Blackhawks get crucial win in Detroit
Over time, perspective comes. Wisdom with age.
Such is the case of Vinnie Hinostroza, who worked behind the scenes in Florida but then got another chance to prove himself after being sold to the Blackhawks on April 2nd.
It was an opportunity he had vowed not to waste. And he doesn’t waste.
Hinostroza got off to a great start taking assists in back-to-back games on April 6th and 8th, and took his game up to date with 2 more assists on Saturday in a 4-0 win in Detroit Level.
Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat, Wyatt Kalynuk and Pius Suter all scored goals, and Malcolm Subban, who started for the first time since March 28, scored 29 saves.
The Hawks killed 3 power games in Detroit in the first period and 6 for the game. The fifth was a 67-second two-man advantage in the third period.
Hinostroza, a Barlett native who was inducted into the sixth round by the Hawks in 2012, admitted that in the past year or two he may have started taking things for granted.
Sure, he worked hard. But that extra boost wasn’t there – the boost is absolutely necessary for high-energy burners like the 27-year-old.
“You play in the NHL for a while and you think you’ll just keep playing,” said Hinostroza. “You still work hard, but it’s kind of an extra level (that was missing). … That got me to play my heart out, play as hard as possible and generate energy. Sometimes you tend to to get away from it for whatever reason.
“When you’re in Florida free to be with my fiancé and child, you start thinking about what’s really important to you. This is my job and I have to come every day and I want to make the most of it.”
That extra effort resulted in the Hawks’ first goal when Hinostroza did a textbook backcheck on Troy Stecher. After Hinostroza stole the puck from Detroit’s old D-man, he fed an attacking Kane with a beautiful backhand pass that went through Marc Staal’s legs.
Kane, who had just 3 goals and a 4.5% shot percentage in the last 21 games, shot one of the easiest goals of his career home to put the Hawks on the board 20 seconds ahead in the first half.
“He’s just such a smart player,” said Hinostroza. “It’s an honor to play with him.”
Coach Jeremy Colliton said: “He’s been really good for us. The challenge is whether he can hold that level. He knew exactly what I wanted him to do. He’s helped whoever he’s played with so far.”
Subban was fantastic on the net, blocking a couple of direct shots and standing tall during the Red Wings power play for nearly eleven minutes.
“You can’t overstate what a great team-mate he is,” said Colliton. “Obviously it was a big game for us. He stepped on the plate several times this year and did a great job.”
After separating from the Red Wings, the Hawks (21-19-5) must now be at their best in a three-game series with Nashville. These three competitions are Monday (in Nashville) and Wednesday and Friday (in Chicago).
The fourth-placed Predators (24-21-1) have won all five matches between the teams and have a 2-point lead over the Hawks in the Central Division.
“It’s a great opportunity,” said Colliton. “It’s kind of a playoff series for us … We thank the group for being here and for having the opportunity to play these types of games.
“It’s up to us to prepare as best we can and give everything we have this week. It’s a fun situation we’re in.”