Blackhawks

Blackhawks host Columbus under Haviland on CSN

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Blackhawks host Columbus under Haviland on CSN

Friday, Feb. 18, 2011
12:00 p.m.
By Tracey MyersCSNChicago.com
Defenseman Duncan Keith is in tonights lineup after taking a maintenance morning off and Corey Crawford will be in goal when the Chicago Blachkawks host the Columbus Blue Jackets at the United Center.

The Blackhawks are once again sitting in 11th place in the Western Conference, losing no ground over the past two nights but not gaining any either. For them, tonights as must win as Wednesday against Minnesota.

Chicago has won three of four from Columbus this season, outscoring them 18-10 in the four games. But the Blue Jackets are in the same boat as the Blackhawks: theyre on the outside looking in and trying for that late-season playoff push.

Theyre a hard working team and weve got to come ready to work. When we do, our skill shows through, said Mike Haviland, who will be acting head coach again tonight in Joel Quennevilles absence. Were gong to have to work extremely hard to get chances against this team.

Meanwhile, Quenneville is in good spirits according to Haviland, who talked to him this morning. Quenneville is still in the hospital with a small ulcer. There is no timetable for his return.

Hes going a little stir crazy there but hes in great spirits and we talked about Columbus tonight and how we need to be ready to go, Haviland said. We said wed talk this afternoon or after the game. He didnt say when he was getting out or anything.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Blackhawks trade Artem Anisimov to Senators for Zack Smith

Blackhawks trade Artem Anisimov to Senators for Zack Smith

The Blackhawks are spending the next week focusing on their prospects at development camp, but GM Stan Bowman took care of some housekeeping items on the big club on Tuesday when he traded forward Artem Anisimov to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for forward Zack Smith.

"First off, Arty was a great Blackhawk," Bowman said on Tuesday. "We wish him well. I think stylistically they play different games. Both veterans, both have played in the league for a long time. I think Zack brings a different skill set to the table, something that we probably need a little bit more of. He certainly plays with a competitive side to him, plays with an edge. He's had some years in the past where he's scored a lot but I think the thing we like about his game is the versatility and you notice him. He's tough to play against out there."

Anisimov had two years left on his contract that carries a $4.55 million cap hit, but his modified no-trade clause was removed on July 1, which opened up more trade possibilities. He was also owed a $2 million signing bonus when the new calendar year opened and his actual salary over the next two years dropped to $5 million total, giving a rebuilding team like the Senators a chance to add a depth forward for a lower price.

Couple that with the fact Anisimov's role with the Blackhawks has diminished over the years and you can see why this traded was made from Chicago's point of view.

Smith compiled 28 points (nine goals, 19 assists) in 70 games for the Senators last season, and served as the alternate captain during the 2017-18 campaign. He's known to be a power forward, can play a heavy game and has experience playing center or wing. The 31-year-old has two years left on his contract that carries a cap hit of $3.25 million. 

With the trade, the Blackhawks opened up $1.3 million in cap space, which gives them some financial breathing room to make transactions throughout the season and potentially re-sign Brendan Perlini, who remains an unsigned restricted free agent.

"I think that was part of the deal as well," Bowman said." A benefit. We do save a little bit on the cap. We still have a little bit of work to do there, but we're looking better now than we were yesterday."

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Pro Football Focus: Bears have NFL’s best run defense entering 2019

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USA Today

Pro Football Focus: Bears have NFL’s best run defense entering 2019

Pro Football Focus doesn’t seem to expect much regression for the Bears defense, at least when it comes to run defense.

PFF analyst Mike Renner ranked every team’s ability to stop the ground game, heading into 2019, and Chicago remains on top.

The team retained its entire front seven, top-to-bottom, with the exception of Sam Acho, who spent most of last season on injured reserve anyway.

One of the biggest keys, in Renner’s analysis, is Akiem Hicks, who was among Pro Football Focus’ top performers in the running game.

“The former Saint is proving himself one of the best free agent additions in recent memory,” Renner wrote. “His 13.3 run-stop percentage was the second-highest figure of any interior defender in the NFL last season.”

The Bears allowed the fewest rushing yards and rushing touchdowns of any defense last season, and the 3.8 yards per attempt they gave up was fourth best.

With the whole gang back together for 2019, the team is in a great spot to run it back under Chuck Pagano.