My Hero Vinnie: Hinostroza, Hawks Handle Canucks In OT

In closing his television interview before the third period, assistant coach Kevin Dineen said “you can expect us to shoot the puck a lot more.” That summarized the opening 40 minutes of hockey from the Hawks pretty well.

Coming off a hard fought win in Calgary on Friday night, the Blackhawks started an hour later on Saturday in Vancouver and looked like a team playing the second half of a back-to-back in the middle of a long road trip. However, the host Canucks came in 3-6-0 in November.

Coach Joel Quenneville did make three roster adjustments heading into the game. Rookie forwards Tyler Motte and Vinnie Hinostroza returned to the lineup in place of Jordin Tootoo and Andrew Desjardins, and Michal Rozsival took the place of rookie Gustav Forsling on the blue line. With Motte and Hinostroza back, Nick Schmaltz bumped back up to the top line’s left wing slot with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. And with Crawford playing Friday night, Scott Darling was between the pipes in Vancouver.

Rozsival was the first roster change to get noticed when he headed to the penalty box 12:35 into the game. Loui Eriksson, who has struggled to start the season, took advantage. Eriksson’s third goal of the season gave Vancouver a lead they held through the end of the first period. In the opening 20 minutes, Vancouver out-shot Chicago 10-7 and many of the Blackhawks appeared to be trigger shy.

If the first period was a struggle, the second was frustrating.

On a few occasions, Schmaltz simply refused to shoot the puck even though he had what appeared to be the best angle to get the puck on net. The Hawks only put four shots on net as a team in the second period, a number that doesn’t include Jonathan Toews getting post with a breakaway.

Vancouver scored twice in the second to extend their lead to 3-0. Bo Horvat scored a short-handed goal at 17:03 and Brandon Sutter scored 1:24 later. The Canucks were out-skating and out-shooting the Blackhawks through 40 minutes.

But clearly the message Dineen conveyed to the broadcast team was understood coming out of the dressing room. The Blackhawks attacked hard right out of the gate in the third period and got a power play 47 seconds into the final frame as Daniel Sedin took a seat.

The Hawks didn’t score on the power play, but Kane set up Artemi Panarin who unloaded a missile that beat Jakob Markstrom six seconds after Daniel Sedin left the box.

Only 73 seconds later, Hinostroza made his presence felt. He followed his own shot, collected a rebound and put home his first career NHL goal to cut the lead to 3-2.

After putting 11 shots on goal in the opening 40 minutes, the Hawks put nine on net in the first 10 minutes of the third period.

Vancouver forward Jayson Megna was in the middle of a lot of the penalty action. He was on the receiving end of the Blackhawks’ penalties in the first and second period, and then went to the box himself 12:54 into the third period.

After Megna left the box following a successful penalty kill by his teammates, he had a chance to get a shot away but a terrific defensive play by Schmaltz broke it up. Schmaltz stuck on the top line with Toews and Kane the entire night, a departure from Quenneville playing roulette with that spot during games all season.

Quickly after Schmaltz broke up the Megna rush, the Hawks’ “fourth” line came on the ice and made an immediate impact. Richard Panik leveled a defenseman at the blue line and got the puck to Hinostroza. Hinostroza showed tremendous patience in slowing down and waiting for the trailing Ryan Hartman, who received a perfect pass and unloaded a shot that tied the game.

Hartman’s fourth goal of the young season gave Hinostroza his first career multi-point night.

Both sides had a couple good chances in the final five minutes of regulation but neither team was able to capitalize and a frenetic third period that saw the Blackhawks score three times on 17 shots give way to overtime. More importantly, the Hawks held Vancouver to three shots in the third as Chicago completely flipped the script from the opening 40 minutes.

Only 31 seconds into overtime, Toews put a shot through the legs of both Daniel Sedin and Markstrom that appeared to end the game. But the play was reviewed and Niklas Hjalmarsson was ruled to be offside and the would-be game-winning goal was erased.

With the game continuing, both goaltenders made enormous saves. Darling was absolutely amazing against the two Sedins and then against an Eriksson breakaway chance.

For three minutes, the action was ridiculous up and down the ice. But there was no way the Hawks were going to come all the way back and leave the result to a shootout.

Marian Hossa unloaded with 56 seconds left in overtime and beat Markstrom to end the game – giving Hossa game-winning goals on back-to-back nights. Hinostroza added an assist on the game-winner, giving the rookie a three-point game.

For all of the talk about whether or not the Blackhawks would be able to compete early in the season with so many rookies in the lineup, they have certainly started to be difference makers on a nightly basis. Saturday night may be a turning point for the Blackhawks young forwards.

  • Schmaltz skated 17:52 with two takeaways, spending the entire night with Toews and Kane.
  • Hinostroza only skated 10:10 but had three points.
  • Hartman had the game-tying goal and was credited with a blocked shot in 10:37.
  • Motte skated 10:45 with one hit in his first action since Nov. 6.
  • Dennis Rasmussen won six of 11 faceoffs and was credited with two hits in 11:20.

Rookie defenseman Michal Kempny also picked up an assist and finished tied for the team lead with three hits.

Also of note, Toews won 18 of 24 faceoffs. For the second straight night, Marcus Kruger didn’t factor into the faceoff story; Rasmussen took the draws on that line for the second straight night. Kane led Chicago with seven shots on net.┬áHossa now has 10 goals in his last 12 games.

Darling made 24 saves to earn the victory, five of which came in overtime. There is no way the Blackhawks come back and eventually win Saturday night’s game without Darling playing an incredibly strong game.

47 thoughts on “My Hero Vinnie: Hinostroza, Hawks Handle Canucks In OT

  1. Fun last period and extra time-but this team continues to play in spurts. It’s working for the most part but dangerous. (some teams they can get away with it, others?)
    I was watching with a friend who’s not familiar with the Hawks and asked me if they drank too much after the game in Calgary. Then they showed up.
    Schmaltz continues to grow in confidence-may be a gem for this team. Kane’s from a different planet.
    In the Canadian feed Darling wasn’t a star, but could have been as he made some really important saves.

  2. They continue to win despite still coming together how good can they be. Nice touch to the article, schmaltz should get a l9nger look on the top line he really is the one with skill set to play there it appears bottom 6 production maybe this trip will bring them together.

  3. How about that? ! Now Darling can say “I can beat you guys with one hand tied behind my back”…and he did! Also we score twice in sudden death OT just to be sure. Vancouver looked pretty bad for several stretches in the game which gave us dominance. We had to put these clowns away, although they gave good account of themselves in the OT but then ran into Darling with his hands tied behind his back.
    Hossa da best.

    Oilers game will be a thrill-a.

  4. The third period and the OT had some very fast paced exciting hockey. It was very fun to watch. We are a game shy of the 20 game mark. Statistically the Hawks are not fairing very well in all the major metrics except for winning and points. We still have all kinds of rooms for improvement, but banking these points will pay dividends in the stretch run. Also, our youngsters are getting tons of on the job experience which is great.

    That being said, I don’t see that anyone is really head and shoulders above the balance of the competition. We beat Montreal and they are rolling over everyone else. We lost to the Caps. The Rangers look dangerous. Playoff hockey is different than what we’re currently seeing, but so far so good at this point of the season and we are looking as though we can compete when the playoffs get here.

    Go Hawks…let’s keep the ball rolling in the right direction.

  5. What was true coming into the season is still true today – if the kids can play the Hawks have a good chance. I think we’ve seen glimpses and improvement but now they have to gain consistency. If Schmaltz, Motte, Hartman, Hinostroza, Kempny and Forsling can improve their consistency – the Hawks should be moved back into legitimate contender status. So far things are looking about as well as we could have hoped. Time will tell.

  6. It doesn’t matter when we have some off periods, its going to happen. What matters is we respond again and again. Were not going to be down 3 after 2 very often, that’s not a good example.

    Once we get threw this 6in10 and 6in9 I think were going to have moar 60min consistency (like LA/MON game). Its going to take however much of the first 40 games for the young guys to get moar comfortable.

    Then we can roll 4 lines and with our group of D/goalies we are going to very good team game (and were a dang good team now).

    That’s the exciting thing is how good are we going to be when we start to play really good/best. The young guys are only going to get better/improve off of these levels. Were going to take it every once in awhile, that’s normal. Be nice to play full 60, we are a work in progress. We know what our core guys can do we have a deep roster.

  7. Eventually add a solid LW rental via trade and this team could go on a deep playoff run. The metrics and the eyeball test suggest we are currently blessed with more wins and points than otherwise would be expected, but so what. It all comes down to figuring out LW on the Toews line, developing a credible third line and staying away from injuries.

  8. No talk of stan should be a seller this year and rookies don t belong or aren t ready for the nhl yet . Rufus your coming around

  9. I’m a fanatic. I admit it. I get excited after a game like last night. Even though I know the opponent was not a good team and that for the first 2 periods neither were the Hawks. But then I see the team turn it around and leading the charge was Hinostroza, a player who looked lost and Rockford bound only a week or two ago. The consensus was he needed time to learn how to harness his speed into an effective weapon by learning how to play the faster and bigger pro game. Once he got back into the lineup after riding the pines for a few games, he was noticeably more involved, battling along the boards and not shying away from contact – he showed he understood the weakness in his game and that he was working to improve. Last night he got rewarded with his first NHL goal and picked up a couple assists to boot. He’s still a rookie so most likely his play will be up and down but the way he played last night has me excited for him and for the team.

    Go Hawks.

  10. “add a solid LW rental via trade” — OR invest in Panarin’s long term extension.

    (There’s no law, unwritten or other, that dictates YOU MUST trade for an old veteran rental at the deadline.)

  11. That was a helluva game to watch. It’s like Eddie O called out the script, along with Dineen, right from the start of the third period. Love how those young guys bring energy and fight. Darling ….. HUGE, in OT especially. Great couple of points to pick up.
    Go Blackhawks!!!!

  12. Vancouver is a stubborn organization-with two 36 year old twins that are talented, declining, yet perhaps still the best two players on the team but with no immediate or long term solution.
    Grateful-hell yes.

  13. Krugers face off numbers on the year while not good…they’re still second best on the team. Have to wonder if that surgically repaired wrist is bothering him. To not get even a single face off makes you wonder.

  14. I thought that since awhile ernie maybe didn t heal right. Thats why i thought awhile with 88 and 19 he could give a veteran presence there and maybe heal abit and allow 8 or 64 time on 3rd line to get comfortable at nhl level. Hopefully schmaltz with time and confidence can do it now but if a little more time needed might be a thought if moose is going to be 3rd line faceoff guy and help krueger put a little more offence in his game too.

  15. Tab- Really like the additions of video replays of all our goals and other highlights…great to have that easily archived…gives the column a lot more depth.

  16. The Hawks are on a roll despite no contribution from Kruger. He s scored 1 goal (in the second game of season), and it may not have even been his goal. The penalty kill, although much improved, is still last in the league; now he cant take faceoffs.

    Danault was the heir apparent. That train left the station. Vermette is make $1.25M+ less than Kruger, he is more productive on all fronts, particularly faceoffs.

    Why not sit Kruger for a few games? Desjardins isnt any worse. Candidly, Tootoo has held his own as well (just not as versatile as Desjardins). Jake Dowell can even serve the same functions as Kruger, at minimum salary.

    This has been, remains, and will continue to be a big problem. Hossa rejuvinated is one thing — he is a proven 500 goal scorer; Kruger @ $3.1M cap hit is simply on the other end of the spectrum.

    Let s hope the Hawks send Kruger to the newly ordained Cardinal for a major blessing when they get back in town. It can t hurt.

  17. Good analysis Iceman, Never understood that contract one bit. Folks answer by saying ” you don’t know hockey” or “can’t appreciate what he brings”.. bullcrap.

    May the Las Vegas whatever the hells enjoy all these hidden skills.

  18. Iceman, advanced stat guys hate Vermette. And I highly doubt Vermette would come back here…10 pts in 39 total games.

    In other news….part of the reason Vermette was bought out in Arizona was Dylan Strome. He had 1 point in 7 games…they just sent him back to Erie.
    Debrincat-Strome-Raddysh….yikes.

  19. I will agree that contract is a head scratcher. But he just came off a season of 28 points playing on the 4th line. He was a team player when he signed the 1 year deal. I have no doubt he was promised more when they could. While Stan could have gone back on that…you would piss off a lot of guys and lose out on future signings.

  20. As much as we complained about Bickel at 4 million at least he scored once in a while. Kruger, along with Tootoo and Desi have no offensive skills. They couldn’t score into an open net from 10 feet out. Kruger is overpaid. Send all three of them packing after this year.

  21. Hmmm…. After reading some of these comments I had to go back to check the standings and what do you know…. the Hawks are actually leading the Western Conference by 5 points over the next best team! Also they have the most number of regulation wins in their conference too. I don’t what all these arm chair GM’s want, but it looks like they have a nice record and are getting good contributions from both veterans and rookies alike. They have 4 players in the top 15 point scorers in the league and are never out of it no matter how many goals they are behind witness the other night. Even poor dumped on Kruger is plus 5 for the season and is not doing badly despite spending a lot of time on pk. Re: Some great Hawks that got away that they desperately need Ladd has only 3 points this season and Verstig has 4 points. All the rookies are equal or better to these numbers. Also I like the goaltending and defense a lot. They legitimately have 8 defensemen this year and everyone on their top 6 can probably be a top 4 almost anywhere else. Crawford is playing great and DarIing is looking like he can be a starting goaltender somewhere. I think this is the most balanced team the Hawks have had in a while and they are doing it with 6 rookies on the roster. It can only get better!

  22. Very true they are well balanced i d say hino just made the roster.move next weekend very interesting if tvr is back and everybody stays healthy

  23. Keith, agree Hawks are playing well, we are all supportive. What if Kruger actually had some semblance of an offensive skill set?

    The better teams in the league have third line centers making less money than Kruger that actually produce some offense. Every penny matters to the Hawks — its great to see the rookie forward quartet coming thru in the clutch; as 1961 noted, Tootoo & Desjardins are likely on borrowed time, but they are unrestricted free agents to be that have no effect on the cap if waived or buried. Kruger is a different story, he makes a lot of $ and will do so for two more years.

    I hope the Hawks win the Cup and Kruger doesn’t score another goal all season. All we are doing is pointing out the obvious.

  24. What a comeback! The Nucks game was another in what seems an endless streak of contests where the Hawks have trouble out of the gate and through the first 2 periods have trouble generating much offense. 3rd period Sat. and OT the guys just changed their mentality and goals got scored. Good for Hino, and Hartman. As fans we all hoped the young guys would fit in and really contribute, but I didn’t think it would be happening this quickly. All of the new group have made positive strides and this will make this season kind of unique given the strong core group of players on this team.

    While the Hawks team defense has been good, opposing teams are getting what appears to be many quality scoring chances. Hawks goaltending duo has been outstanding with very few exceptions. Special teams were a mess early on, but there is improvement taking place. Somehow in the 3rd period the Hawks offensive sense of urgency just wakes up and they get increased quality chances and bingo, goals get scored. Almost 20 games into the campaign, and based on lineup changes we began the season with I am amazed this team is doing so well. It is a most pleasant surprise.

    Hard for me to believe the Hawks can continue to play games like this and succeed at the rate we are seeing. Better teams will eventually just get a lead and shut down the Hawks. Perhaps it has been oft repeated, but all these points coming in the first 20 games while breaking young guys into the lineup is huge.

    Rtf makes a good point about the need for a left winger need on the Toews line. Kruger needs to pick up his game for sure.

    It was a late one Saturday, but the game was worth staying up to watch. Hossa again!!

    Lets Go Hawks!

  25. Hawks1961- Comparing Kruger to Bickell- really?

    Kruger- is paid to be grinder/Defensive stud/ neutralize the other Team’s best Center ( at times- sometimes Toews)… FO guy, and PK specialist… I am NOT saying the contract is a great one ( Danault- looks like better deal versus Cap $$$)… But Kruger usually comes to work every nite… and Hustles… skates….

    Bickell- was ALWAYS inconsistent in his work ethic and compete level… big body guy- who never went to net… Until his contract year in PO’s- where he did help hawks win a cup – for sure… BUT- that is why I hated 29’s contract- He “competed” when his contract was up… not so much before- or after.

    In hindsight- He has MS- and who knows when/or how long ago that started to bother him- so I personally feel bad about being so critical/tough on the guy…
    (kind of like Geingreco/comment on Payton– before anyone knew Payton had liver disease).

    Agree- Kruger has little to zero offense- so once again- I would have kept Danault- and let Kruger and $$$ go.

  26. Crawford has been the MVP so far in my mind. As Phil pointed out, the Hawks have been giving up many quality scoring chances. I expect as the rookies continue to develop those chances will go down. The first line LW has not been solved yet. I think it will either be Motte or Schmaltz that eventually gets the job this year. I would not be in favor of giving up another first round draft pick for a rental. The Hawks core is getting older and it is important to keep top draft picks in order to keep the team competitive long term.

  27. Wall-I am only bringing up Bickel because most of us ( myself included) constantly complained about his lack of scoring and perceived lack of effort. We now know why his play declined. Kruger on the other hand has been given a pass as his play declines. Both players were overpaid.

  28. 1961- I am only defending Kruger’s “compete”… He has always- competed… and yes- scoring has always- been weak… 29- imo- rarely “competed”/excluding PO run/contract year.

    But- you have to think his wrist/arm is injured again- cuz – he is taking less and less draws recently… OR- Hawks/Q are grooming Moose to take over for 16… and 16 gonna be moved TDL/or Next summer???

  29. “The better teams in the league”

    OK, I know what you’re saying but I’ll take what you said literally. Hawks have 28 points. Only team that’s better is the Habs. And their 3c is making 3.5

  30. Something else is going on with Kruger. It’s not less and less draws. It’s none. Kruger has put up decent numbers in the past. 2 years removed from 28 points. 28 points from your 4c is damn good.

    Bringing up Brickell, it’s unfortunate they couldn’t diagnose MS sooner ad you could probably LTIR him and then have kept Teuvo. Teuvo has his faults, but one more year on his elc would have been nice. Given Schmaltz another year.

  31. Also ernie 3 top division rivals blues preds and stars all have 3rd c with a higher cap hit and just looking if hayden signs next year right now he s 41% on the paintcat yale so i wouldn t give up two quick on krueger

  32. Walls right about Krugs, hes very important to team game. The role he has is not score pts. One of the top ck line center in league and top PK/defensive FW in league as well. Only thing I do not like is FO have been around 55/56 since after hos first yr (getting used to league/players). I didn’t like to trade Danault and was ok with it then, thinking we keep Shawzer, then we did that and I was pissed about trading Danault. We have to have these types of guys, cant not keep 36/24/65 and 16. Not until we get more.

    Cap hit is what it is and Frogger role is not pts. Other 4/3 line center/r/l get more pts and are not as good at defense. Everything is about team game and role.

    What the list of every 4/3 center in league, caphit, contract yrs, pts, FO, can they play against other teams top lines and do good not just play. Theres not that many of these guys that are as good, as what contribute to team game.

  33. Kruger is a gamer who never turns away from contact/pucks and often gets hit/slashed etc., repeatedly in one game– and this may be part of the reason for his lack of contribution compared to the past.
    He’s important but because of the ‘cap’ issues will be a target from certain fans who need their scapegoat.

  34. Kruger has never had an offensive game. His value is being the best defensive forward on this roster and a force on the PK. His value escalates come playoff hockey time too. Those of you itching to rip the guy don’t really know hockey.

    Teuvo the Wonder Finn is already crapping the bed in Carolina. He has proven to be the quintessential international hockey rink player who can’t translate his game to the ruggedized North America game. He floats on offense and rarely comes within 5 feet of the dasher boards and has negative value on defense. It just doesn’t work, as Carolina fans are rapidly recognizing. So lets not have a friggin retrospective on how losing Teuvo as the price to pay to move the last year of Bickell’s contract was unfortunate. VERY CLEAR last season that Quenneville, rightfully, gave up on Teuvo. Good riddance. Which him well upon his permanent return to Finland to play hockey within the next two years.

  35. I have great respect for Kruger’s tenacity. He plays a fearless game by going in hard to get to loose pucks, and backchecks with the best. He seems to have lost some of his touch on faceoffs, at least compared to where he was prior to having his wrist injury. He is high paid for a defensive player and PK specialist, but remember Hawks got him cheap for a year before he signed the present contract. One should never doubt his character. The guy gets beat up every game in the corners while trying to dig out pucks, and also in front of the net providing screens. Watching the punishment he takes I often wonder how he always gets up after getting bent in half from crosschecks he can’t see coming. He might be overpaid in the eyes of some, but he has some rings to prove he is a gamer. Every contending team in the league with cap space would take 16 in a blink if offered especially come playoff time.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  36. Teuvo is third in scoring on the Hurricanes. Not bad for a guy who ” is already crapping the bed in Carolina.” Nobody is questioning Kruger’s effort. Maybe he is hurt. His play has clearly declined.

  37. sorry RTF, your hit on Teuvo (much like you hits on Leddy) shows you know next to nothing about hockey.
    Teravainen has 9 pts, a ridiculous 65% Corsi (3rd in the NHL, 13% higher than his teammates), is killing penalties (Carolina has the best PK in the league, 2nd line fixture, PP time, etc. and costs 894k. He is becoming an integral part of an up and coming Hurricanes club.
    The Hawks couldn’t afford both him and Panarin – TT will command something in the 3-4.5 million range next year.
    I understand what the Hawks did — my beef is that I would have taken TT over Kruger and let him grow into the role. The Hawks didn’t, figuring Kruger would be more helpful in the playoffs last year (He wasn’t)
    The expectations game always hurt TT. In a 3rd line role, he’s a big upgrade over Kruger

  38. If there wasnt a hard salary cap — the only sport w/ a hard cap — no issues w/ Kruger. However, there is a hard cap and it has a huge impact on the make-up of the team.

    Kruger has the 5th highest cap hit as to the forwards. This means he should — in theory — be a top six forward. No one is expecting that; however, he isnt even close to putting up third line Bolland-type #s commensurate w/ his cap hit.

    To say he has “been a force” on the PK this year is without merit and baseless. I like Kruger, he competes hard and plays a fiesty game, but this isnt child’s play under a hard cap era. As Q says, “we are in the winning business.”

    Bowman has done a great job getting rid of bad/cumbersome contracts in the past. Panarin (and others) will need to be paid big cap coin soon. I hope Kruger has an awakening, he is taking up way too much cap space for what he provides. We’ll see how it plays out.

    PS. Why doesnt someone look up the 5th highest cap hit forwards on teams? For example, Tyler Toffoli & JT Miller slot in w/ Kruger and comparable cap hits. Their production is self explanatory. This holds true for most forwards in Kruger’s caphit slot.

  39. Iceman the complaint was how much we are paying a third centre for the last year was why if you want to change now to suit yourself go ahead but what was printed about other teams for 3rd centres does answer your question as you whined him not being a top 6 and other top teans paying non top 6 players more

  40. Crystalize the issue — cap hit v production re same.

    Thank you, go #16 tear ’em up tonight hat trick….

  41. If the Cubs can win the World Series and Trump wins the White House then Kruger can score a hat trick!

  42. Well i gotta problem with these come from behind wins ,.,.,we gotta play better than that because that luck WILL just run out . Re. Kruger ,he gave the Hawks a real great 1 year contract a couple years back just to stay on a cap fucked team .,.,he was rewarded for his commitment to the Hawks with his last contract ,.,which for what he gives us ,.i think is cap friendly .

  43. re: those voicing an issue w/ Kruger at $3M per – the team needed an elite penalty killer to stay in house so the entire workload didn’t fall on 19. They also needed someone other than 19 to win 50% of his faceoffs. Kruger filled both of those roles.

    As I’ve said for some time now, give the options that will be out there, and the options the Blackhawks will present to Vegas in June, I would be moderately surprised if Kruger wasn’t selected in the expansion draft. And now the Blackhawks have identified Rasmussen & Motte as penalty killing forwards and Rasmussen has been more than adequate at the dot.

    One season at a time, people…. and the Hawks can afford Kruger in the role he’s performing for the 2016-17 season.

    to Iceman’s comment about “why doesn’t someone look up the 5th highest cap hit forwards on teams?” because there’s absolutely zero correlation. The fifth highest paid forward on Pittsburgh is Carl Hagelin at $4M. The fifth highest paid forward on Washington is Lars Eller at $3.5M. New Jersey’s fifth highest paid forward is Kyle Palmieri at $4.65M. What do they all have in common? They’re the fifth highest paid forward on their respective rosters – that’s it.

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