Danton Heinen is good at hockey.


That wasn’t a misprint you read on the title of this article. The man is good at hockey. A complete two-way player that fans shun because he doesn’t put up 70 points a year. There is more to the game besides a box score, and this is where Heinen shines the most. There is no doubt he is one of your better defensive players on the team, but that isn’t sexy, so it doesn’t sell.

What you need to succeed in the NHL is a mix of stars and role players. What we have in Danton Heinen is an above average role player. The player currently ranks 6th on the team with 11 points and he is a +5. The Bruins brass loves the versatility of this player that so many overlook.  When a player gets moved all over the line-up that isn’t by luck. Cassidy trusts that Heinen is a reliable piece that can be moved around to fill a spot.

What he brings is a nice option for Bruce on this team. Let’s go back to last night’s game, where Heinen had a hand in each of the Bruins power play goals. They were peak Heinen plays:  a puck retrieval and a subtle screen in front of the net. Those are the type of plays that are needed on a power play to make it effective. We know that the other four players on the top unit are monsters on it, but you need players like Heinen out there.

What is it with people just looking at a box score, and not seeing the little plays that are big in the grand scheme of things? I just can’t wrap my head around it fully. Why can’t we as fans be more objective with players, might be the better question here. There is one gripe however from me right now and it is a small one: but can we keep the Bjork-Coyle-Heinen line together consistently please? That line in particular has been the best line on the ice at times, and it is just starting to gel.

That is another thing. Look at that line in particular if you will. They all have something in common.  Solid defense with an offensive game that works. The person on that line whose impressed me the most is Bjork. We thought he had the offensive upside, but his defense has been awesome of late. Do you see a trend with the players on this team and the coaching philosophy of Bruce?

The team preaches defense, maybe not as fanatically as Claude did, but if you don’t play defense on this team you will find yourself in the dog house quickly. Which again brings me back to Heinen. The player does something as simple as putting his stick in the right position on the ice. There is a few things he can work on still, like shooting a bit more and being stronger at times on the puck. But he is far from a liability on this team.

This narrative of ‘he sucks’ and  ‘he’s lazy’ is tiresome at this point. What exactly do people expect from him out there when he’s doing his job like Bruce asks of him? We as fans think we know more then a player or coach who has been in hockey his entire life. The notion is as absurd as Tuukka’s save last night.  but I digress we very rarely hear Bruce call him out. There will be people who read this article and call me a “Heinen honk”, but I am very objective when it comes to players.

We can’t always change minds on players, teams, or coaches, but there is a ton of information out there for you. We can be better as fans. Where we have constant negativity around us, I challenge the readers out there to try and be more positive. We all want the same goal here for this team. There is too much bickering back in forth over minor things. Let us be better than that. We should try and lift people up instead of tearing them down.

The Bruins are still looking good overall, and we can hope the best is yet to come here. We have a National Holiday coming up next Thursday in the states. The day is Thanksgiving. So what are we thankful for? I will start and say I am thankful for everyone who reads my work, interacts with me on Twitter and that Danton Heinen wears the spoked B. That is all for this one folks.  Enjoy your day and as always Go, Bruins!

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Author: Chris Blackey

Co-host of Boston Sports Blitz. I've been a Boston sports fan from as long as I can remember.

1 thought on “Danton Heinen is good at hockey.

  1. Great article and So very True!! Many ‘Fans’ do not look at all aspects of the game. I enjoy seeing great defensive play while staying true to your position. Sure, we all love the scoring and flashy offensive game, but you NEED to be a quality player that understands both sides of the puck to keep your place on this NHL team, and Heinen is proving adept at this style of play!!

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