Blackhawks notebook: Andrew Desjardins getting closer to return

Blackhawks notebook: Andrew Desjardins getting closer to return

Andrew Desjardins can see the end in sight.

The forward has been out since the start of the season with a lower-body injury sustained late in the Blackhawks’ final preseason game. But now that he’s skating again, Desjardins is close to getting back to bolstering the Blackhawks’ forward depth – and doing the same for their penalty kill.

Desjardins is still at least several days away but has looked good in two consecutive skates. Desjardins joined teammates at Sunday’s optional skate but will not play tonight against the Los Angeles Kings. Coach Joel Quenneville said they’ll get a better idea where Desjardins is, possibly next weekend.

“Conditioning’s part of it but also you gotta make sure the injury’s fully healed and you’re ready,” Quenneville said.

Desjardins said he “felt pretty good” following Sunday’s skate. He hasn’t missed many games due to injury in his career, so the wait hasn’t been easy.

“I’ve been pretty fortunate,” Desjardins said. “I think the longest stretch probably a week with a concussion a few years ago but besides that, I’ve been pretty fortunate with injuries. So again, it’s one of those things you just try to stay positive and that’s all I can do.”

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Whenever Desjardins does return, it can’t help but be a positive for the Blackhawks. He’ll add depth to a thin forward group as well as to a penalty kill that has struggled since the season began. As Desjardins said, “it comes back to a team thing and one player isn’t going to change that completely.” Still, he should help some.

“You know it seems like the last few games here it’s been getting better. It’s a team thing, so I think it’s obviously a situation where the guys have been working hard and trying to correct some of the mistakes that have been occurring,” he said. “You obviously want to be out there to help out when you can.”

Faceoff work

Artem Anisimov hasn’t fared so well in faceoffs so far this season, so he did some work with development coach Yanic Perreault earlier this week.

“We just talk about what I need to do and we just go over two or three things I need to focus on,” Anisimov said on Sunday. “I just tried to focus in the last game.”

Anisimov went 8-for-16 on faceoffs in the Blackhawks’ 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

Relating to the Cubs

The Cubs are down 3-1 to the Cleveland Indians heading into Game 5 of the World Series tonight. Coach Joel Quenneville and the Blackhawks are familiar with overcoming that deficit – they were down 3-1 before coming back to beat the Detroit Red Wings in the 2013 Western Conference semifinals. Quenneville said the focus has to be solely on this game.

“Get the momentum back. [You have] home field tonight, just try to make a break,” he said. “Look at the small picture and get that excitement. They’ve had a great season; just win one game, get it back.”

SportingNews Top 50 NHL Prospects lists Boqvist at 10 and Kirby Dach at 13

USA Today

SportingNews Top 50 NHL Prospects lists Boqvist at 10 and Kirby Dach at 13

NHL draft analyst Steve Kournianos released his list for Top 50 players in NHL pipelines for the upcoming 2019-20 season. To the delight of Blackhawks fans everywhere, Adam Boqvist and Kirby Dach were ranked at number 10 and 13 respectively.

Kournianos described 19-year-old defender Boqvist as a dominant rookie with 40 assists and 20 goals during his tenure with the London Knights. Fans speculate whether the Blackhawks will keep Boqvist on his junior squad for another year or pull him up to play with the American Hockey League Rockford Ice Hogs.

Kournianos said Dach was one of Team Canada’s top players at the World Junior Summer Showcase. The 18-year-old center is sure to be one of Canada’s main forwards during World Juniors and Dach has the flexibility to play anywhere in the Blackhawks lineup. Dach’s entry-level contract allows him up to nine NHL games this season, giving him the chance to return to the AHL or NHL after his junior season in the Western Hockey League is finished.

Both Boqvist and Dach are key player for the future of this team and it will interesting to watch the Hawks develop these younger players.

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Blackhawks Talk Podcast: An inside look at the Blackhawks Hockey Ops department with Senior VP Al MacIsaac

USA Today

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: An inside look at the Blackhawks Hockey Ops department with Senior VP Al MacIsaac

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle catches up with Senior VP of Hockey Operations, Al MacIsaac. They discuss the process the Blackhawks took in transforming the roster this off-season. MacIsaac is entering his 20th year with the Blackhawks and talks about the organizational changes over the last two decades. He also weighs in on the role analytics plays in evaluating current or potential Blackhawks and he explains why the team made a commitment to make its new practice facility the “gold standard” of the NHL.

0:45 – MacIsaac on changes within the Blackhawks organization in the last 20 years

4:00 – How the Blackhawks have added great depth this summer

5:25 – A good problem to have with two good goaltenders

6:23 – How the hockey ops meeting went at the end of last season

8:45 – How much the Blackhawks use and rely on analytics

10:27 – The importance of the Blackhawks strength and conditioning programs

12:24 – The planning behind Fifth Third Arena’s development

14:40 – The dynamic between hockey ops and business ops

16:37 – Agreements and disagreements within the hockey ops group

18:32 – MacIsaac’s longtime relationship with Mark Bernard

20:27 – Looking ahead to training camp and the regular season

22:42 – Tough decisions will need to be made when the season starts

Listen here or in the embedded player below. 

Blackhawks Talk Podcast