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Is Age Catching Up To Chicago Blackhawks Forward Marian Hossa?

By Sean Fitzgerald

Oct 28, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa (81) with the puck during the third period against the Anaheim Ducks at the United Center. Anaheim won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into the 2014-15 season, the Chicago Blackhawks were named the odds on favorite by Vegas to win the Stanley Cup. The Blackhawks were bringing back stars Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Duncan Keith, and Marian Hossa. Hossa is the oldest star player on the team (Michal Rozsival is the same age but not a star.), and this season Marian Hossa has gotten off to a “slow” start. Through nine games this season, Hossa has 1 goal, 2 assists is a -2 rating. If people compare that to the first nine games last season, Hossa’s number are very similar. Through 9 games in 2013-14, he had 3 goals and 2 assists with a +3 rating, while this season through nine games he is only two goals behind the pace he started at last season. The Blackhawks overall as a team are struggling to score goals. They are 22nd in the NHL with 22 goals which is the league average. On the opposite side of the coin, their goal tending has been great. They are ranked second in the NHL with only 15 goals allowed.

So the question is AGE catching up to Hossa because Father Time has never lost yet? The answer is no! Hossa is still viewed by Coach Joel Quenneville is one of the best two way forwards in the game, and Quenneville has even stated he back checks harder than anyone in the game and is the “perfect pro”.  Hossa’s game has evolved as he has aged, now he is more concerned with a being a complete player  as opposed to when he first started in the NHL. During his early teens and 20’s he was more concerned with scoring points, now he puts an equal amount of effort into his defensive game. Hossa attributes his success to being relatively healthy and playing with good teams, yet Hossa is only two points shy of 1,000 points.

In my humble opinion, age catches up to everyone at some point in their life, but there are certain individuals that can hold off father time a little bit longer. Marian Hossa is that type of individual. During his Blackhawks career, he has put up 279 points in 323 games with Hossa totaling  30 goals and 30 assists in 72 games. Those numbers were in an Olympic year after the shortest off-season in the NHL history. The Blackhawks offense and Hossa are off to a slower start than expected, but the goals and points are going to start coming in bunches!

Is age catching up with Marian Hossa? I say  “Not yet”, and the Hawks takes precautions like yesterday’s maintenance day from practice.  Hossa will be a reason the Hawks will have a chance to win the Stanley Cup this season so don’t sweat the slow start.

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