Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks’ Hot And Not: Role Players Have Nice Week

By Colin Likas
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Who’s hot: Vincent Hinostroza

If I was going to put Kero on this list for primarily a singular game, I had to put Hinostroza on here as well. He rallied the Blackhawks back to a win by converting a breakaway about five minutes into the third period Tuesday. He then was the recipient of Kero’s great pass for a game-winner later on.

Hinostroza can be a very important bottom-six player for the Blackhawks. His speed would be tough to contend with on most lines, but he’s generally going to fair a lot better against grunt-type guys versus bona fide stars. If the Blackhawks could just settle on linemates for him, his scoring would likely continue to rise.

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Who’s not: Duncan Keith

Keith just hasn’t seemed all there of late. Again, this could be a product of the Blackhawks typically not being all there in January, as they use this time to save up some energy for a playoff run. It could also be a product of Keith’s offseason knee procedure.

Keith recorded no points in the last three games and posted a minus-1 rating. He and defensive partner Niklas Hjalmarsson have had trouble carrying the puck much, with Keith posting Corsi-for marks of 45.16 and 44.19 against the Avs and Wild, respectively (no one needs me to tell you puck possession wasn’t much of a thing against Washington).

Keith is usually the guy who’s pushing the offense from the blue line. It’s no surprise the offense, then, has seen its struggles as Keith has struggled.

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