Updated: April 16, 2012 8:25AM
Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa accepts that his play will be scrutinized while center Jonathan Toews sits out with a concussion.
Hossa, one of the best all-around players in the league, had drawn criticism recently for getting outmuscled for pucks.
But Hossa said he believes he’s nearing the pace he was at before the All-Star break. He has four goals and seven assists in the 11 games Toews has missed, including five assists in the last three games.
“Some nights I feel much better and I don’t get points,” said Hossa, who has a team-high 18 multipoint games. “It all depends. But if I’m handling the puck and I’m strong on the puck, that’s my game.”
With two assists Tuesday against the St. Louis Blues, Hossa extended his team lead to 22 points in 19 games against Central Division teams. He also tops the Hawks with 28 assists in 35 home games.
Hawks rookie enforcer Brandon Bollig played less than two minutes Tuesday. While coach Joel Quenneville shortened his bench late in the game, Bollig also had to sit for 17 minutes because of the instigator penalty he received for fighting Ryan Reaves.
Bollig took one more shift after his fight, but he doesn’t regret his actions.
“I think it was probably a clean hit [on Jamal Mayers], but I disagree with the instigator call,” Bollig said.