Dec 27, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa (81) during the game against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
With the 2015 All-Star weekend upon us, the Chicago Blackhawks have 5 deserving players attending the festivities. But we all know this Hawks team has some incredible depth, and there are arguably many other players that could have been nominated. I’d like to take a moment to pay tribute to one of the Hawks that should rightfully be in Columbus this weekend. His name is Marian Hossa. Hossa had another solid showing in the most recent game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and it reminded me of what a truly great player he is.
For the season, Hossa currently sits in third place on the team for points, with 34. He is only outpaced in that category by none other than Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. He has 10 goals and 24 assists, fourth place and third place on the team, respectively. But his point production doesn’t tell the whole story. Marion Hossa is well known for being one of the best two-way players in the league, holding up his end defensively as well. He is notorious for stripping the puck from the opposition, and generally making their lives miserable. He positionally puts himself in all the right places, and is a great leader for the rest of the team to emulate.
Wednesday night against the Penguins, it was Hossa’s turn to shine. He was named First Star of the game, with a goal and an assist. In the first period, Hossa and the rest of the first line had some great sustained pressure in the Penguins zone. Then Hossa was able to outmuscle Sidney Crosby (no slouch), and neatly feed the puck to David Rundblad, who in turn scored. Hossa tallied his goal of the night on the power play. After some quick back and forth passing between him and Saad, Hossa didn’t hesitate, and shot one past net minder Marc- Andre Fleury.
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But I would have to argue it was his chance in overtime that was the highlight of the night. As usual, Hossa won the battle along the boards. Then he out maneuvered two Pittsburgh players, and drove hard to the net. He tried to shoot over Fleury’s right shoulder, but it went just wide. When asked about this play after the game, Coach Q had this to say. “If Hossa would have had that goal in OT…that might have been one of those for the ages.”
Patrick Sharp has his own song (Sharp Dressed Man, ZZ Top). Why can’t Marian Hossa have a song? We could splice it together with Hossa highlights. There’s so many highlights to choose from, the trick would be to find the best ones.
How about that old Carly Simon song? “Nobody does it better, makes me feel sad for the rest.” This is where we feature Hossa fighting for the puck along the boards, and miraculously coming up with it although he’s totally outnumbered. “I wasn’t looking, but somehow you found me.” Cue a highlight reel of any one of Hossa’s many phenomenal passes for an assist. “Baby you’re the best!” Of course this would be the perfect place for a Big Hoss defensive steal and a breakaway goal. Cut to the part in the song, “I couldn’t hide from your love light.” Yes, you guessed it; here we can show an after goal hugging celebration.
Marian Hossa might be 36 years old, and he might need his maintenance days. But he still brings it on the ice for every game. I don’t know about you, but to me, Hossa is the Chicago hockey equivalent of football’s Walter Payton and basketball’s Michael Jordan. I feel privileged to live in this era where I can witness the talent of an athlete who is so good at what he does. He has a long and illustrious career already, and he’s not looking to hang up his skates anytime soon. I think there’s no doubt he will be in the Hockey Hall of Fame in the future. Keep it coming Hossa! All Star player or not, we sure are thankful you’re a Chicago Blackhawk!
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