UPDATE: Coach Joel Quenneville says Artem Anisimov will miss three to four weeks with a lower-body injury.
Chicago Blackhawks center Anisimov left the team’s game against the Montreal Canadiens after suffering an injury right at the end of the first period. It appears to be a left leg injury, and Quenneville said in his postgame comments that the center is day to day.
That’s big news for the Hawks, as the injury looked like it might be much worse than that when it initially happened. Anisimov got pinned against the boards while crumpling to the ice during a battle for the puck with Alexander Radulov.
Anisimov injury....Radulov went down hard on that leg pic.twitter.com/qZTuFSvKvm— Ozzie (@OldComiskey) March 15, 2017
Anisimov looked to be in noticeable pain on the ice immediately following the play, and needed help being carried off the ice into the locker room. It looked like he couldn’t put any weight on his left leg.
Without Anisimov, the Blackhawks will be rolling with rookie Nick Schmaltz as their No. 2 center. Quenneville reiterated his confidence in Schmaltz following the 4-2 win over the Canadiens, so this shouldn’t be too much of a stumbling block as long as Anisimov isn’t out long.
The Blackhawks can handle a short absence from Anisimov, but losing him for any longer would’ve been a major blow. With all indications being that it’s not that serious, the team appears to gotten a fortunate break.