Blackhawks

Refreshed Marian Hossa off to great start: 'Seems like he's getting better with age'

Refreshed Marian Hossa off to great start: 'Seems like he's getting better with age'

Little Zoja Hossa grabbed her father Marian’s nose as he was honored for his 500th career goal, stealing the pregame ceremony spotlight the way her dad does pucks from opposing players.

“I wasn’t sure, because John (McDonough, Blackhawks president) had a great speech, and I didn’t know the camera was on us,” Hossa said after the game. “The kids made a pretty funny moment.”

It was a great opening to a great night for Hossa, who’s gotten off to a very nice start to this season. Hossa has seven points (three goals, four assists) through his first eight games and looks rejuvenated, especially since jumping onto the second line with Artemi Panarin and Artem Anisimov.

“I think he's really strong on the puck like usual,” Patrick Kane said. “You know, maybe he's just getting some more bounces. He's been playing that way for a long time, so it seems like he's finally getting some bounces and being able to put up some numbers. Yeah, great start for him. I think with Hoss, we're kind of familiar with it where he's going to play the same all the time. When he scores like he has been or produces like he has been, it's huge for our team.”

[SHOP BLACKHAWKS: Get a Marian Hossa jersey right here]

The Blackhawks have always appreciated what Hossa’s brought. If there’s ever a time he frustrates them, it’s when they have to face him in battle drills during practices.

“Sucks,” Brent Seabrook said to laughs. “I went against him last time we did it. It’s like you’re going against two guys the way he’s able to use his stick. You gotta deal with his body, his feet and you think you’re in good position to poke the puck away and he smacks your stick away.”

His game overall has been strong. Hossa has said several times that, as disappointing as it was that the Blackhawks lost in the first round last season, the long summer was beneficial to him physically. That, and he hit the ground running with the World Cup of Hockey, where he was a big part of Team Europe’s surprising run to the final.

“World Cup was great because I played every night and plenty more minutes, so I got in good shape,” Hossa said. “And coming to Chicago, I had a good opportunity right now playing with the two skilled Russian players. The last two games have been fun and good thing we start winning.”

After a long offseason Hossa looks refreshed and energetic. Last season, there were questions as to how much he had left in his career. Judging from his start, he’s definitely not done yet.

“He’s such an accomplished player,” Seabrook said. “What he’s been able to do in his career has been amazing to watch from afar and to play with him and see it firsthand. Nice to see him get that recognition last night and see how he was able to produce, play well. Seems like he’s getting better with age.”

Blackhawks announce second round of roster cuts

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USA Today

Blackhawks announce second round of roster cuts

After making a first wave of roster cuts to pare their roster down from 55 to 49, the Blackhawks announced a more significant second round Saturday afternoon.

Per the team, forwards Dylan Sikura, Matthew Highmore, Brandon Hagel, Philipp Kurashev, Mikael Hakkarainen, Alexandre Fortin, Reese Johnson, MacKenzie Entwistle, defensemen Nicolas Beaudin, Joni Tuulola, Lucas Carlsson and goaltender Matt Tomkins have all been assigned to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League.

The Blackhawks roster now consists of 33 players: 18 forwards, 11 defensemen and four goaltenders. 

The news comes just hours before the Blackhawks square off with the Bruins in the team's fourth game of the preseason Saturday night.

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Blackhawks announce lineup for fourth preseason game

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USA Today

Blackhawks announce lineup for fourth preseason game

The Blackhawks announced the full 16-man roster for the team's preseason matchup against the Bruins tonight, and there are a couple interesting decisions to note:

 

For the second straight game, Alex Nylander will play on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, a further indication that he has impressed head coach Jeremy Colliton with his recent play. In two preseason games with the Blackhawks, Nylander has tallied one goal and two assists. 

Additionally, newcomer Olli Maata and Brent Seabrook stick together as the second defensive pair. Maata and Seabrook have been consistently paired together since Training Camp Festival.

It was also announced that Robin Lehner will start in goal and play the entirety of the game, which will give the team and fans alike a look at what they can expect from the newly acquired goaltender.

You can watch the Blackhawks and Bruins square off tonight at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Chicago+ or via the MyTeams app.

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.