Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Afterburner: Spotlight on Hainsey

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Ron Hainsey spotlight

 

His numbers: 0 goals, 0 assists, plus-minus: Even

 

His icetime: 25 shifts, 24 minutes 5 seconds

 

First Period

More than eight minutes on the ice in the first, Hainsey was part of some very efficient puck movement early in the period that led to Blake Wheeler's dandy chance -- he hit the crossbar -- off the right wing. Hainsey, playing alongside regular partner Zach Bogosian, then had a shift with the fourth line and helped generate a scoring chance. Later in the period, during one of the two penalty kills, Hainsey was in just the right lane to block a Brad Marchand shot with his ankle. It looked to sting momentarily but No. 6 carried on.

 

Second Period

The period started with a disaster for the Hainsey-Bosogian pairing. Bogosian took the puck from the first faceoff and going back, tried to bank it off the endboards over to Hainsey in the Jets zone. But the pass hit at too sharp an angle and instead of going over to Hainsey, struck the side of the net and popped right to Brad Marchand of the Bruins, who tucked it past a startled Pavelec just eight seconds in.

 

Third Period

Jets coach Claude Noel saved most of Hainsey for the third period. He got 10 shifts for 10 minutes 8 seconds. Hainsey was a key part of two big penalty-kills in the third period and he was out there again in the crucial final minute when the Jets defended so well they weren't in any distress in their own zone.

 

What we liked: If you're just inclined to criticize style, you won't appreciate much of what Hainsey does. But when you watch him, he's thoughtful, efficient and looks to be a very good match with Bogosian. He also kills penalties very well with his brain, relying on good positioning rather than brute force.

 

What we didn't like: You could always want a bigger shot, but it's just not something Hainsey has, which is why he has no goals in his time in Winnipeg. There will be no criticism of the minus he had for the Bruins' second-period goal, and that came out in the wash anyway with Blake Wheeler's empty-netter in the final minute.

 

Synopsis: Hainsey was pretty much on par with his elevated icetime all season, which was 23:32 entering the game. The final minute (the entire third, for that matter) of the game spoke volumes with what the team thinks of him. He's on the ice plenty, and not for his flash, and the Jets are clearly relying on his veteran smarts to help them navigate through this energized bid for a playoff spot.

 

-- Tim Campbell

 

-30-

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 20, 2013 ??65533

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