Updated: 12:55 a.m.
GLENDALE, Ariz. Marian Hossa has been adamant in telling everyone he is just fine coming off that concussion.
Hes been cleared since Nov. 15. Hed been skating hard to get cleared, and continued that after he was. Still, the truest test of readiness is game action. Well, after two contests, this much is clear: Hossa wasnt kidding. Hes just fine.
Hossa had his second consecutive two-goal game and Dave Bolland had two goals and an assist as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Phoenix Coyotes 6-4 at Jobing.com Arena on Sunday night. The Blackhawks got four points on this back-to-back road trip, scoring 11 goals in two games.
Hossa downplayed tonights game against the Coyotes, the first time hes faced Phoenix since forward Raffi Torres ended his season in Game 3 last April. For him, he said, it was just another game I came into the game, no hard feelings and just prepared like I always do, he said. But theres no doubt that, in these first two games, Hossa is playing some vintage Hossa hockey.
Its always nice to get a great start, but hes taking it to another level in the first two games, captain Jonathan Toews said on Hossa. Hell say the same thing: he just wants to keep playing well. But to get that confidence early on is a huge thing.
Said Bolland, hes playing the same Hossa game hes always played. You see how he uses his size, stick and vision. Hes one of the best in the league.
Hossas happy with his first two games, but he said theres still work to be done.
The legs are going, but the hands and head are still adjusting to the fast game. But thats probably the same for everyone who hasnt played much at this point, said Hossa, who added points dont always equal a great outing. Sometimes I play much better and dont get any points and I feel great about my game. Sometimes I dont feel great about it and get a couple of goals.
Still, unlike Saturdays opener in Los Angles, this game got a little interesting. The Coyotes stormed back early in the third period, when their drive and the Blackhawks sloppiness led to two quick Coyotes goals and cut the Hawks lead to 5-4. But one Blackhawks timeout and 22 seconds after Shane Doan scored to make it 5-4, Bolland knocked the game-winner up and over Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith.
Q made a great call there to bring us to the bench and calm us down. It stopped their momentum, also, Bolland said of the time out. We bounced back quick.
Recovering seems to be the theme of the Blackhawks in this early season, be it an individual players great recovery from a horrible concussion or the teams recovery from an opposing goal. The Blackhawks are proving their depth is working. And Hossa is proving that, when he said he was fine, he meant it.
Pucks are going in for him, and that lines been affective in a lot of ways, Quenneville said of Hossa. Hes a big part of our team. Its nice to see him rebound and get off to a good start.