Well here we are; September has arrived. You know what that means: it’s almost time for training camp to begin.
But we’re guessing you’ve been pining away for hockey for some time now. Considering that, we’re here to help. We’ll bring you a Blackhawks player profile (or two) a day. We’ll look at what said player did last season and what the expectations are for the 2014-15 season.
If Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville is known for one thing – other than the mustache – it’s his desire that players develop great two-way games. The Blackhawks’ mantra is “defense leads to offense,” and they have their share of players who do that. At the top of the list is today’s profile: Marian Hossa.
A LOOK BACK
You measure a successful Hossa season in two categories: how were his point totals and how was his health. In 2012-13, both were very good. Hossa played in 72 games last season, recording 30 goals and 30 assists. It was his highest goal total since the 2008-09 season (40 with the Detroit Red Wings). His postseason was solid, although lacking in the goal category; he had just two in 19 games.
Then there was his defensive game, which was tremendous again. Jonathan Toews said having Hossa on his line helps in shutting down the opposition. Hossa finished plus-20 on the season and once again brought up the question: Why isn’t he considered for a Selke Trophy every damn season? A great defensive forward is just that, and he is that.
A LOOK AHEAD
The concern with Hossa is always his health. If he was sore or ailing last season he just took practices and morning skates off, saving his energy for games. It worked out well, so don’t be surprised if Hossa does the same thing again this season when times call for it.
You know what you get with Hossa: a tremendous all-around game. We don’t see that changing in 2014-15. He got a few more weeks this summer to rest and recuperate from another long season so we’ll see how that shows out of the gate.
Tomorrow: Patrick Kane