The comparison of a full professional sports season to a roller coaster is fairly accurate, especially in the NHL. For the Chicago Blackhawks, the past few games have certainly been a low point, with the team slumping by their standards.
And yet, amidst it all, the team’s top line continued to produce, persevering amidst poor performances and line changes. While Jonathan Toews is the captain and Patrick Sharp the shooter, now 35-year-old Marian Hossa is the hypothetical glue holding one of the most explosive combination of forwards together.
Hossa ranks fourth in the NHL in +/- rating, a testament to the veteran defensive prowess he brings to the team, and nobody else is simply able to replicate. What’s also brilliant about Hossa’s game is his hands and body positioning, enabling him, not surprisingly, to lead the league in takeaways.
Looking at Hossa’s long, storied career, it’s incredible how consistently healthy he has been, and will ideally continue to be. Hossa did not play in the preseason due to recovery from a back injury sustained in the playoffs last year, but has appeared in 43 of the team’s 48 contests so far.
The Olympics are once again this year, and Hossa will once again be representing Slovakia. He is likely to add about five to seven more contests on his body, but will not be playing a physical game on a North American size playing surface.
For now though, all Blackhawks fans can continue to do is marvel at the consistency Hossa provides and how healthy he has continued to be over the course of his 12-year contract with the organization. It is unclear if the Blackhawks will be able to find spacing in the tight Western Conference standings to give him rest during season’s end, but if anyone has deserved it, it’s Marian Hossa.
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