Author: Jason Brough

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Three

Quenneville thinks Hossa ‘could be’ the next Jagr or Selanne


CHICAGO — A couple of weeks ago, I took some heat for writing that Marian Hossa’s age would be a challenge for the Blackhawks in the coming years.

In reality, I meant it as a compliment. Hossa is 36. He can’t play forever, because nobody can. It’s the same argument I’ve made when it comes to Zdeno Chara in Boston.

Some players are so important to their teams that when they get to a certain age, it’s only natural (for me at least) to question how much longer they’ve got as elite players.

Well, last night, Hossa showed that he’s still capable of an elite performance. Even if he did miss an open net, the oldest forward on his team played the most of any forward (23:56). He also finished with two assists, including a perfect pass to set up Brandon Saad on a one-timer for the Blackhawks’ second goal.

So, given how he played, and given what I’d written, I asked coach Joel Quenneville today if he thought Hossa could be the next Jaromir Jagr or Teemu Selanne, the rare forward that can play at a high level into his late 30s, or even into his 40s.

“He could be,” said Quenneville. “He loves the game. He does a nice job of taking care of himself, preparing so he can go into games and be great, do the best he can each and every night.

“He had the puck a lot last night. Had an outstanding chance early. Stayed with it. I thought that line was dangerous at times. He was very effective last night.”

For the record, I stand by my argument. Hossa proved last night that he remains a very good player. However, he also remains human. Among active players, only Jagr (202) has appeared in more playoff games than he has (191).

Hossa fans should take it as a compliment when people wonder how long he’s got left as a great player. It means his importance has been appreciated.

Lightning aim to get ‘greedy’ and take two in Chicago


CHICAGO — The best investors will tell you there’s no such thing as playing with house money. Any money you’ve earned is yours, and yours alone. The only thing to do next is earn more.

After winning Game 3 in Chicago to take a 2-1 lead in the Stanley Cup Final, the Tampa Bay Lightning will try to take that attitude into Game 4, also at the United Center.

“We came here to get a win. Last night we got one,” said veteran forward Brenden Morrow. “We got to get greedy and get another one tomorrow night. That’s our focus.”

Of course, that’s easier said than done. The little voice in the back of your mind that tells you that you’ve already guaranteed a split — and that’s pretty good, isn’t it? — can be tough to ignore.

The Chicago Blackhawks will have something to say about Game 4, too.

“That locker room over there, there’s no panic in their game right now,” said Morrow. “They’ve been here before. They know what it takes.”

For the Lightning, it’s about recognizing what a victory Wednesday night could mean. Going back to Tampa with a 3-1 lead? Which would leave three whole games to get just one win? And two of those games at home?

That’s reason enough to get greedy.

“We’re inching our way along, but we’re not there yet,” warned coach Jon Cooper. “I don’t think anybody’s looking ahead. We’re looking at Game4. That’s it.”

Strong ratings continue for Stanley Cup Final

Nikita Kucherov, Corey Crawford

Last night’s Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final drew the third-best SCF ratings ever for NBCSN, according to the folks at NBC Sports PR.

The strong ratings for Chicago were largely expected; however, the high level of interest in Tampa has been a surprise for some. Given the Lightning are now two wins from a championship, expect that level of interest to only grow.


Tomorrow’s Game 4 is also on NBCSN, before the action shifts back to NBC for the remainder of the series.

Related: Here’s your 2015 Stanley Cup Final schedule