NHL Chicago Blackhawks

Marian Hossa Is Finding His Stride as No. 1

Blackhawks: Marian Hossa

James Guillory- USA TODAY Sports

Sports teams tend to come under criticism when the members of their roster start to show signs of being a bit outdated and irrelevant. The Chicago Blackhawks have experienced a similar brand of criticism when it comes to their No. 2 netminder Nikolai Khabibulin.

The Blackhawks have, however, no such problem when it comes to Marian Hossa. He struggled with a back injury through a great deal of last season and even missed the entire exhibition schedule.

There is no question about Hossa’s veteran status, but despite his years of ice time adding up, he has found his stride. While his start was slow and it took some time to find that championship stride, it is plain to see, Hossa is back and on the road to being better than ever.

Coach Joel Quenneville commented, “He’s progressed each and every day. You see more of that quickness and that length of his stride. You notice him going up the ice quick and you notice him come back hard and even quicker. There is more pace to his game, and when he has that, he influences pucks all over the ice.”

Quenneville is right. Hossa is the most clutch player on the Hawks’ roster right now and has contributed greatly to their victorious outcomes. Wednesday night’s game against the Winnipeg Jets will have Hossa with a season production of six goals and six assists.

He may be seven goals shy of the 13 goal records of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, but he is putting forth an effort that is recognized by everyone. He is the most consistent, and he is the guy that is always there when you need him to make a play.

Hossa said that with “playing more and more games, I feel like the timing is getting back. The skating is also much better. You need to play lots of games to get back to where you feel good.”

I think I can speak for the entirety of Chicago Blackhawk fans when I say, its great to have you back, Hoss.

Hossa is known for skating with Toews and Patrick Sharp, which has proved to be one of the most threatening trios in the NHL. Goalies must heighten their awareness when these three take to the ice. They have the ability to create scoring chances, seemingly out of mid air. They are a threat each and every time they skate and they continue to build their offense.

It is obvious that Hossa is a beast of a skater. With his skills falling back into place and the rest of the team aligning in the same fashion, the Blackhawks will be able to dominate the rest of the season. It is great that the fresher faces on the squad have a variety of veteran skaters to look up to, but I think looking to Hossa is their best bet at success.

Kelsey Meyer is a Chicago Blackhawks writer for RantSports.com, follow her on Twitter @storminmormon20 and add her to your network on Google