Team hopeful struggling Hossa can find form
BY ADAM L. JAHNS Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org February 13, 2011 1:00AM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville and general manager Stan Bowman are holding out hope that Marian Hossa’s best will come out again.
They think Hossa can overcome all his ailments and regain the dominant form he had at the start of the season, when he looked every bit like the two-way star he’s supposed to be.
Hossa returned to the Hawks’ lineup Saturday against the Phoenix Coyotes after missing his 17th game of the season Friday against the Dallas Stars because of the flu. He also has missed time with vertigo and upper- and lower-body injuries.
‘‘He’s coming off different situations,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘He’s getting his game back to where we need it to be, and then something else happens. We just need him to be the top player we saw at the start of the year and give us that consistently. We’re going to need it.’’
Neither Quenneville nor Bowman thinks Hossa has been overwhelmed by frustration.
‘‘We’d like to see him get on a roll, like we know he can,’’ Bowman said. ‘‘He’s a dominant player. We’ve seen spurts of that. He’s had little things here and there. . . . Every time he gets rolling, there’s minor setbacks. We’d all like to see for him more than anything just the peace of mind to have a nice stretch where things go his way. He brings a lot to the table besides just the stat sheet. We recognize the value, and the coaches do, as well. It’d be nice to see him put together a good run.’’
Hossa notched his 800th career point with an assist on Troy Brouwer’s power-play goal in the second period of the Hawks’ 3-2 shootout loss to the Coyotes, but he was a minus-1 and missed the net on the Hawks’ last shootout try.
Fernando Pisani endured the ugliest hit Friday in Dallas when his head snapped against the Stars’ bench. He was re-evaluated Saturday, but Quenneville wouldn’t estimate how long he would be out of the lineup.
The flu bug appears to be going around the Hawks’ dressing room. Jake Dowell was the latest to miss a game with the flu, following Hossa and John Scott.
The Hawks recalled Jeff Taffe from Rockford and put Ryan Johnson (upper-body injury) on injured reserve. Viktor Stalberg missed most of the game Friday with an apparent shoulder injury, but he played against the Coyotes.