May 27, 2010

Puck On The 'Net: Marian Hossa: Chicago's Secret Weapon?

Here's Thursday's Slap Shots:
  • I've tweeted this line before - the only thing that can stop Chicago from winning the Stanley Cup now is the curse of Marian Hossa. He has been on the losing side of each of the last two Stanley Cup finals, after all. But it might just be that Marian Hossa will finally break out in the Finals. He is a bit of Flyers killer historically. In 16 career Stanley Cup playoff games vs. Philadelphia Hossa has scored 8 goals, 14 assists for an impressive 22 points.
  • Hossa does get a bad wrap because of his contract. 12 years and $63 million for a guy with a spotty playoff record. Heck, this post season the Blackhawks' highest paid player has just 2 goals in 16 games. While he probably shouldn't be getting paid as a gamebreaker, he does bring a lot to the table that does go unheralded, including his strong defensive play.
  • I've probably come across as expecting Chicago to decisively trump Philadelphia in the finals. But the Flyers are not as huge an underdog as I and others may think. They have nearly the same offensive depth up front, an equally good coach, an equally good goaltender, and perhaps superior specialty teams. But I believe this series will be based on who has the blue line. Somehow I just don't see Philadelphia's rearguards handling the size and speed of the Hawks very well.
  • By the way, Philadelphia took the only meeting between these two teams in the regular season, winning 3-2 on home ice on March 13th, 2010. Cristobal Huet played in net for Chicago.

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