Chicago Blackhawks’ Artem Anisimov On IR; Cody Franson Activated

NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 23: Cory Schneider
NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 23: Cory Schneider /

The Chicago Blackhawks may have been able to predict the future when they called up David Kampf, as Artem Anisimov was hurt the next day and is now on injured reserve

When the Chicago Blackhawks called up forward David Kampf on Wednesday, it was a bit of a surprise move given Corey Crawford had just gone on injured reserve. Sure, Jeff Glass was called up as well, but it was still a seemingly random call-up of a forward.

And now it’s paid off. Artem Anisimov was injured early in last night’s 5-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks, and he was placed on injured reserve today. With Kampf already up, the Blackhawks reacted to Anisimov’s injury by activating defenseman Cody Franson from IR.

The Blackhawks are suffering a bevy of injuries in recent weeks, with defenseman Connor Murphy also going down late against the Canucks. He took a high hit against the boards and was slow to rise. There’s no guarantee he plays tonight against Edmonton.

The Blackhawks did not skate this morning as a result of playing last night, so we won’t know exactly how the lines shake out. But the guess would be that Vinnie Hinostroza draws back in to play center, and Kampf will play center as well.

Blackhawks’ resolve being tested at end of month

Losing your top goaltender and your No. 2 center is a pretty serious test, but that’s especially true for a team that has struggled to get any consistency going this season.

The Blackhawks are chasing a Western Conference wild-card spot and can’t afford to drop points, as they did last night against Vancouver. What won’t help in that goal is losing the center who lines up between Patrick Kane and Nick Schmaltz.

The Blackhawks will need to continue getting more contributions from their core, which has been sketchy of late as far as scoring. Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad in particular have been disappointing in recent weeks.

Anisimov is also a penalty killer for Chicago, as well as someone who can stand in front of the net on the powerplay. Who will take over those roles? The former could go to Kampf, as he was getting PK time last night. The latter duty could be assigned to Ryan Hartman, who has been a decent net-front presence recently.

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Regardless, it’s obvious the Blackhawks are being seriously tested as 2017 comes to a close. If they can pile up some wins with Anisimov on the shelf, it’ll be a great sign for the next three months-plus of the regular season.