Blackhawks

Top Blackhawks games on CSN for 2017-18 season

Top Blackhawks games on CSN for 2017-18 season

Here are several notable Blackhawks games on CSN, soon to be NBC Sports Chicago, for the 2017-18 season:

Thursday, Oct. 5 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

— The new/old-look Blackhawks will be getting a huge test to kick off the campaign by welcoming the defending Stanley Cup champions to town for their season opener. It will be battle between two teams who are tied for the most titles in the salary cap era with three, and a chance to start off their quest for a fourth on the right note.

Friday, Oct. 27 vs. Nashville Predators

— How about some revenge early on? The Blackhawks are hosting the reigning Western Conference champions twice in October, and CSN will be carrying the second meeting. We all know what did and didn't happen for the Blackhawks in the first round of last season's playoffs, and there's no better way to rid the sour taste in your mouth than to try beating the team that was responsible for it in the opening month.

Saturday, Feb. 24 at Columbus Blue Jackets

— The Blackhawks will be visiting the new home of an old friend in Artemi Panarin in this matchup, and it will also be Brandon Saad's first trip back to Columbus since the offseason trade that made him a member of Chicago ... again. To add a little extra storyline to the table, the tilt will take place less than 48 hours before the NHL trade deadline, so both teams could look a little different.

All three matchups against Vegas Golden Knights

— What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas ... except on the ice rink? CSN has you covered for all three games against the league's newest expansion franchise on Oct. 24 (road), Jan. 5 (home) and Feb. 13 (road). Former Blackhawks Marcus Kruger and Trevor van Riemsdyk were shipped to Carolina after the expansion draft so there won't be any reunions, but the versatile roster will make it an entertaining contest as we see many of the same faces on one team.

Check out the full schedule here, which includes 50 games on CSN/NBC Sports Chicago.

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?