Danton Heinen Elevating Play For Bruins of Late

(Photo Credit: The Athletic)

By: Yanni Latzanakis  |  Follow Me On Twitter  @yanlatz

 

Danton Heinen, like many young Bruins, has had an up and down season. He has shown glimpses of a scoring touch, but other times he has been hardly noticeable. However, after recently getting a spot on the top line against the New York Rangers, he has elevated his game.

The Langley, British Columbia native, was selected in the fourth round (116th overall) by the Bruins at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. He had 62 points (29 goals, 33 assists) with the Surrey Eagles of the British Columbia Hockey league before attending the University of Denver for 2 years where he accumulated 93 points in 81 games (36 goals, 57 assists).

His junior and college numbers showed real promise for the youngster to be a productive NHLer, and after a strong rookie campaign (16 goals, 31 assists) in 2017-2018, it seemed as though the Bruins had found a solid player in the fourth round of the draft.

This season, however, it has been a struggle for most of the year for #43. It seems as though another youngster has been going through the “sophomore slump.” With just 16 points in 52 games (8 goals, 8 assists) Danton Heinen found himself a healthy scratch again for the Super Bowl Sunday matchup with the Washington Capitals.

After drawing back in the lineup against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on February 6th, Heinen had to get his game going again to remain in the lineup and contribute to the Bruins offense.

Bruce Cassidy penciled him in on the right side of the top line, with Patrice Bergeron in the middle and Brad Marchand on the left wing side. With the Bruins down 1-0 in the second period, Heinen parked himself in front of the net and got a piece of a Matt Grzelcyck shot to tie the game.

On Saturday afternoon, the Bruins faced off against the Los Angeles Kings and Heinen, for the second straight game, found himself on the first line. The Bruins opened the scoring when Heinen showed his speed and vision to find a wide-open Patrice Bergeron at the side of the goal who made a sweet feed to McAvoy who had a yawning cage giving the Bruins a 1-0 lead.

After going down 2-1 in favor of the Kings, Danton Heinen answered with his 8th of the year burying the rebound past Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick.

Heinen has responded in these 2 games since being scratched by potting 3 points in 2 games (2 goals 1 assist) and showing us those glimpses of scoring that we saw in his rookie season and first-round playoff series against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Then, on a snowy Tuesday night in Boston, the streaking Chicago Blackhawks came to TD Garden seeking their 8th straight victory. Heinen yet again started the game on the right side of Bergeron and Marchand and got on the score sheet in a big way. Heinen put home a rebound after a Chara shot deflecting off Marchand landed right on the stick blade of #43 in black who had a wide open net.

Just minutes later, Heinen makes a great forechecking play in the corner cutting off Blackhawks defenseman Gustav Forsling’s pass to get the puck up the half-wall to Marchand. Marchand then finds Bergeron who fires a shot that was stopped by Delia, only to find Danton Heinen right on the puck to make a fantastic feed to Marchand breaking in behind him. Marchand found the back of the net, in turn, giving the Bruins a 3-1 lead over Chicago and an assist to Heinen.

Fast forward to the 3rd period. The Blackhawks were making a push and recently cut the Bruins 4-1 lead to 4-2 and then 4-3. Just when it seemed as though the Bruins were to blow yet another lead, Peter Cehlarik gave the Bruins insurance. And yes, you guessed it, Danton Heinen had his fingerprints on this goal as well. After a great skating entry into the offensive zone by Torey Krug, Krug sent it to Heinen in front of the net and with great patience, Heinen slid the puck over to Cehlarik who one-timed it past Delia for Heinen’s 3rd point of the night (1 goal, 2 assists).

After scoring his 6 previous points in 22 games, Danton Heinen has scored 6 points in his last 4 games and has looked very solid in those 4 games. Bruce Cassidy has shown a lot of patience and faith in this kid, and it might be paying off at the right time.

It is clear that since the scratching of Danton Heinen against the Capitals, and being put on the right side of Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, Danton Heinen is starting to feel it. However, it is only 4 games, and the Bruins will need his production to continue, especially with the recent injury to David Pastrnak.

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One thought on “Danton Heinen Elevating Play For Bruins of Late

  1. Pingback: Happy Valentine’s Day from the Boston Bruins! | BLACK N GOLD HOCKEY PODCAST

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