Roope Hintz has a hockey tool kit as intimidatingly large as he is. The Dallas Stars’ biggest forward (6-3, 220 pounds) is also one of the team’s fastest skaters. On top of that, he brings his thundering shot with a quickness and finesse that can stun even elite goalies.
It’s a combination that leaves both opponents and teammates wondering how he does it, reports The Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks:
“It’s hard to explain,” Corey Perry said. “He’s so big and strong that he shoots it pretty hard. It’s almost like he whips it, kind of, but more snap. I don’t know. It’s very deceiving to me.”
Among players with at least 55 shots on goal this season, Hintz’s 21.8% shooting percentage ranks second in the league. In the last five seasons, among players that shoot the puck as often nightly (1.96 shots per game) and yearly (55 shots) as Hintz this season, only two players have higher shooting percentages: William Karlsson’s 43-goal season in 2017-18 and T.J. Oshie’s 33-goal season in 2016-17. Hintz is just above Leon Draisaitl’s 50-goal season and Brayden Point’s 41-goal season, both last year.
Hintz is beating goalies at an elite level this season, and DeFranks has taken a close look at what he does that leaves them guessing – and why his technique is an ongoing threat:
Hintz carries the puck away from his body, which is where he passes pucks from, dangles from and shoots from. It creates a confusing read for goalies, including Dallas’ own.
“When he comes in, he has it behind him and it’s cocked and ready to go,” Ben Bishop said. “Get in that position, a lot of guys will have it in front of them and take it there. He comes in with it already in that position, so he can kind of fling it at any point.”...
“Strong players can do that,” Andrew Cogliano said. “When you’re that big and strong like that, guys like that can shoot in that type of way when it’s hard for others, to be honest. I think he’s moving fast a lot of the time, so his speed and his strength, puts some good torque in his stick.”
There’s more behind the paywall. [SportsDayDFW]
Speaking of elite goalies...Ben Bishop. That’s it.
Also from the Stars: Don’t forget the official watch party for tonight’s matchup against Bish’s former team, the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Come down to Happiest Hour tomorrow night for an official Stars Watching Party!— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) December 19, 2019
Fans in attendance get a chance to win FREE autographed #WinterClassic items, a Jamie Benn jersey, and more. Puck drops at 6 p.m.#DALvsTBL | #GoStars pic.twitter.com/G2OHRC6fGO
Around The League(s)
#Murder Was The Case
- The Colorado Avalanche brought the Central-on-Central violence, with four different players scoring in a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. [Mile High Hockey]
- Jake Allen made 35 saves as the St. Louis Blues shut down Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers, 2-1. [St. Louis Game Time]
Ilya Kovalchuk in Victory Green? Lyle Richardson examines the case in his latest roundup.
Where do the teams who lost out on the Hall sweepstakes look now? And what comes next for Kovalchuk?— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) December 19, 2019
That and more in the latest Rumor Roundup:https://t.co/nLE8WjGdoD
Taylor Hall traded = New Jersey Devils rebuild...appears to be confirmed.
"Taylor Hall never asked for a trade. Never." https://t.co/etbuoYKumj— SI NHL (@SI_NHL) December 17, 2019
What’s it like to be a CHL import player? Scott Wheeler follows the league’s only Japanese player as his seeks his next level in Canada.
Meet Yu Sato, a 17-year-old kid from suburban Tokyo who moved across the world to a small basement on the outside of Quebec City.— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) December 18, 2019
On the CHL import experience and life inside its most remarkable case study: https://t.co/2sDez5X6js pic.twitter.com/h7yCEEpPfr