Blackhawks

After Weber's injury, Predators rally for huge third period

shea-weber-preds-hawks-insider-0417.png

After Weber's injury, Predators rally for huge third period

NASHVILLE – Shea Weber immediately headed to the bench and then the Nashville Predators locker room, putting little to no weight on his right leg as he left.

Weber’s long-term status isn’t known; the Predators didn’t have an update on him following Game 2, which they took from the Blackhawks 6-2 on Friday night. And while they will certainly miss Weber if he’s out for any length of time, the Predators couldn’t have responded better to the immediate loss.

With Weber missing the second half of Friday’s game, the Predators played a strong team game and scored four goals in the game’s final 25 minutes. The defenseman left the game after being hit by Brandon Saad along the corner boards.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Losing Weber was tough; he plays a ton of minutes and is the captain and anchor of this Predators team. But missing their leader, the Predators bandied together and made up for his loss as much as they could.

“I think we’ve done a good job of not letting things affect us during a game,” said Colin Wilson, who has three goals in these first two games. “Losing your captain is a big loss. He’s been one of our best players but no matter what’s been thrown at us we’ve kind of stayed even keel. We did a good job of getting it done without him.”

[FIVE THINGS: Who's the goalie for Game 3?]

The Blackhawks know what it’s like to lose a key cog of the team. They went through that for seven weeks when Patrick Kane was out with a fractured clavicle. They had their ups and downs in his absence but still eked out enough victories to finish third in the Central Division.

Conversely, the Blackhawks didn’t take advantage of the Predators’ loss on this night.

“It’s something we definitely have to feed off, their best player goes down and [we have to] try to take advantage of that situation, which we didn’t do much tonight,” Toews said. “It’s the same way if we’re missing one of our top guys: we always respond. But for us, we need to be better and expose their D men when they have a short bench.”

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Reaction to Artem Anisimov trade and development camp standouts

artem_anisimov_blackhawks_predators.jpg
USA TODAY

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Reaction to Artem Anisimov trade and development camp standouts

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle and Charlie Roumeliotis react to the trade of Artem Anisimov to the Senators for Zack Smith. The guys discuss the role Smith could have with the Hawks and the areas where he has an edge over Anisimov.

They also discuss the first couple days of Development Camp and how this year’s top two draft picks — Kirby Dach and Alex Vlasic — have looked so far. Plus, a breakdown of the other top blue-liners and how Adam Boqvist, Nicolas Beaudin and Chad Krys have progressed and why they agree with Ian Mitchell’s decision to return to Denver for his junior year.

0:35 – Initial reaction to Anisimov/Smith trade

2:02 – Smith adds faceoff and penalty kill abilities

3:38 – Candidates for bottom-six center spots

4:57 – Edge a common theme among new Blackhawks

6:08 – Alex Nylander’s presence at Development Camp

8:20 – Kirby Dach has an open door to a roster spot

10:38 – Alex Vlasic holding his own against Dach

11:46 – Adam Boqvist wants to play in the NHL now

13:23 – Were Blackhawks recent moves scripted before NHL Draft?

15:28 – Ian Mitchell’s decision to return to college

18:57 – Young defenseman make decisions tough down the road

20:21 – Keeping an eye on Philipp Kurashev at camp

21:20 – Is Stan Bowman done making moves?

22:34 – Salary cap outlook with DeBrincat/Strome extensions coming

Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

Subscribe:

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.

2019 Blackhawks development camp: Day 2 thoughts and takeaways

2019 Blackhawks development camp: Day 2 thoughts and takeaways

Here are several thoughts and takeaways from Day 2 of Blackhawks development camp at Fifth Third Arena:

1. Why Alex Nylander wanted to be at camp

The Blackhawks invited 37 prospects to development camp. Only one of them has NHL experience and that's Nylander, who was a late addition after he was acquired from Buffalo for Henri Jokiharju.

Nylander has been one of the standouts so far, and rightfully so. He's supremely gifted and is ahead of the curve in comparison to some of the other prospects attending. But he's behind on his own development curve, and the Blackhawks wanted to see him on the ice this week because he's going to be one of the players in the mix for an everyday roster spot when training camp rolls around.

While it may have been unexpected to see Nylander's name on the prospect camp list because it feels like he's been around forever, he was all for getting a headstart despite not participating in the Sabres' development camp the week after the NHL Draft.

"I mean, I just got traded here," Nylander said. "I wanted to meet everybody and get on the ice. It’s been a couple of months since I was on the ice, so I thought it was a great opportunity for me to come here, show what I’ve done in training through the summer and I can get even better toward training camp. I just didn’t need to go to Buffalo’s camp."

2. Ripple effects of Artem Anisimov trade

The Blackhawks made a trade in the middle of camp on Tuesday, with Anisimov going to Ottawa in exchange for power forward Zack Smith. It's a move that cleared $1.3 million in cap space for the Blackhawks, but also opened the door for somebody to snatch up that third-line center role.

Kirby Dach, anyone?

GM Stan Bowman mentioned Ryan Carpenter, David Kampf, Andrew Shaw and Zack Smith as guys who have experience playing center but didn't single anyone out as a potential leading candidate to fill Anisimov's shoes in the third-line center role. One of those four figures to secure the fourth-line center position, which will likely be Carpenter or Kampf — perhaps we could see situational faceoffs between them with Carpenter a right-handed shot and Kampf a lefty.

It truly does feel like the third-line center position is up for grabs, and the Blackhawks don't seem to mind it that way. Bowman said Dach could very well be part of the group, and it's difficult not to wonder whether the No. 3 overall pick has a fair chance of making it.

"We have quite a few potential options there to play in the middle," Bowman said. "It’s hard to map out some lines and who is going to be in what spot but I think we have different looks that we can throw at the other team. Part of training camp is going to be to find out where does everybody fit and which combinations work best."

Other notes:

— Chris Kunitz has been sitting with the Blackhawks front office contingent observing camp. He hasn't announced what his future holds, but if he's ready to call it quits on his playing career, it wouldn't be surprising to see the organization bring him on in some capacity.

— Alexis Gravel made his camp debut on Tuesday. He did not participate in on-ice sessions on Monday because he wasn't medically cleared to do so.

— Tim Soderlund was listed on the prospect camp roster but has been absent for the first two days because of visa issues. It's unclear whether that will get resolved before camp wraps up on Friday.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.