Looking at just the six games in Detroit this year, it is hard to really understand the year Taro Hirose had. The rest of his time was spent in the minor league, with the Grand Rapids Griffins. Looking at the whole picture, let’s dive into Hirose’s 2020-21 season.
2021 Statline (In Detroit):
Games Played: 6
Borderline NHLer, likely more time in Grand Rapids.
2021 Season in a Nutshell
Another season, another year developing in the AHL for Taro Hirose.
Hirose got a bit of playing time on the main roster at the very beginning of the season when Covid created some roster openings. In that time, Hirose notched two assists and looked competent on the power play. However, as soon as the Covid listed players returned, Hirose was shuffled back down to Grand Rapids.
In Grand Rapids, Hirose did have a solid year. He led the team in assists with 20 and scored five goals. He nearly averaged a point per game in 27 and excelled as one of Griffin’s best power play assets. Hirose continued to show his ability as a playmaker, but still struggled with his shot (6.8 shooting percentage, per griffinshockey.com). But other than the six game stretch to start the season, Hirose did not find a way to the main roster, even as injuries piled up.
They said it
“That’s (power play) where he needs to be special and where he’s probably going to be special. He’s a littler guy who isn’t super fast, so 5-on-5 offense is not easy for him. He has to play with other guys when he gets the puck and self-creates. They have to finish and right now nobody is finishing.”
-Jeff Blashill via the Detroit News