Yale this year, he scored 21 goals and had 13 assists in 33 games. But let’s just say playing hockey at the Ingalls Rink in New Haven, CT is a little different than stepping onto the ice at the United Center, skating below championship banners that run the width of the ice. No one expected Hayden to get a ton of playing time with the big club this year, let alone on the deadliest line in the league of late, so don’t expect to see these pairings much beyond the next few games. But hey, you never know, maybe he will rise to the occasion.
The Hawks will very much miss Anisimov, having scored 22 goals to go along with 23 assists this year. However, he looks to be back when the playoffs start on April 12. The concern there is obviously that he will be out of sync with his linemates or won’t have his hockey legs in top shape for the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Granted, the Blackhawks are the first or second best team in the West depending on which night you look at the standings, but hockey is maybe the only professional sport where every playoff team can beat you, no matter where they are seeded. Hawks fans, just hope that Anisimov doesn’t lose his momentum, and if he does, 19, 88, and 72 remember that when they’re on, no one can beat them.