Marian Hossa is surprising everyone with a strong start, and the Chicago Blackhawks will certainly take it
The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the St. Louis Blues 2-1 on Wednesday to extend their winning streak to seven games. The first goal of the game was scored by Blackhawks veteran Marian Hossa.
That goal was Hossa’s seventh of the season and fourth in four games. Hossa now has seven goals and five assists on the season. That is impressive considering Hossa is coming off the worst season of his NHL career.
Last season, Hossa scored 13 goals and added 20 assists. Before this season, some doubted whether Hossa was going to be a bottom-six forward or not. Once again, Hossa has proved everyone wrong.
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At the age of 37, Hossa is tied for sixth in the NHL with seven goals and is ranked 16th in the league in goals created with a 5.1 mark. It appears Hossa is also benefiting from taking more offensive-zone starts than last season. In this short season, he has started in the offensive zone 64.2 percent of the time.
If this number holds for the whole season, it would be the highest of Hossa’s career. Based on the numbers, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville could be using Hossa in more favorable situations, or this could just be luck of the draw.
In a season in which Hossa continues to set records (500th goal and his most career games with a single franchise), his resurgence is much needed. The Blackhawks were banking on their young talent to once again help replenish previously departed talent.
Aside from Tyler Motte (3 goals and 3 assists), the Blackhawks have gotten very little in terms of points from their young stars. Ryan Hartman and Nick Schmaltz have three points, Gustav Forsling has two points, and Vincent Hinostroza has played six games this season, recording zero points.
With Hossa continuing to defy the laws of age, there seems to be very little doubt he will still be playing in the NHL at the age of 42 when his NHL contract expires. Jaromir Jagr is still in the league and playing at a high level at the age of 44, so 42 seems like nothing to Hossa.
For the long term this season, If the Blackhawks want to play deep into the summer again, they need Hossa to be the Hossa of old. For the short term, the Blackhawks are going to need Hossa to continue stepping up now that Artem Anisimov is day-to-day with an injury. Ansimov, like Hossa, is having a great start to his season.