Vincent Hinostroza grew up like so many hockey-playing kids in Chicago: hoping one day to play for the hometown Blackhawks.
Saturday night, he’ll do just that.
Hinostroza was recalled on Friday and he’ll be in the lineup when the Blackhawks host the Columbus Blue Jackets at the United Center. Hinostroza will make his NHL debut on the third line, where he’ll be centering Teuvo Teravainen and Ryan Garbutt. Hinostroza will have to adjust to the playing styles of his line mates. The Bartlett native will also have to balance his own emotions, which will certainly be high.
“I have to find the right area between being excited and nervous,” Hinostroza said. “It’s just a hockey game out there, so I have to channel all that, just go out there and play my game, be excited and play hard.”
Hinostroza was one of several forwards who impressed the Blackhawks enough to be in Chicago during the waning days of training camp. Coach Joel Quenneville said this morning that he talked to the young forward, who “seemed excited, certainly.”
“It’s a great honor, great privilege and great opportunity for him as well,” Quenneville said of Hinostroza. “That line certainly brings a lot of speed and pace to the game and that’s the way we want him to play. He had a real special game in Detroit in the preseason, got our attention. Just have that type of pace to your game tonight and you’ll be effective.”
How long Hinostroza’s stay with the Blackhawks lasts depends on what he can do. The Blackhawks are looking for some stability and some chemistry on their lines — outside of the second-line combination of Artemi Panarin, Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane, which has been the most consistent trio thus far.
“My goal going into training camp was make an impression on the coaching staff. I guess I did that, being back here so soon. But I don’t want to just be here for a game or two,” he said. “I want to stick here, so I’m really looking forward to playing tonight. I just want to keep getting better every day.”
[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]
Hinostroza is the latest Chicago-area native to get his chance with the big club. He said he’s been dreaming of this since he was four years old. Tonight, the dream becomes reality.
“This is going to be an unbelievable night for me and my family, too, because they’ve sacrificed so much for me to get to this point,” he said. “I’m excited to celebrate that with them, too.”
- Corey Crawford will start for the Blackhawks.
- Former Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad will get his Stanley Cup ring before the game. A video montage to Saad is scheduled for the first television timeout.
- Viktor Tikhonov looks to be the healthy scratch among the forwards.