Marian Hossa Comes Through in Win Against Colorado

Photo Credit: Bill Smith/ Getty Images

Photo Credit: Bill Smith/ Getty Images

It’s been awhile since Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa found the back of the net.

As a matter of fact, the last time Hossa scored a goal was back on December 6th against the Winnipeg Jets. But fifteen games later, Hossa tallied in two goals in the Blackhawks 6-3 win against the Colorado Avalanche Sunday night.

The 36-year-old Czechoslovakian is off to his slowest start in his professional hockey career since his rookie season, in which he only played in 60 games.

On the season, in 39 games Hossa has seven goals, 12 assists, 19 total points and a plus/minus rating of plus-9, according to ESPN.com. Hossa is projected to finish the season with 10 goals, 24 assists, 34 total points and a plus/minus rating of plus-12, according to ESPN.com.

Back in the 1998-1999 season, Hossa played his first full season in the National Hockey League. During his rookie campaign, he scored 15 goals and had 15 assists in 60 games, according to NHL.com. Even though he posted his career low in total points in his rookie season, he did not play the entire season, not playing in 22 games.

As for playing an entire season, around 82 games, Hossa is on pace to have his worst season.

One of the reasons for his slow start could be because of his age. Hossa is 36 years old and is playing in his 17th NHL season.

Looking at his stats this season, there has not been one month in which he posted double-digit total points. According to hockey-reference.com, Hossa had four points in October, six points in November, seven points in December and two points in January. It also took Hossa 39 games to score his first multi-goal game in which he scored more than one goal.

Sunday night, the Chicago Blackhawks put a beat down on the Colorado Avalanche, which honestly came as a surprise to me. Over the past two seasons, Chicago has struggled against the Avalanche. Last year, Chicago went 2-3 against the Avalanche and the year before that they went 1-3-1. But after Sunday’s win, Chicago leads the season series at 2-1.

Not only was it great to see the Blackhawks extend their winning streak to seven games, but it was fantastic to see Marian Hossa play the way he did.

Marian Hossa looked like vintage Marian Hossa Sunday night. He had a great feel for the puck, he had great presence around the net and he looked like he was having fun out there on the ice.

Considering the Blackhawks is second in the Western Conference and third in the NHL with 58 points, people automatically think it is because of the big names like Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa. However, with a deep team like the Blackhawks, guys like Artemi Panarin and Artem Anisimov are filling in the stats sheet with the inconsistent play of Hossa.

During the Blackhawks current seven game winning streak, prior to scoring two goals in the seventh consecutive win, Hossa had only one point in the first six games of the winning streak. It happened against the Arizona Coyotes where the streak began tallying an assist.

To tell the truth, this has been the worst season as a Chicago Blackhawk for Marian Hossa based on stats. But in all honesty, away from statistics, he has been a key role for this team when it comes to the young players on the roster.

When Hossa came to the Blackhawks in 2009, he was considered a veteran on the team due to the fact that the Blackhawks had so many players in their early 20s. During his career with Chicago, he has played on the same lines as Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane and has seen them mature as players over the years. Hossa has also played with young guys like Brandon Saad, Teuvo Teravainen and now Artemi Panarin. When these young guys are out on the ice they seem to play at a high level because they have veteran’s in the locker room in which they can talk to if they need help on their game. Talking to a guy like Marian Hossa.

Not to mention, having veteran presence in the Blackhawks locker room has played dividends in their success of winning three Stanley Cups. You can be a team that has all the young talent in the world, but when you have a young team it’s hard to find ways to win all the time and to play through adversity.

Going back to his game on the ice, hopefully his recent break out game against the Avalanche means he’s on the right track to scoring again. If not, at least the Blackhawks have his veteran presence in the locker room.

You can follow me on Twitter @rnickels26