Confident Marian Hossa gets lift from scoring
BY ADAM L. JAHNS email@example.com April 22, 2011 10:32PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
The way Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault saw it, Marian Hossa was “teeing it up from the ladies tee” when he fired a shot straight past goalie Roberto Luongo for the Blackhawks’ first goal of their Game 5 romp.
It wasn’t a knock on Hossa, but a critical statement of the gap his team gave Hossa as he weaved through the defense and fired away. Still, Hossa tends to make others appear as if they’re standing around when he’s clicking like he was in Game 5.
“I definitely feel great, especially to help the team offensively,” said Hossa, who finally broke from his offensive slumber with two goals and an assist. “I felt I had something going but couldn’t put the puck in. [Thursday] was one of those nights where things finally worked out.”
A productive Hossa is the last thing the Canucks want to see, especially with other Hawks stars in Duncan Keith, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp already filling up the scoresheet.
Hossa had just one assist and a minus-3 rating in the first four games of the series. It was one of those slumps that always draws questions about Hossa’s health and fatigue level.
“Because you’re not [getting] points, it doesn’t mean you’re not in a comfort zone,” Hossa said this week. “The points will help, the goals will help to get more confidence. Sometimes you don’t get those goals or points, but it doesn’t mean you’re not in the scoring areas. Sometimes it’s a bit of luck too.”
Familiarity is also a factor. Hossa prefers to see time with the same players.
Hossa and Patrick Sharp have moved to the Hawks’ second line with center Dave Bolland back, and it has worked out. Sharp sprung Hossa for his breakaway goal in Game 5 with a perfect pass.
“I know I was getting lots of shots and lots of chances, but I’m glad the puck went in,” Hossa said. “I had great opportunities and capitalized on that.”