If anyone had any reservations about how Marian Hossa would perform after leaving last year’s playoffs with that awful concussion, they likely don’t anymore. Even those, like myself, that expected some rust were completely wrong. Marian Hossa has come out firing on all cylinders.
If there was a benefit of the over three months of nonsense that was the NHL lockout, it’s that it gave Hossa time to recover and prepare for the upcoming season. And that time was used completely to his advantage.
Through two games, Hossa has four goals and an assist. He leads the league in goals and points. Obviously, it’s just the first pair of games in a 48-game season, but he has been the best player for the Hawks and has proven that he is completely healthy after the Raffi Torres hit.
Even better, aside from the points, is that Hossa’s all-around game is completely intact. He’s not backing down. He’s still possessing the puck as well as he has always done, and he’s playing good defense from up front as well, as he has also always done.
The fact that his second two-goal performance of the season came against the Phoenix Coyotes is even better news. The game wasn’t as chippy or physical as expected, but you knew Hossa was going to be ready for it. And ready he was, with a pair of goals, including the one that would go on to be the game-winner.
Hossa obviously isn’t going to score a pair of goals every single game. But he’s an effective player even when he’s not scoring. Perhaps that was the biggest concern surrounding come back from this injury. Would he be the same effective player in all aspects of the game, even if the points were still there?
The answer so far is yes. After finishing with the most points on this Chicago Blackhawks team last year, Hossa is already on a quest to repeat that. The concerns over his injury are now gone, and he’s already returned to that high level. I guess we could thank the lockout for that.