CALGARY, Alberta —Vinnie Hinostroza won’t play Friday night against the Calgary Flames, but the mere fact that he could was great news for the Blackhawks rookie.
Hinostroza suffered a concussion Tuesday night in Winnipeg when Josh Morrissey’s hit sent him face-first into the boards late in the first period. Hinostroza spent the last two days in Calgary in bed, on doctor’s orders, but emerged Friday with no symptoms and was cleared to play.
Hinostroza participated in the morning skate at the Saddledome, but will be held out one more day just to be safe.
“Any time you’re dealing with your head, it’s a scary thing,” Hinostroza said. “So you want to be patient. But luckily, it was a quick turnaround. Usually it’s a bit longer. But we had a nice two days off there, so I kind of just laid in bed, didn’t move. I feel good now.”
Joel Quenneville said Hinostroza could return for Saturday’s game in Vancouver.
“I think he’s ready to go,” Quenneville said. “We’re going to make sure he gets another day, and look at [Saturday]. There are certain protocols you’ve got to go through to at least get it to where he can get back on the ice, and he got cleared to play.”
Hinostroza, a Bartlett native who is still seeking his first NHL point, said he had a minor head injury in juniors, but that this was his first real concussion. He said it’s an accepted risk, and not something he’s worried about.
“Any time you’re playing hockey, or any sport like this — football, lacrosse, anything —there’s always that chance of getting a head injury. These sports have the best doctors and they know what they’re doing. They deal with it a lot and I have all the confidence in them, and I trust what they’re saying. And I have to trust myself when I”m feeling good. And I’m feeling good.”
Slash and burn
Flames star Johnny Gaudreau is out 4-6 weeks after an Eric Staal slash broke his finger. The incident has raised familiar concerns about how the league doesn’t do enough to protect its players, particularly its stars. But Gaudreau —who was slashed a few times before the Staal one, too —downplayed that idea.
“I think it’s part of the game,” Gaudreau said. “I don’t know if it’s something that you look at more. I know if guys are starting to miss 4-6 weeks and getting broken bones and stuff, maybe it’ something that they need to look into a little more. But it’s part of hockey. People slashing each other — it’s a tough sport to play. It’s tough for the refs to call whether it’s a hard slash or it’s just a little love tap. I can see why it’s difficult for them.”
Tyler Motte, who suffered a lower-body injury on Nov. 6 against Dallas, was scheduled to rejoin the Hawks in Calgary on Friday. Quenneville said it’s unlikely that he plays Saturday in Vancouver, but he could play at some point this trip. Corey Crawford will start against Calgary, with Scott Darling likely starting against the Canucks.