Marian Hossa has reached the point of his career where people are going to wonder when age and 1261 games played in the NHL will catch up with him. 2013-14 was not that season and it doesn't look like it is coming any time soon. Marian Hossa is not your average 35 year old. I can vouch for that statement as I am the same age and I need a nap after watching the pregame skate.
Hossa played 72 games during the regular season which was more than I expected. He needed all summer to rest a bad back that kept him out of Game 3 of last year's Stanley Cup Final so I figured Joel Quenneville was going to give Marian plenty of nights off. It was hard to give Hossa a breather once he was added to a line with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp in mid December. This line went on to put up some huge numbers over the next few weeks and was even called the Red Wedding Line by our friends at Hockee Night.
Hossa finished the regular season with 60 points which was fifth on the team and his 30 goals was second only behind Patrick Sharp's 34. He had 15 games with multiple points. His 49 primary points (goals + primary assists) was fourth most for the Blackhawks. He finished the season tied with Jonathan Toews for the team lead in short handed goals with three. He was second behind Toews in CF% at 57.6. 58,8% of the goals scored while Hossa was on the ice were scored by the Blackhawks. He did all of this with a 30.0 QoCTOI% which was second highest on the team and the fifth highest in the entire NHL.
One of the greatest joys of being at a Blackhawks game in person is watching just Hossa while he is on the ice. For as good as he is with the puck, he is even better without. He is always moving within the offensive zone creating room for his teammates, He is an absolute beast to get off the puck. He had only 26 giveaways all season which averaged to just one every two games.
Hossa is at his best when the Blackhawks don't have the puck. He is one of the better back checkers on the team and plays relentless defense. He was credited with 75 takeaways which was by far the most on the team and the fifth most in the NHL, He finished fifth in the Selke voting for the best defensive forward in the league, which surprisingly the highest he has ever finished and only the second time he was in the top ten. The first time was his 10th place finish in 2013. If one winger were to end the stranglehold that centers have on the award it will be Marian Hossa. Having Hossa and Jonathan Toews playing defense on the same line is just unfair.....for everybody else.
Hossa took some criticism for only scoring two goals in the post season, but he was one of the best overall players throughout the duration of the playoffs. He was tied with Patrick Kane and Brent Seabrook for the team lead in assists with 12. He had 18 takeaways in the post season. Only Ryan McDonagh, of the Rangers, had more with 20 but he played six more games. Except for goals, he continued to put up very good numbers against the top lines of the Blues, Wild and Kings.
Marian Hossa's contract will cause Blackhawks' fans its fair share of worry over the next few seasons. I don't think we need to lose sleep over it right now. We should just sit back and enjoy one of the best all around players to ever wear the famous Indian Head sweater.
Final Grade : A