Blackhawks

Morin will try to prove he belongs

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Morin will try to prove he belongs

Updated: 4:51 p.m.

Jeremy Morin has had a tough go this last year. A concussion sidelined him for more than nine months, and he needed to regain his game in Rockford before he had a chance with the Blackhawks again.

And after a solid few months with the IceHogs, Morin is getting that opportunity.

Morin is in the lineup tonight when the Blackhawks host the Calgary Flames. Morin will replace forward Daniel Carcillo, who is out with an upper-body injury sustained Wednesday against the Minnesota Wild.

The 20-year-old Morin has traveled the long road this season. He suffered his concussion on Jan. 15 against the Chicago Wolves and didnt play a game again until Oct. 14.

I think I was just excited to be back in the swing of things, playing very night, every weekend, said Morin, who just finished serving a three-game suspension with Rockford for an elbowing incident. I had to prove that I could play again before I could get the chance.

Morins done that, with 15 points in 22 games including nine points in his last nine games -- with the IceHogs. For Morin, it was frustrating missing all that time with an injury that, unfortunately, has no timeline to it. He practiced with the Blackhawks in training camp but could never play in a preseason game.

Its hard; I never went through something like that before, he said. Going through it, you dont know how much it takes coming back. I didnt struggle in the beginning but it was tougher than I thought coming back. I was just excited to finally be back.

Morin has plenty of skill, with some grit thrown in for good measure. He showed some of that last season, when he played nine games with the Blackhawks.

We see him having a good future, coach Joel Quenneville said. He played well in the minors this year. He has an upside offensively, strength in puck area and a good shot. Coming off the extended injury there, hes earned the opportunity with how hes played and prior to that as well.

Morins gone through the long injury. Now he just wants a chance to see what he can do here again.

Any time you come up here want to play as hard as you can and prove you can play at this level, he said. Thats what Ill try to do.

Artem Anisimov keeps his vow, dons a mustache and raises his productivity in November

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Artem Anisimov keeps his vow, dons a mustache and raises his productivity in November

Artem Anisimov wasn’t happy with his October.

The Blackhawks center struggled the first month of the season. Maybe it was adjusting to new line mates after being with the same two for two seasons. Maybe it was just a slow start. Maybe it was more than that. Regardless, Anisimov was frustrated. So as October turned to November, Anisimov told Patrick Sharp that he was going to get back on track.

“He’s scoring lots of goals and he said he was going to in the month of November,” Sharp recalled. “So he’s backing it up.”

Anisimov is doing that, recording five goals in his last three games including a hat trick against his former team, the New York Rangers, on Wednesday. Since November’s start, Anisimov has seven goals.

“My start of the season was not great,” Anisimov said. “But I keep working hard and be focused and say, ‘OK, November. I’m going to step up in November and forward.’”

When told of Anisimov’s prediction to Sharp, coach Joel Quenneville said, “well, now he set a precedent. We’ll have to look for it every month now.

“Quite a standard he was looking to achieve and got off to a great start here,” Quenneville said. “When Arty’s at the net he makes good plays, takes it to the net, draws some traffic to him and opens up other lanes behind him. I still think he has a purpose defensively, which he can add to that line.”

Anisimov’s resurgence coincides with the Blackhawks doing the same thing; after an up-and-down start, both are finding their rhythm again. For the Blackhawks it could be finding some line chemistry. For Anisimov it might be the same thing; he and Kane have been back together since Nov. 12, and those two and Nick Schmaltz have combined for a dynamic second line.

Or is it that mustache that Anisimov’s growing for Movember?

“I thought when you were saying what you were saying (about Anisimov’s vow), he made that statement when he got Kaner back on his line. But I think it was right when he shaved his beard into a mustache. That’s when he took off,” Jonathan Toews said with a laugh. “So that’s the biggest correlation right there.”

OK, teaming up with Kane again probably looms larger. The two have had great chemistry dating back to the 2015-16 season, when they first teamed with Artemi Panarin. Kane’s puck possession helps free Anisimov up to do his work at the net, and he’s been capitalizing there.

“He’s had a great month. He’s just one of those guys who gets to the front of the net and finds ways to be productive,” Kane said. “Maybe seven or eight games ago people were talking about how he was struggling and now he’s having a great start to the season. It shows how a few games can change that but he’s been great for us, not only scoring a lot of goals but a lot of big goals to get some wins.”

Still, hockey players are a superstitious lot. Players have ribbed Anisimov about the mustache — “I asked him to serve me a sparkling water on the airplane because he looks like a waiter in France or something,” Sharp said. But considering Anisimov’s mustache and the points sprouted at the same time, they’re now imploring Anisimov to keep it.

“Yep,” Anisimov said with a grin. “That’s true.”

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: After 20 games, do we know the identity of this Blackhawks team?

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Blackhawks Talk Podcast: After 20 games, do we know the identity of this Blackhawks team?

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast Tracey Myers and Jamal Mayers join Pat Boyle to discuss the teams wins over the Rangers and Penguins.  Have they figured some things out and what is the identity of this team after 20 games?

Jammer weighs in on Artem Anisimov’s big week and are there enough Hawks committed to net front presence?  They also discuss the surging play of the blue liners and did the Hawks fail to send a message to Evgeni Malkin, after he kneed Corey Crawford in the head?