Will Marian Hossa finally win a Stanley Cup?

2 Comments

hossaopennet.jpgFor three straight seasons, Marian Hossa will play in the Stanley Cup finals, and he’ll be doing so with his third different team in a row. It’s an odd mercenary accomplishment for the Czech winger, who chose to leave Pittsburgh for Detroit (the team that beat the Penguins) and then the Red Wings for the Blackhawks (the team that lost to the Red Wings the year before).

Of course, as you’ve probably heard amid bridesmaid jokes, Hossa failed to win one so far. He infamously claimed that the Red Wings had a better chance to win the Cup in the off-season before the Penguins proved him wrong. If it doesn’t happen now, a great player will mainly be a punchline during his career.

So, the question is, will this be the year Hossa will finally win the Cup? Let’s glance at why it could happen and why it might not.

Cons

Hossa had a great run with the Penguins, totaling 26 points in only 20 games played. At the time I wondered if Sidney Crosby was the No. 1 reason for his success, which is a reasonable assumption since the young star helped greybeard Bill Guerin have a career playoff run last season.

Since parting from Crosby, Hossa compiled 26 points in 39 games during seven playoff rounds (as opposed to four with Pittsburgh). He only has 2 goals (but a respectable 11 points) in 16 games so far. If it comes down to Hossa, he might not raise the Cup. The other big factor is the mere presence of Chris Pronger (he’s really good).

Pros

That being said, this is his best chance to win a Cup yet. His team has home ice advantage. Despite the Flyers hot streak, we cannot forget that Philadelphia limped its way into the playoffs while Chicago fell just short of the top seed in the West. The Flyers haven’t faced an offense like the Blackhawks’ in the postseason so far. The firepower provided by the Devils, Bruins and Canadiens pale in comparison to what Chicago brings to the table.

There’s something a little dirty about the idea that Hossa might finally win his Cup in such a sloppy fashion, but if it ever will happen, it will be this June.

Methot ‘out for weeks’ after suffering a shattered finger from Crosby clash

Leave a comment

The Ottawa Senators lost defenseman Marc Methot for the bulk of Thursday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and it seems he’ll be out for quite a while longer, too.

Methot was injured on a Sidney Crosby slash across the hand in the first period. He didn’t return to the game and there was no penalty called on the Penguins captain.

Footage showed the gruesome aftermath of the slash — Methot’s finger on his left hand bloodied and injured as he skated back to the bench.

“His finger is shattered and he’s out for weeks,” said Senators head coach Guy Boucher, per the Ottawa Sun.

Methot immediately confronted Crosby after the slash, which occurred as the Sens blue liner went to dump the puck into the Pittsburgh zone late in the first period.

The Senators got revenge, scoring a 2-1 shootout victory to move within a point of Montreal for the Atlantic Division lead. Crosby was also denied in the shootout.

NHL to make ‘special announcement’ in China next week

Getty
Leave a comment

The National Hockey League has announced it will make a “special announcement” at the LeSports Center in Beijing, China next Thursday.

In January, the league’s deputy commissioner Bill Daly made it clear the NHL has interest in playing games in China — likely starting out with pre-season games before potentially adding in some regular season contests in the future, as well.

Just after the league made its announcement on Thursday, the L.A. Kings tweeted out that they will participate in next week’s event, along with the Vancouver Canucks.

In January, hockey insider Darren Dreger reported that the Canucks and Kings were likely to play NHL pre-season games in China this upcoming September.

Last July, members of the Boston Bruins visited China, specifically Beijing and Shanghai, to host hockey clinics in those cities.

Beijing will also host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Flyers survive early Mason mistake to upset Wild

Getty
1 Comment

Insert the ‘It’s not how you start but how you finish’ cliche right here.

The Philadelphia Flyers fell behind the Minnesota Wild on Thursday, as Zach Parise was the beneficiary of a Steve Mason mistake just 2:07 into the first period.

Mason couldn’t control the deflection into the zone, coughing up a rebound in front. Eric Staal forced a loose puck to Parise and he buried it to open the scoring.

Yeah, not ideal for the Flyers, who are still clinging to the slimmest of playoff hopes.

But they responded with three unanswered goals, including this beauty from Sean Couturier.

Philadelphia took over for a 3-1 victory, with Mason making 24 saves on 25 shots, as Minnesota’s struggles continue. The Wild still sit second in the Central Division but have only two wins in their last 10 games.

Bolts close gap on struggling Bruins in playoff race

Getty
8 Comments

Well, that was quite a third period.

For the Boston Bruins, it was disastrous. For the Tampa Bay Lightning, it propelled them to a critical victory in the playoff race.

Nikita Kucherov completed the hat trick with a pair of goals in the final period and Jonathan Drouin scored what would eventually be the winner, as Tampa Bay snapped its own three-game losing streak in a 6-3 victory, putting the Bolts within three points of the final wild card spot — held by the Bruins — in the Eastern Conference.

The Drouin goal — his 18th of the season but first since Feb. 19, a span of 13 games — is probably one Tuukka Rask would like back.

Drouin teed up the slap shot from the faceoff circle, beating Rask under the left arm.

And just like that, the Bruins have lost four consecutive games. On Saturday, they face the New York Islanders, another team looking to catch Boston in the wild card race.

Read more: Remember this stretch if Bruins settle for a wild card spot (or worse?)

The Islanders are only two points back of Boston.

Despite the win, there was bad news for the Lightning during this game, as defenseman Jason Garrison left with an injury.

From NHL.com:

The play occurred behind the Lightning goal, Garrison appearing to get his left leg rolled up from behind by a Bruin. Garrison had to be helped off the ice by Anton Stralman and Brayden Point and headed back to the Bolts’ locker room.

The team announced during the second intermission that Garrison sustained a lower-body injury. He did not return to the game.