Get on your Hossa! ‘Hawks, Sharks and the Whirlaway

By Jeffrey Bartl

The signing was unexpected, the contract and subsequent shoulder surgery were scrutinized and the anticipation has been agonizing. Finally, Marian Hossa will take the ice wearing an Indian head sweater.

The NHL-leading San Jose Sharks aren’t exactly going to be the Welcome Wagon, and they’ll be out for revenge after the Blackhawks come-from-behind, overtime victory Nov. 15 at the United Center. Hossa’s return coinciding with the matchup of the Western Conference’s top two teams makes for a great storyline — and Coach Q added in another twist of his own yesterday.

Hossa will skate with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, and it will be Kaner shifting to the left wing to accommodate Hossa. Kaner handled the shift professionally as was to be expected, saying he’s just happy and privileged to play on the same line as a great player like Hossa.

I like the move by Q giving Hossa a pair of ridiculously talented forwards to get him back into the flow of a game situation. But don’t expect to see the Superman Line throughout the game Wednesday — Hossa won’t play the amount of minutes Toews and Kaner will, and you’ll probably see Q jumble the lines a bit while Hossa skips a couple of shifts.

While Hossa’s return is the story tonight, the Sharks have been sporting their own ridiculous line of talent of late, playing Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dany Heatley together. Needless to day, the checking lines for each team are going to have their work cut out for them.

Once again, the Second City Hockey guys have set up a roadwatch at the Whirlaway in Logan Square. They went all out, setting up a food spread to go along with great drinks served up by the always wonderful Maria. Come on over for some Blackout Wednesday festivities so you can be nice and hungover for your family’s Thanksgiving dinner.

And since the Whirlaway is my dad’s favorite bar and has been getting drinks from Maria for years, my dad will be there to make fun of us idiots for getting excited over the Blackhawks game while sipping on his Bushmills — no ice.


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