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Distraction-Free Blackhawks Can Focus Again On Winning

agoldschmidt
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 13: A general view of the United Center during pregame festivities of game 1 of the first round of the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Nashville Predators on April 13, 2017, at the United Center in Chicago, IL. The Nashville Predators defeated the Chicago Blackhawks by the score of 1-0. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 13: A general view of the United Center during pregame festivities of game 1 of the first round of the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Nashville Predators on April 13, 2017, at the United Center in Chicago, IL. The Nashville Predators defeated the Chicago Blackhawks by the score of 1-0. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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MONTREAL, QC – MARCH 14: Artem Anisimov
MONTREAL, QC – MARCH 14: Artem Anisimov /

Is Artem Anisimov 100% Healthy?

In March of last season, Artem Anisimov went down with a lower-body injury in a game versus the Montreal Canadiens that looked brutally bad.  He was checked into the boards awkwardly and fell to the ice, grimacing in pain.

Anisimov was ruled out for 3-4 weeks and eventually returned for the first round playoff series against the Predators, but was clearly still hurt from the injury.  We had 0 points and was a 30% at the face-off circle.

So the question is, is Anisimov back to 100%?

After an injury like that to a 6’4 200 pound player like Anisimov, it’s hard to say if his game can return to form.  Patrick Kane already lost former line mate Artemi Panarin, and if his center isn’t up to speed health wise, it may be hard to get production from the Blackhawks second line.

Plus if Anisimov isn’t healthy, the Blackhawks will be chasing the puck a lot this year.  Jonathan Toews is the only reliable player on the team who can win a draw in key situations.  Past that, Tanner Kero and Nick Schmaltz have been sub-par.

There still is the possibility of adding a veteran center like John Mitchell to the ‘Hawks who was 55% at the dot last year.  Tommy Wingels and Laurent Dauphin also play center but it’s hard to imagine them moving up to the second line.

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