Tag: Marian Hossa

Saad goal

Video: Saad comes up short in first frame, opens floodgates in second


With their season on the line, the Chicago Blackhawks had some great opportunities to strike first in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final, but they couldn’t quite capitalize in the opening frame.

Perhaps Chicago’s best chance of the first period occurred near the halfway mark when a turnover by Ryan Getzlaf led to a great opportunity in front by Brandon Saad. Goaltender Frederik Andersen was able to stretch out to make the save.

Chicago also nearly opened up this game late in the frame when Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen wasn’t able to control the puck in the neutral zone, which led to Patrick Sharp flinging a shot at Andersen. The Ducks goalie made the initial save, but surrendered a juicy rebound for Teuvo Teravainen. Unfortunately for Chicago, he ended up missing the net.

You can watch those plays below:

Saad got another chance to bury the puck in the second period though and this time he would not be denied:

That opened up the floodgates as Marian Hossa and then Patrick Kane both found the back of the net within four minutes of Saad’s marker.

Hossa’s age just one of the challenges facing Blackhawks

Marian Hossa, Ryan Kesler

Did you know that Marian Hossa is the second-oldest forward still playing in these playoffs?

It’s true — only Martin St. Louis, 39, is older.

In the playoffs, Hossa, 36, has been the fifth-oldest forward overall. During the regular season, only 17 forwards in the entire league were older than he was.

Why are we bringing this up? Because Hossa only played 14:44 last night in Anaheim, his lowest ice time in these playoffs.

So, is he hurt? Or, is he just tired?  

Yesterday, an article in the Chicago Sun-Times questioned whether all the “marathons” the Blackhawks have played this postseason were taking a toll:

Hossa as much as any Hawk gives it all he’s got. You can see the determination in his game. But the reality is that after 17 seasons in the NHL, he is challenged more than most to maintain his level of impact as the minutes pile up. 

To be sure, Hossa remains a very effective player. He has 11 points in 15 playoff games, and his possession stats are among the best on the Blackhawks. But his age is a factor, whether fans like it or not. It’s the same thing in Boston with Zdeno Chara and Detroit with Pavel Datsyuk.

Hossa may not get the accolades those two do, possibly because so much attention is given to teammates Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith. But he’s been vitally important in the Blackhawks’ two championship runs in the last five years. There aren’t many, if any, wingers who play such a strong two-way game.

Hossa isn’t going anywhere. He still has six seasons left on his front-loaded, 12-year contract — the kind of contract they don’t allow anymore. There could be a cap-recapture issue down the line.

But for the Blackhawks to remain contenders over the next few years, it’ll be up to youngsters like Teuvo Teravainen and Artemi Panarin to step up and offset the decline in Hossa’s play — a decline that happens to even the greatest players as they get older.

Shocked Ducks: Toews forces OT with two goals in final two minutes

Toews goal

The Anaheim Ducks led for 54:12 consecutive minutes tonight, but they just couldn’t keep Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews down forever.

With Chicago trailing by two goals and less than two minutes left in regulation time, Toews gave Chicago a glimmer of hope by rocking a one-timer set up by Marian Hossa:

The Blackhawks pulled goaltender Corey Crawford and with 37 seconds remaining, Toews once again found himself with the puck and flung it towards netminder Frederik Andersen from a bad angle. He needed luck to be on his side to cash in on that attempt and this time it was:

Those were Toews sixth and seventh goals of the 2015 playoffs. With the Western Conference Final tied at 2-2, this could be looked back on as the turning point for Chicago. Anaheim will do everything it can to make sure that’s not the case, but its lost two overtime games to the Blackhawks already.

Toews didn’t want to show ‘any frustration’ after going without a goal before Game 4

source: Getty Images
Getty Images

After going without a goal, and held to only one assist, through the first three games of the Western Conference Final, Jonathan Toews finally scored for the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.

And what a beauty it was, as Toews showed plenty of patience as he roofed the puck over a sprawled Frederik Andersen. That gave the Blackhawks the lead in the third period. They would cough it up, allowing three Anaheim goals in 37 seconds, before coming back and winning in double overtime to even the series.

The pressure had been mounting on Chicago’s top forwards.

Toews has had to go up against Ryan Kesler throughout this series, with the two jousting and slashing and chirping during various moments in Game 4. His line that includes Marian Hossa and Brandon Saad had some dominant shifts, too, and was rewarded in the third period.

“I kind of feel that pressure all the time. I know it’s there. Most of it I put on myself. Just in some ways got to stay patient and not show any frustration or show any sign of anything snowballing in the wrong direction for my own game,” Toews told reporters.

“I think as a line with Hoss and Saad, we generated a lot. Finally got a bounce. That’s what I was waiting for. Made a difference in the game. Hopefully can continue that confidence that scoring gives you. Continue to make big plays. Whether on the goal score, contributing on the play, whatever the situation might be, you know, to try to get our team on the board, but be responsible on the defensive side, as well.”

Video: Ducks hold off Blackhawks in Game 3 to take series lead

Getty Images

Patrick Kane had the puck on his stick, only seconds left in regulation, with a chance to send Game 3 to overtime. He missed, just barely, his shot sliding off the outside of the post.

And from there, the Anaheim Ducks were able to hold off the Chicago Blackhawks to take Thursday’s game by a final score of 2-1, which now also happens to be Anaheim’s lead in this Western Conference Final.

Sorry, no marathon overtime.

Simon Despres had never scored a Stanley Cup playoff goal before Thursday. His slap shot blast that beat Corey Crawford in the final minute of the second period stood as the winner. Talk about perfect timing.

The Blackhawks had their chances, but couldn’t take advantage.

They had five power play opportunities and were unsuccessful with each and every one of them. They are now 2-for-13 in the series. Their only goals with the advantage were in Game 2.

Chicago’s top players are also struggling to produce offensively so far in this series.

Kane did score late in the opening period for his first goal and point of this series. Jonathan Toews has only one point — an assist in Game 2. Marian Hossa has only one point. Patrick Sharp doesn’t have a point in four games.

It’s something to keep an eye on for Game 4 on Saturday.