Blackhawks: Vincent Hinostroza set to make NHL debut vs. Blue Jackets


Blackhawks: Vincent Hinostroza set to make NHL debut vs. Blue Jackets

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.

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“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.

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Ottawa Senators tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Trade chips.

The Blackhawks have reached the point in their season where they have no choice but to become sellers before the Feb. 26 deadline, and we saw that when they traded Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals on Monday for a conditional third-round pick in 2018. Tommy Wingels could also be an attractive piece for a team looking to fill out their depth.

The Senators will definitely be sellers, and wow do they have some names potentially on the market that can fetch large returns: Derrick Brassard and Mike Hoffman are two players who log top-six minutes on a nightly basis and also have term left on their contract, which is great for teams looking to load up for this year and beyond.

The biggest name to watch, probably in the league altogether, is Erik Karlsson, who could be on the move if a team offers a big enough package for the Senators to pull the trigger now as opposed to in the offseason if they feel him re-signing is a long shot. He was the best defenseman last season, and if a team steps up to get him, they're getting two possible postseason runs out of him.

2. Artem Anisimov's experiment at left wing not working.

Joel Quenneville has tried rekindling the magic between Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane as of late, only this time Anisimov is playing the wing and it just hasn't been very effective. The trio was on the ice for each of the two 5-on-5 goals the Kings scored on Monday, and Anisimov completely lost his man on the first one.

It's important to establish a consistent left winger for Schmaltz and Kane, and maybe putting Alex DeBrincat up there is something you consider going forward as part of a long-term solution. Move Anisimov back down as the third-line center to play in more of a defensive role and continue using his big body on power plays for his offensive abilities might be the best bet.

3. Win the special teams battle.

In their last meeting against Ottawa on Jan. 9, the Blackhawks went 4-for-6 on the power play and 4-on-4 on the penalty kill in an 8-2 win. And those are two areas to look out for again.

The Senators own the 28th-ranked power play with a 16.1 percent success rate and 29th-ranked penalty kill with a 74.5 percent success rate. Get ready for another offensive outburst?

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?


Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Adam Burish and Pat Boyle discuss which Blackhawks could be on the trading block and what players are building blocks for the Hawks future.

Burish also shares a couple memorable trade deadline days and his “near” return to the Blackhawks in 2012. Plus, he makes his bold trade deadline prediction for the Hawks.

Listen to the full Blackhawks Talk Podcast right here: