Blackhawks

Vinnie Hinostroza looks to build off Blackhawks debut

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Vinnie Hinostroza looks to build off Blackhawks debut

Vinnie Hinostroza sprinted down the ice, breaking away from several Columbus Blue Jackets in pursuit. But Andrew Shaw's pass was just out of his reach.

Hinostroza was still thinking about the opportunity a few minutes after Saturday’s game.

“Yeah, I saw that coming. I’ve been dreaming about that for forever so I think I got too excited. I just have to take a deep breath and catch that,” Hinostroza said. “It was a great pass by Shaw but I think I was too excited, looking too forward instead of just catching a pass.”

Well, things like that happen, even to those who have played plenty of games. For Hinostroza, who made his NHL debut on Saturday, the night was an overall success. The Bartlett native, who was recalled from the Rockford IceHogs on Friday, centered the Blackhawks’ third line with Teuvo Teravainen and Ryan Garbutt. Coach Joel Quenneville was happy with Hinostroza’s debut.

“I liked him,” Quenneville said. “He has speed, he was dangerous and he was a threat. I thought that line was much improved from that last game; it looked quick. I thought we had better rotation and sustained four lines, contributing on both sides of the puck. I thought Vinnie had a good start."

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Hinostroza was one of several Blackhawks prospects still in Chicago in the waning days of training camp. He had his impressive outings; Quenneville pointed to a preseason game against Detroit as a strong one for Hinostroza. Still, he didn’t make the cut out of camp; fellow forward Kyle Baun did. But Baun didn’t make the impact at regular season’s start as he had in camp. So on Friday, Baun went to Rockford and Hinostroza came here.

The 21-year-old thought he had a solid first night.

“It was good, I think,” he said. “I didn’t expect much. I didn’t want to come in and make a huge impact. I just wanted to come in, make some energy with these guys and do well on my shifts. And I feel like I just need to keep building every shift, every game.”

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Will Hinostroza be in the lineup again on Thursday, when the Blackhawks host the Florida Panthers? It seems likely at the moment. Quenneville got closer to having four lines rolling on Saturday, and he doesn’t like to change lineups when that happens. He also rarely changes when the Blackhawks are coming off a victory.

Saturday was just the start for what Hinstroza hopes is a long stay with the Blackhawks. He said on Saturday morning he didn’t want to be here for just a game or two. He’s played just one game but he’s feeling good about that debut and hopes it leads to more opportunity.

“Yeah, it does build confidence because you get to this level and you see, ‘Hey look, I can play here, I can make plays, I can play with these players.’ Just a few adjustments and I feel it’ll be good,” Hinostroza said. “It was a great experience.”

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Blackhawks show urgency vs. the undefeated

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USA Today

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Blackhawks show urgency vs. the undefeated

The Blackhawks finally got on the board for the season and did so in front of the 500th consecutive capacity crowd at the United Center.

Pat Boyle, Jamal Mayers and Charlie Roumeliotis break down the impressive performance by the Blackhawks against the undefeated Edmonton Oilers and discuss how Jeremy Colliton’s message got through to Alex Nylander and the rest of the team.

Plus, after an impressive performance in net, should Corey Crawford get the next game vs. the Blue Jackets? And what does the future have in store for Kirby Dach? Jamal makes a bold prediction.

0:54 – Blackhawks finally show urgency in 2nd period

2:47 – Penalty kill starting to show some life

5:00 – Thoughts on the Shaw/Strome/Kane line

6:43 – Blackhawks eliminating some defensive breakdowns

9:23 – Big rebound performance from Corey Crawford

11:36 – Colliton’s message to Alex Nylander got through

15:21 – Brandon Saad has been a pleasant surprise early on

17:15 – Dominik Kubalik’s impressive performance

18:31 – Will Kirby Dach be with the Blackhawks all season?

22:42 – Does Crawford or Lehner start vs. the Blue Jackets?

Listen to the entire episode here or in the embedded player below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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Four takeaways: Corey Crawford shines in Blackhawks first win of the season

Four takeaways: Corey Crawford shines in Blackhawks first win of the season

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers at the United Center on Monday:

1. Blackhawks are in the win column

The Blackhawks said after morning skate that they weren't going to "freak out" about their 0-2-1 start despite talking all training camp long about how they didn't want to dig a hole in October. Still, Monday felt like a game they had to win going into a three-day break because they have to start generating some positive vibes within the locker room.

And they did just that.

The Blackhawks handed the Oilers their first loss of the season (5-1-0), but more importantly, they're finally in the win column for the 2019-20 campaign.

"We played really well," Corey Crawford said. "I think everyone was going. Guys were coming back to help out defensively, and just a good team effort. The PK was strong, even though we gave up that one [late], it was strong early in the game. Just nice to win the first one."

2. Second period? That's more like it

The Blackhawks have been happy with their first periods this season. They've been mostly happy with their thirds. It's the middle frame that's been their downfall.

The team addressed those struggles as a team the morning of the game, and they certainly responded.

According to Natural Stat Trick, the Blackhawks led in shot attempts (32-8), even-strength scoring chances (16-6), even-strength high danger chances (5-4) and, of course, the goal column (1-0) in the second period. That's more like it.

"That was the message today from the coaches was how much better we need to be in the second," Connor Murphy said. "We showed examples of when we've done that in the past and what it takes. I think we were just better at staying on our toes and we drew some penalties and got on the forecheck quick and kept their goalie from being able to make plays and for them to be able to come up ice."

3. Corey Crawford shines

You could've made a good argument that Robin Lehner should've started this game, especially coming off a solid outing on Saturday and his career numbers against the Oilers (5-1-2 with a 1.86 goals-against average and .943 save percentage). But the coaching staff went with Crawford and it proved to be the correct decision.

Crawford stopped 27 of 28 shots for a save percentage of .964 and faced nine high-danger chances at 5-on-5, none of which found the back of the net. His lone goal against came with 2:11 left in regulation and it was on a 6-on-4 power play for the Oilers. Overall, he was fantastic.

"He looked sharp as ever," coach Jeremy Colliton said. "He was really good. He did make some saves for us. That team has some weapons so they had some opportunities and he was there and just he's under control. It's something I've said about him before, he really gives the team confidence. I thought tonight he was really good."

4. Blackhawks shut down Oilers' top guns

The first line of Leon Draisaitl, Zack Kassian and Connor McDavid went into Monday tied for the most goals scored as a trio. When the three of them are on the ice at 5-on-5, they're controlling 57.1 percent of the shot attempts, 61.2 percent of the scoring chances and 68.8 percent of the high danger chances.

The Blackhawks held them in check. That line had 14 shot attempts for and 20 against at 5-on-5 and were on the ice for 11 scoring chances. The third line of David Kampf, Dominik Kubalik and Brandon Saad did a terrific job of shutting them down.

"They all just got real big motors, big engine," Colliton said of the Saad-Kampf-Kubalik line. "They work and compete and they all bring a little bit different ingredient. ... Pleased with that line."

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