Throughout the 2019-20 season, NBC Sports Chicago will be unveiling its Blackhawks All-Decade Team. The roster will feature the 14 forwards, 7 defensemen and two goaltenders that made the biggest impact on the franchise from the 2010 through 2019 seasons.
Perhaps nobody said it better than Blackhawks President & CEO John McDonough: “The Chicago Blackhawks do not win a Stanley Cup, let alone three, without Marian Hossa.”
Hossa’s arrival in free agency in the summer of 2009 sent a message to the rest of the league that the Blackhawks were not only a destination for elite players, but also that they were a franchise all-in on trying to win Stanley Cups. “It’s not just because of his performance on the ice,” said McDonough. “Sometimes culturally it’s just to be in the same locker room with a guy who comports himself professionally, knows how to win, great work ethic, terrific habits.”
Hossa had a presence within the Blackhawks’ dressing room and immediately earned the respect of his teammates. Not only does he receive lots of credit for the franchise’s culture change, but many credit his influence on Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews as a major reason why they became the NHL superstars they are today. Because of that presence, there is certainly no coincidence that since Hossa’s departure, the Blackhawks have not seen the playoffs. “You can’t replace Marian Hossa,” said Stan Bowman before the start of the season. “I think we’ve certainly felt it the last couple years. He was such an important part of our team. We never would have won any of our Stanley Cups without Marian’s contributions.”
Marian Hossa spent eight seasons in Chicago, amassing 415 points in 534 games with the Blackhawks. In the playoffs, Hossa racked up 73 points in 107 games and the Blackhawks reached the postseason in all eight of his seasons in Chicago. For his contributions to Chicago both on and off the ice, he makes the Blackhawks All-Decade Team as the second line right winger.
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Corey Crawford captured a coveted goalie milestone with another solid performance in a 2-1 shootout victory for the Blackhawks on Friday in New Jersey. The Hawks (12-12-5) beat the Atlantic division-leading Bruins 4-3 in overtime in Boston with Robin Lehner in net on Thursday before playing the Devils, last in the Metropolitan, Friday with Crawford starting.
"It's important to try to climb back up in the standings," Crawford said following the game. "We had a few tough games, it seems like it's been pretty streaky the first quarter of the season, but when we're playing well I think we're pretty tough to beat. We just got to try to find that game as much as possible.
"But that was obviously a big win to start it and against one of the best teams in the league (the Bruins) and having a big lead too, going late into the third period, and then a team that's a little bit lower in the standings (the Devils), but you still have to come out hard and play, no games are easy. It was pretty competitive out there but it's nice to find a way to win."
The two-time Stanley Cup champ saved 29 of 30 shots through overtime, including a Miles Wood breakaway with 11 seconds remaining in the second period and the game tied 1-1. He also stopped three of five New Jersey Devils shooters including Taylor Hall and 2019 No. 1 overall pick Jack Hughes in the shootout.
Crawford became the 59th goalie in NHL history to record 250 wins. The 34-year-old is one of 13 active NHL goalies and just the third Hawks netminder to reach the milestone (Glen Hall: 276, Tony Esposito: 418).
Crawford is 250-149-52 in 464 games with the Blackhawks and has 26 shutouts.
The Blackhawks won 2-1 against the New Jersey Devils in a shootout on Friday. Here are five takeaways:
Top to bottom
The Hawks were looking to establish some momentum in Jersey following a big win Thursday in Boston. Jonathan Toews scored in overtime and Alex DeBrincat ended a 12-game goal drought to help the Hawks to a 4-3 OT win over the Bruins, ending the Blackhawks' 3-game losing streak in which they were outscored 16-5.
Going from facing the first place team in the Atlantic division (second in the NHL) on Thursday to the last place team in the Metropolitan division (second to last in the league) on Friday proved to be tougher than imagined.
Alex DeBrincat scored the lone regulation goal for Chicago and Kirby Dach, the No. 3 pick of the 2019 NHL Draft, scored the final goal of the shootout and set up No. 1 pick Jack Hughes to get stopped by Corey Crawford for the 2-1 final score. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane also scored in the shootout for the Blackhawks.
Corey Crawford won his 250th NHL game on Friday. The two-time Stanley Cup champ is the 59th goalie in NHL history to reach the milestone and one of 13 active netminders to do so. The 34-year-old is the third goalie to reach 250 wins with the Blackhawks.
Crawford saved 29 of 30 New Jersey shots ahead of the shootout.
Cat on the prowl
DeBrincat scored his second goal in two games after not lighting the lamp in his previous 12. This is a good sign for the forward, who is known to score in bunches.
Gilbert getting noticed
Dennis Gilbert skated in his second straight game with the Hawks with Olli Maatta (flu-like symptoms) missing both contents on the road trip. Gilbert had a solid game in Boston Thursday and improved his case Friday, putting a big hit on Hughes then having a decent showing after answering the bell with Wayne Simmonds.
Kane tied Andy Bathgate for 93rd on the NHL career points list (973), assisting on DeBrincat's second period goal.