TORONTO – Artem Anisimov scored a couple of goals last postseason following a very successful collaboration with Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane for most of the year.
But on face-offs, the Russian center was struggling late in the regular season and playoffs. Now, after having successful right wrist surgery in May, Anisimov is ready to begin this season healthy.
“Much better. I had surgery on the wrist and it’s healed up and I can play at my full force,” said Anisimov, who had an assist in Team Russia’s 4-3 victory over North America on Monday night. “I don’t have any pain in the wrist anymore, and it’s nice.”
Anisimov had three goals in the Blackhawks’ seven-game series against the St. Louis Blues last April. Face-offs, however, is where he struggled. Anisimov said his wrist was bothering him “a lot.”
[SHOP: Gear up for the 2016-17 season, Blackhawks fans!]
“I’d take every faceoff and it’s, like, painful,” he said. “I decided to do the surgery after the playoffs and it’s better.”
Anisimov, Panarin and Kane made up the Blackhawks’ most successful and consistent line last season. As for what the three could accomplish this season, Anisimov said they can do more.
“We just need to elevate the game in all aspects,” he said. “Every team is going to know how we played last year and they’re going to be twice prepared for us. We just need to be better.”