The Chicago Blackhawks have been very inconsistent as of late. They’ve been doing a variety of back-and-forth’s with regards to the win column. One win there, two losses there. It’s onerous to foretell what they may do subsequent. Nevertheless, this previous week, we noticed some consistency. They’ve been on a five-game street journey which carries a document of 3-1 up to now. Together with some extra wins underneath their belts have come some spotlight moments. There have been some nice performs from the likes of our cousin, Vinnie Hinostroza. Listed below are some keys from the Blackhawks’ Star of the Week.
Hinostroza was re-acquired from the Florida Panthers on April 2. The 27-year-old discovered himself on the outs with the Panthers and solely performed in 9 video games, registering zero factors in that point span. The commerce was the right “change of surroundings” transfer. It wasn’t earth-shattering, but it surely’s a transfer that has been getting old like effective wine. In six video games with the Blackhawks, he has 5 factors. You couldn’t ask for a greater begin from him.
If you look again on his stats, there’s motive to really feel cautious. He had a breakout yr with the Arizona Coyotes in 2018-19, the place he had 16 objectives, 23 assists, and 39 factors in 72 video games. He hasn’t been capable of put comparable numbers collectively since.
When he began his profession with the Blackhawks from 2015-2018, he had 13 objectives, 26 assists, and 39 factors in 106 video games. It’s not earth-shattering, however you’ll be able to’t base every part on stats. If you have a look at the best way that he performs, that “quick, frenetic, fevered” (from ‘Dealing with the grind, the highest line’s aligned, Vinnie Hinostroza’s a discover: 10 observations from an enormous Blackhawks win’ , The Athletic, 04/06/21) type is precisely what this staff wants extra of. He attracts comparisons to Brandon Hagel. That’s an excellent factor. Hagel is a rookie that has been noticeable each evening for his quick, hustle-style kind of play. It was evident early on that this staff wanted extra of these sorts of gamers. You may’t train pace, and oftentimes, the Blackhawks’ lack of pace has price them video games.
Hinostroza didn’t waste any time stepping into the thick of issues. In his first sport again as a Blackhawk, on April 6 in opposition to the Dallas Stars, he made a nifty play down the ice and was capable of feed Dominik Kubalik for a aim that put Chicago up 2-0 within the second interval. Kubalik and Hinostroza repeated that sequence within the second sport in opposition to the Stars on April 8. These performs carried over into the second sport of the Detroit Purple Wings on April 17. It was a efficiency that earned him the ‘Star of the Week’ nod.
The sport was ugly to begin. The Blackhawks solely had three photographs on aim in the direction of the tip of the primary interval. The Purple Wings had a lot of the momentum. Nevertheless, he was capable of make a fast play to strip Purple Wings’ defenseman Troy Stetcher of the puck with a great forecheck. He then handed the puck via Stetcher’s legs, which landed completely on Patrick Kane’s stick for a wide-open web aim.
This play nonetheless boggles my thoughts. There was a break up second the place if Stetcher was positioned accurately, the puck would have simply hit him and stopped a aim. It ended up being the right second the place the puck may slide via his legs like that. However, it was a aim that was a back-breaker for Detroit, as there have been lower than 20 seconds left within the interval. That kind of play allowed Chicago to hold the momentum for the remainder of the sport.
He bought two extra assists within the third interval. The second got here when Duncan Keith had a takeaway. Hinostroza and Wyatt Kalynuk have been then capable of race to the entrance of the web, and all Hinostroza needed to do was cross the puck for Kalynuk to tip it in. The third help got here on the finish of the third interval, the place he was capable of win a board battle and handed the puck to Pius Suter for an empty-net aim. These quick performs have been a killer for the opposition.
Head coach Jeremy Colliton appreciated what we noticed from Hinostroza. He promoted him from the third line to the second line with Kane and Suter in opposition to Detroit. That transfer was stunning as a result of he often is a 3rd or fourth-line participant. I’m undecided whether it is one thing I agree with, however I see the logic. Earlier than he was promoted, Kane was enjoying on the second line with Hagel. Hinostroza performs that comparable sport to Hagel. the place he can win board battles, dig pucks out, and do the little issues to retrieve pucks.
For a participant like Kane, he wants somebody like that on his line to offer him a greater likelihood of puck possession. It labored superbly when Kane and Hinostroza linked for a aim.
Hinostroza can be capable of sneak up on opponents together with his pace. He’s capable of catch them off guard in a means that he can strip them of the puck. That’s useful for the Blackhawks’ general sport. Getting the puck, attending to the entrance of the web, and establishing shortly has been a battle for the Blackhawks all yr. In simply six video games, he has been capable of do all of these issues. Including that further factor of competitiveness helps to raise the roster and helps lead to extra objectives.
I’m all aboard the Hinostroza practice. He appears assured, motivated, and rejuvenated, which is thrilling to see. I feel his position will probably be elevated if he retains producing at this price. He gained’t be a flashy goal-scorer, however he’ll present stable secondary depth. If he retains this up, he will probably be one other nice asset for the Blackhawks’ rebuild.
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