The 2014 Sochi Olympics are approaching with great haste, and many players on a varying list of rosters in the NHL are slated to represent their various countries of origin. This, of course, includes the extremely talented collection of players that comprise Stanley Cup champs, the Chicago Blackhawks.
While a majority of the players within the Blackhawks organization are projected to represent Canada in the winter games, there are a myriad of other players slated to represent their home countries.
For instance, Marian Hossa and Michal Handzus could very well represent Slovakia in Sochi. For the Slovakian hockey team, their defense and goaltending are expected to be their strengths in the games.
Handzus is a center, who skates on the second line with Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad. Handzus was faced with an injury early on in the season which has left him to play 24 of the 41 games so far. In those games, however, Handzus has been a great asset to the team. He has the ability to make incredible scoring opportunities out on the ice, with a dynamite 22.4 shooting percentage.
Hossa skates at right-wing on the infamous first line with center Jonathan Toews and fellow winger Patrick Sharp. The thing about this rock solid first line, is that each individual player is so versatile and strong that when they are put together, can become one lethal combination out on the ice. Hossa has 14 goals and 20 assists on the season, which should more than assure his presence on the Slovakian team.
These are two incredible offensive players. This causes me to believe that with the appropriate combination of players out on the ice, the Slovakian team will be able to take advantage of the incredible offense that has been cultivated within the players on the Blackhawks roster.
While it is important for a hockey team to cultivate and exercise the full force of their defense out on the ice, you cannot win a match without finding the back of the net. That being said, Handzus and Hossa will have the ability to bring that offensive weight to the Slovakian team when the winter games unite these two with teammates from their native country in Sochi.