Blackhawks

Presented By Myers
Blackhawks

WINNIPEG, Manitoba – Ryan Hartman recognized the second opportunity he and fellow rookies Tanner Kero and Vinnie Hinostroza had entering Wednesday’s game against the Minnesota Wild.

Coach Joel Quenneville had put the three together last week, when the Blackhawks started the Ice Show trip in California. That first showing against San Jose didn’t fare well, so that was it for that experiment until Wednesday.

“I know when the line was first made we were pretty excited about it, but it would just be nice to have some redemption,” Hartman said following Wednesday’s morning skate. “We’re looking to do some good things tonight.”

That line did do some good things, including giving the Blackhawks an early lead in their 4-3 overtime victory over the Wild. Considering that, you’d expect the Kid Line to get another opportunity when the Blackhawks face the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night. The “kids” have brought good energy and solid play wherever they’ve been in the lineup this season, but together they looked their best.

One of the qualities of a good line is familiarity, and there’s plenty of it with Hartman, Kero and Hinostroza. They’re good friends on and off the ice. They played together at times with the Rockford IceHogs last season. So they’re not spending time figuring out each other’s tendencies; it’s all known from previous experience.

“It’s really fun. You don’t have to think,” said Hinostroza, who returned to the lineup and had the primary assist on Hartman’s first-period goal. “We’re all pretty young and learning together. It’s fun that we were a line and had some success.”

 

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Each player has added some offense this season. Hartman at the forefront of that; his goal against the Wild was his 13th of the season and his third in as many games. Anything that line continues to add is appreciated but, as long as it’s solid and responsible, it also helps the Blackhawks’ four-line rotation.

Hartman, Kero and Hinostroza’s first collaboration didn’t work out so well. The good thing about the Blackhawks, however, is there’s always a chance a line gets a second look. That second look worked out pretty well.

“We had a chance together a couple of games ago but it probably wasn’t our best night. Tonight we were creating more,” Kero said. “We were going hard on the forecheck, creating those turnovers and trying to be good in our end. We were making a few more plays and getting a few more chances.”

BRIEFLY

- Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith did not practice on Thursday. Quenneville said both are fine and will play vs. the Jets

- Corey Crawford will start vs. Winnipeg.