Chicago's Hossa still a handful for Wild

  • Article by: BLAKE SCHUSTER , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 12, 2014 - 12:26 AM

The 35-year-old has a more productive playoff history against the Wild than his higher-profile teammates.

hide

Blackhawks right winger Marian Hossa has had a steady series, apparently immune to the pressure of a tight playoff series.

Photo: JEFF WHEELER • jeff.wheeler@startribune.com,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

– In two games at Xcel Energy Center, the Wild just about shut down the Blackhawks’ most dangerous forwards. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp were rendered useless. Brandon Saad was silenced, and Michal Handzus — well, he’s just here to win faceoffs and kill penalties.

And for any other team that might be a victory in itself, if not for one pesky Slovak who doesn’t seem to slow down. Not after 15 years in the league or four trips to the Stanley Cup Final in his past six seasons.

Marian Hossa hasn’t broken stride for anybody — a problem that arose again during Game 5 at the United Center on Sunday night. Hossa set up the game-winning goal in the third period by Jonathan Toews as the Blackhawks won Game 5 2-1.

“Sometimes it just takes a simple shot,” Hossa said. “Jonny found a way to score from the rebound. That’s the type of goals — every night it’s not going to be pretty, and we are glad we won this game.

The series goes back to Minnesota for Game 6 on Tuesday with Chicago ahead 3-2.

“We definitely would like to finish it there. We know how hard it is to play in their building and we know we have to be better than we were in the last three games,” Hossa said.

Chicago overcame a rusty first period to get back into the game and control the final two periods.

“The crowd was frustrated, we were frustrated,” Hossa said. “After the first we just came to the dressing room and [said] we just have to relax, we knew how we need to play. We just needed to take a deep breath, relax and play hard.

“In the second and third we were better, and everybody is happy after the game.”

Hossa now has 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in 10 playoff games against the Wild.

That type of consistency is why the Wild tried to sign him to a long-term deal in the summer of 2008. Hossa opted to sign a one-year deal with Detroit instead and ultimately signed a 12-year deal with the Blackhawks the following offseason. The Wild has been at his mercy ever since.

“You look at Hoss as he’s evolved here over the course of six years, game in and game out he’ll be a force with or without the puck,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said before Game 5. “The last two, three years have been at the same pace as when he was in his prime. So we’ll say he’s still in his prime.”

Even when Hossa, 35, doesn’t have the puck, one still gets the sense he has some control over it. Specifically on the forecheck, and along the boards, Hossa’s strength and soft hands allow him to corral the puck around defenders and create space for himself.

“For me specifically, I just do my stuff,” Hossa said. “Play a two-way game, and try to create something. Good things happen when I play that way.”

And now to Game 6.

“It’s one of the hardest games to finish a team,” said Hossa.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago WSox - S. Carroll 12:05 PM
NY Yankees - H. Kuroda
Tampa Bay - J. Hellickson 12:07 PM
Toronto - M. Buehrle
Detroit - B. Farmer 12:10 PM
Minnesota - Y. Pino
Seattle - C. Young 12:35 PM
Boston - B. Workman
Baltimore - B. Norris 1:20 PM
Chicago Cubs - K. Hendricks
San Francisco - T. Lincecum 3:05 PM
Washington - J. Zimmermann
Houston - C. McHugh 6:05 PM
Cleveland - D. Salazar
St. Louis - S. Miller 6:05 PM
Philadelphia - D. Buchanan
Atlanta - E. Santana 6:10 PM
Cincinnati - M. Leake
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez 6:10 PM
Milwaukee - W. Peralta
San Diego - A. Cashner 7:10 PM
Arizona - V. Nuno
Miami - T. Koehler 7:10 PM
Colorado - J. Lyles
Detroit - J. Verlander 7:10 PM
Minnesota - T. May
Kansas City - J. Guthrie 7:25 PM
Texas - N. Tepesch
LA Angels - C. Wilson 8:05 PM
Oakland - J. Lester
NY Mets - J. deGrom 8:10 PM
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke
Carolina 7 FINAL
New England 30
NY Giants 35 FINAL
NY Jets 24
Jacksonville 12 FINAL
Detroit 13
Oakland 21 FINAL
Green Bay 31
Chicago 6 FINAL
Seattle 34
Tampa Bay 3:30 PM
Buffalo
Tennessee 6:00 PM
Atlanta
Dallas 6:00 PM
Miami
Washington 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Houston 8:00 PM
Denver
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Arizona
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Jacksonville
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Dallas
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tennessee
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Oakland
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
UCF 8/30/14 7:30 AM
Penn State
Chicago 6:00 PM
Toronto FC
Montreal 6:00 PM
Red Bull New York
Chivas USA 6:30 PM
New England
Houston 6:30 PM
Columbus
D.C. 7:30 PM
Sporting Kansas City
Vancouver FC 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Montreal 16 FINAL
Winnipeg 24
Toronto 3:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 2:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Indiana 4:00 PM
Washington
Minnesota 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close