Anisimov faked a shot, fed a wide open Alex DeBrincat and wham! the Hawks took what turned out to be a short lived 4 3 lead on DeBrincat s third goal of the game. What many fans may not realize is that the assist was just Anisimov s ninth of the season. It s a total shared by teammates Jordan Oesterle and John Hayden, is 1 behind Connor Murphy, Gustav Forsling who is in Rockford and Richard Panik who was traded on Jan. 10 Michal Kempny Jersey, and is tied for 423rd in the league.
Anisimov isn t your prototypical center, and that s a big reason why he had just 45 assists the last two seasons with the Hawks despite playing with Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin.
Still, 9 assists in 63 games?
It s hard to figure out, definitely, Anisimov said. Sometimes you can have 3 assists in a game and it s all going to be second ary assists. Like you win the faceoff and a defenseman chips the puck out of our zone, and a guy scores 2 on 1.
Then sometimes you give nice passes and the guys don t score. But it happens. It s a game.
You just need to forget about all that, play the right way and all the stats will come.
The scoring stats certainly have come during all three seasons Anisimov has been in Chicago. He scored 20 goals in 2015 16, hit 22 last year and notched No. 20 this season when he scored against Boston on March. 11.
Once he retires, Anisimov s NHL epitaph will read something like Pain in the butt Russian hellbent on annoying goaltenders whenever possible.
That s his main job, and he s extremely good at it, especially on the power play where he leads the team by a wide margin with 11 goals. DeBrincat is second with 6, and Patrick Kane and Nick Schmaltz are tied for third with 4 each.
You know, he quietly goes about his business, being at the net, said coach Joel Quenneville of Anisimov. He has a way of finding the puck when he s at the net, whether he s tipping them or he s quick to the rebounds. He has a good way of being in the goalie s eyes when the puck s coming. …
Anisimov is signed for three more seasons and carries a 4.55 million cap hit. Beginning next season he no longer has a no movement clause, but he can name 10 teams to which he would be willing to be traded.
He says his time in Chicago has been a good experience, and although he hopes he is part of the Hawks future, he isn t going to stress about what may come.
What s going to happen is going to happen, Anisimov said. My job is to play hockey, and right now I play for the Chicago Blackhawks.