By this time next week, most NHL teams will have completed their regular season schedule. The exceptions are expected to be in the Scotia North Division, where the 2020/21 season will extend as late as May 19th. Although all but three of the league’s playoff bids have already been secured, there are certainly still reasons for Waterloo Black Hawks fans to stay plugged-in during the closing days. Here are five milestones, individual achievements, or storylines to track involving Hawks alumni.
#5 – Hinostroza Wraps Up Homecoming
Vinnie Hinostroza played just nine games as a Florida Panther after signing an offseason free agent contract. The former Chicago Blackhawks draft pick – who made his first 106 NHL appearances for that club – was reacquired by Chicago in an April 2nd trade. Since April 6th, Hinostroza has played in all 15 Chicago games, producing three goals and seven assists. If he notches one more goal or assist, it would be his 50th point as a Blackhawk, including his earlier stint with the organization.
#4 – Petersen Seeks Double Digits
In November of 2018, Cal Petersen had his first chance to take the crease during an NHL game due to injuries to the Los Angeles Kings’ top netminders. Just two seasons later, he has played in more than half of L.A.’s 2020/21 games and could see the lion’s share of the work during the time that remains because of a Jonathan Quick injury on Monday. Thursday Petersen made 28 saves during a 4-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. If he earns one more win in the Kings’ final five contests, it will be his first 10-win NHL season.
#3 – Pavelski Pushes Toward 50
In this shortened season, NHL clubs are each scheduled to play 56 games. Despite the dramatic reduction from a typical 82-game slate, Joe Pavelski is just four points short of the 11th 50-point season of his career. He enters a Friday night contest against the Tampa Bay Lightning (one of three remaining Dallas matchups in 2020/21) with 22 goals and 24 assists. If Pavelski reaches that mark, this will be the closest he has come to averaging a point-per-game since producing 78 points over 82 appearances in 2016/17.
#2 – Most Reliable Rookie
No one is suggesting that Mikey Anderson is in contention for the Calder Cup, but his rookie season has been more than steady for the Los Angeles Kings. Although L.A. is below .500 and has a negative aggregate goal differential, Anderson currently leads the club with a +5 plus/minus figure. He has been in the lineup for all but two games so far and has skated more than 20 minutes on 34 occasions. Anderson’s season-high was 28:54 during a 4-3 win versus the Arizona Coyotes on April 7th. He produced a pair of assists that night and was +3.
#1 – Eying the Century Mark
A long COVID-19 disruption means the Vancouver Canucks will play regular season games through May 19th. The squad still has eight games remaining, beginning with a Saturday tilt against the Edmonton Oilers. That could provide Brock Boeser with enough time to accumulate five goals and reach 100 during his NHL career. He has scored in each of the Canucks’ last three games, pushing his season total to 20 and his career mark to 95. Boeser currently leads Vancouver in both goals and points (41). He also has appeared in all 48 games, a significant fact after he missed 12 games or more in each of his first three seasons at the NHL level.
Black Hawks alumni features are presented by Karen’s Print Rite, 2515 Falls Avenue in Waterloo. Photo of Brock Boeser provided by the Vancouver Canucks.