Despite losing 'tough guys,' Joel Quenneville says Blackhawks have each other's backs

Paul Skrbina, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Hockey

When the going already was tough for the Blackhawks, the tough got going.

The Hawks traded two of their more physical players Feb. 26 when they dealt Tommy Wingels to the Bruins and Ryan Hartman to the Predators. And with Lance Bouma and John Hayden in the minors, the team lacks physicality.

"You need some abrasiveness in certain areas in your lineup," coach Joel Quenneville said Sunday. "I thought those guys played well. I thought that line (of Bouma, Wingels and Hayden) really gave us a purpose early on. (Hayden) was part of that. He's still around (in Rockford)."

Captain Jonathan Toews engaged Sunday in his first fight of the season, and just the seventh of his career, with longtime nemesis Ryan Kesler of the Ducks.

Toews and Connor Murphy are the only players on the active roster who have been in a fight this season.

"You've got to play hard for one another," Quenneville said. "Stick together is always the strategy. And push each other in the right way."

Artem Anisimov has four goals in his last five games, two more than he had in his first 14 games after he was activated from injured reserve Jan. 22.

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Anisimov missed nearly a month with an upper-body injury.

"(I) feel pretty good lately," he said Saturday after scoring a goal during a 5-3 win over the Kings. "My injury gets better each day. I work every day to prevent that stuff from happening again."

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