The Chicago Blackhawks have had an interesting year in terms of injuries this season, but it appears that they’re running into a rough patch before back-to-back games this weekend.
With games against the New York Islanders and Nashville Predators coming up on Friday and Saturday, the Blackhawks could be missing some key pieces from their lineup. The big name on the list is center Artem Anisimov, who left Wednesday’s win over Pittsburgh with an upper-body injury. All indications are that he will miss both games this weekend, but head coach Joel Quenneville doesn’t think the injury is a “long-term” one.
Anisimov isn’t the only Blackhawks player who could miss time. Defenseman Johnny Oduya, who was acquired earlier this week, is targeting a return after the pair of weekend games, as the Blackhawks will have a four-day break following the back-to-back tilts.
Two more forwards could also miss time, as Artemi Panarin is questionable for Friday’s game as he deals with an upper body injury. Nick Schmaltz is also at risk of missing a game due to illness, but Quenneville didn’t give a definitive timetable on his return to action.
There is a bit of good news on the injury front for the Blackhawks, however. Corey Crawford, who missed Sunday’s game with an illness and was relegated to back-up duty in Wednesday’s game, will start against the Islanders on Friday as he returns to the starting lineup.
Announcements on the statuses of all the Blackhawks’ injured and ill players should be made after morning skate on Friday. The Blackhawks will take on the Islanders at the United Center at 7:30 p.m., and the game will air on WGN.