Blackhawks

Blackhawks: Marian Hossa off to strong postseason start

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Blackhawks: Marian Hossa off to strong postseason start

The phrase describing a player as “being all over the place,” be it on a field or on ice, gets used a lot.

In the case of Marian Hossa, especially in Game 3 of the Blackhawks’ first-round series against the Nashville Predators, it seemed fitting: another big-stage game, another big-stage performance for the right wing.

“Every season he gets older but he looks younger out there on the ice,” Brent Seabrook said. “He’s special. He’s one of those guys who it’s amazing to see.”

[MORE BLACKHAWKS: Corey Crawford regrouping, happy for Scott Darling]

Is it reaching that extra gear? Finding that second wind? They’re more clichés but they’re all applicable when it comes to Hossa’s ability to raise his game level when necessary. He was part of a top-line onslaught on Sunday, when he did everything but score a goal. And he was close to doing that, too. Hossa played 15 1/2 minutes, recording a team-high six shots, two takeaways and two hits. He also assisted on Jonathan Toews’ second-period goal, leaving a drop pass for Toews once he realized the Blackhawks captain was gaining.

“Yeah I was going to release it but then I saw he was coming right behind me and he was wide open,” Hossa said. “I just tried to drop it to him, go to the net. He picked a really low blocker and it was a hard shot to react on it.”

Hossa isn’t one to praise his own work; his teammates, however, are more than happy to do it.

“He’s always been, I would say, a playoff performer,” Michal Rozsival said. “Every time in his career, this time of the year he’s always elevated his game. He’s played well in the second half and continues to play well now. You can tell he loves this time of year.”

The Blackhawks’ top line of Hossa, Toews and Brandon Saad was not happy with how it played in Game 2 on Friday night. The three felt they could have been a lot better on both sides of the puck. With Nashville defenseman Shea Weber out of Game 3 – he would have faced that top line, as he usually does for the Predators – the trio knew it had to take advantage of his absence. Hossa was the catalyst for that, offensively and defensively.

[NBC SPORTS SHOP: Buy a Marian Hossa jersey here]

“He’s been real good,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “Hoss is one of those players who guides our team by playing the right way. Whether it’s back checking or speed off the rush, you notice that pace he brings. He has even more of a step come playoff time. He knows what’s at stake and he likes to contribute at this time of the season.”

Hossa loves this time of year; that’s evident in his play. Perhaps the playoffs provide a fountain-of-youth affect or maybe it’s just being a veteran player who realizes the enormity of this time of year. Either way, Hossa has reached that next level, or hit the extra gear. The Blackhawks will take it.

“Hoss has been one of the best players in the league for a long time,” Seabrook said. “To be able to see him the last six or seven playoff runs we’ve been on, he always brings it and ratchets it up a little.”

Blackhawks' jersey voted best in NHL by NHLPA poll

Blackhawks' jersey voted best in NHL by NHLPA poll

The 2019-20 NHLPA Players' Poll was released on Tuesday morning and despite no individual nods, which Chicago has been accustomed to in the past, Blackhawks fans will be happy to see the Hawks win one key franchise award: best jersey.

The Blackhawks demolished the competition in this category winning 28.25% of the vote. The Vegas Golden Knights and Toronto Maple Leafs tied for second place at 6.83% for their sweaters.

Nearly 600 NHL players were surveyed prior to the NHL pause for a variety of league-related categories for the poll.  

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Hawks Rewind: Blackhawks-Canucks Game 6 of 2010 Western Conference Semifinals

Hawks Rewind: Blackhawks-Canucks Game 6 of 2010 Western Conference Semifinals

Tuesday at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Chicago:

A heartbreaker for the Canucks and another decisive, confidence-building victory for the 2010 Blackhawks.

Following Game 5's 4-1 win at the United Center over Chicago, Vancouver had come within one in the series, making it 3-2 Hawks. The Blackhawks had won the previous three games.

After a 0-0 first period in Game 6 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, three consecutive unanswered goals in the second period put Chicago in good shape heading into the third. Troy Brouwer and Kris Versteeg scored within the first three minutes of the second and Dave Bolland added a goal with 45 seconds remaining in the frame.

After Shane O'Brien scored at 3:44 of the third for the Canucks, Patrick Kane lit the lamp at 8:17, followed by Dustin Byfuglien at 8:42 for the 5-1 final score.

Kane's Game 6 goal unleashed his now famous "heartbreaker" celebration where he outlines a heart with both gloves and punched through it. 

The Blackhawks won the series 4-2 and would be on their way to play the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference Final. 

Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit mysportschicago.com.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.