Finding Marian Hossa in the 2009 Stanley Cup finals is almost as hard as those Where’s Waldo books from grade school – especially the one where Waldo’s at the zoo. Or the one just below where it seem’s he’s at a KFC football game.
Hossa’s playoff performance in 2008 with the Pittsburgh Penguins did wonders to shed the reputation of being a non-playoff performer. Hossa scored 26 points in 20 games in the Penguins 2008 run. So that was last year and everyone knows what happened next…
… One year later: Marian Hossa finds himself back in the Stanley Cup finals, against the very team he left. You couldn’t write a better story than this if you tried. Hossa turned down long term offers from the Pittsburgh Penguins, Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks and Montreal Canadiens (among others) for the chance to win a Stanley Cup in Detroit. Doing that probably means you really want to win a Stanley Cup, right?
Maybe not, if you are Marian Hossa. Hossa has had a fairly “meh” playoffs so far, registering only 15 points in 22 games. That’d be pretty good, if you weren’t playing with the likes of Johan Franzen, Henrik Zetterberg, Jiri Hudler, Nick Lidstrom and others. In the Finals, against his old team, Hossa has 3 assists in 6 games. Hmmm… two of those games were played with Pavel Datsyuk, too.
It’s not just the numbers – it’s his play too. Hossa is a dominant player in the NHL because of his size, strength and hockey smarts. I haven’t really seen much of that. Sure, he’s been dominant along the boards with the puck, but the longer he holds the puck, the less likely he is to do anything with it. So while it’s impressive, where are the results to say “wow, you made something happen” ?
TSN’s Ray Ferraro made some great points following Pittsburgh’s clutch game 6 victory saying Hossa looks like he’s scared to touch the puck or do anything with it.
I agree with that.
Hossa’s not throwing the body much either; not making impact hits, not forechecking or owning the neutral zone as well as he can or as well as coach Mike Babcock probably wants. If anything, it should of be him stepping up to shadow Evgeni Malkin during Datsyuk’s absence. Had he done so, would we still be talking about who will win this series?
I just don’t get it – this is Hossa’s chance to win the big one and he’s not showing up. Not even close. If you can’t show up on the score board, you can sure as hell contribute with strong, aggressive play. And I still don’t get why Waldo is at a KFC football game, either.
Stay classy, Marian Hossa