If Danton Heinen is going to stand up and be counted offensively this season, now would be the time.
The 23-year-old winger nearly had 20 goals and 50 points last season, but has managed just four goals and nine points in 34 games this season while bouncing between lines without finding a permanent home as of yet. Heinen certainly hasn’t hurt the Bruins defensively and is one of the best young two-way players on the roster, and that has kept him in the lineup even when the points weren’t flowing like last season.
But Heinen is going to need to produce eventually if he wants to stay in the Black and Gold lineup, and that’s part of the reason Bruce Cassidy opted to slot him on the right wing with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. Heinen knows it’s a plum assignment to play right fiddle to No. 37 and No. 63, so he’s doing whatever he can to take advantage of his sudden situation.
“Maybe there was a little bit more [space to operate playing with them] but I think for me it is trying to get on the fore-check, trying to create space for them because they’re [Bergeron, Brad Marchand] the ones who should have the puck in their hands,” said Heinen. “I’m just trying to get to the net and do things like that.”