Marian Hossa will support captain Zdeno Chara in his leadership role by wearing an ‘A’ for Team Slovakia in the 2014 Winter Games, reports the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc.
He’ll have a tough test ahead of him as Slovakia is entering the tournament with a significantly different squad than they had hoped as they lost forward Marian Gaborík and defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky to injuries prior to the tournament.
With that in mind, Hossa might find himself on the only Slovakian line comprised entirely of current NHL players. He’s projected to skate alongside Chicago teammate Michal Handzus and Detroit’s Tomas Tatar.
Even still, Hossa is likely to put high expectations on himself. The team surprised the world when it finished fourth in 2010, but it left him wishing they had managed to do better.
“So close but also so far (to winning bronze),” Hossa told the Chicago Tribune before he left for Sochi. “We ran into some penalty trouble. We felt like some of them they didn’t have to be called. It’s behind us, but it’s tough still when you think about it.”
The team’s odds of winning a medal this time aren’t good, but they need Hossa to have a good tournament to have any chance at all.
PHT’s Pressing Olympic Questions: Can Slovakia surprise again?
Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.
CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.
With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:
Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.
Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.
Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.
The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?
Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.
Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.
While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.