Jun 28, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa (81) during the 2013 Stanley Cup championship celebration at Grant Park in Chicago. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
1. Marian Hossa
This is by far the biggest player and concern for the Blackhawks heading into the Stanley Cup playoffs. To review recent history, when Hossa was out due to injury against the Phoenix Coyotes the Hawks bowed out of the playoffs in 6 games. Hossa missed one game during last year’s playoff run to the Stanley Cup and that was a 2-0 shut out loss by the Hawks against the Boston Bruins in Game #3 in the Stanley Cup Finals (Ben Smith probably is thankful looking back at history)
Hossa’s back is the biggest concern entering the year and day-to-day which is why he’s missed time in the recent past. Hossa like Handzus will play for Team Slovakia and both were to be managed but #81 has only missed 5 games this season although he’s had his fair share of Veteran maintenance days off from practice.
Hossa is one of the best two-way players in the league and a huge reason the Hawks have 2 Stanley Cups and his health will be a huge factor come April if the Hawks are going to make a run for back to back Stanley Cups. I’m sure Hossa knows his body better than any of us could even speculate about but at 35 with over 1,000 games played 3 weeks off for maintenance could have been perfect for Hossa.
Yes, I will be excited watching all the Blackhawks play in the Olympics, but in the back of my mind I really wish these three Hawks were taking a 3 week vacation instead resting up for the Stanley Cup defense that starts in April!
What do you think about Olympic hockey and the Hawks participating in them?