(Photo: NHL Youtube)

Marian Hossa‘s recent hot streak has the NHL hailing him the first star of the week for the week of Feb. 9 to Feb. 15, a stunner for fans, and a motivational force for his own team.

(Los Angeles Kings forward Tyler Toffoli was named the second star with four goals, two assists. The first place Nashville Predators‘ netminder Pekka Rinne took third star, going 3-0-0 with a .954 save percentage and a 1.30 goals-against average.)

In that time, Hossa led the league with five goals and tied for second with six points in a string of home games Feb. 9 against the Arizona Coyotes, Feb. 11 against the Vancouver Canucks, and two days later versus the New Jersey Devils.

But, throwing in an additional day, Feb. 8, Hossa tallied another two goals against the St. Louis Blues. This was the warmup for multiple points per game in four consecutive games.

St. Louis Blues

In the Blackhawks’ 4-2 victory over the Blues, Hossa was effective on the team’s lagging power play in the third period.

He fired in a shot on a play set up by Brandon Saad and Bryan Bickell to give Chicago a 3-2 lead with 8:41 left in the game.

“I just tried to finish it,” Hossa said after the game. “That was a set play and I’m glad it worked.”

His empty-netter, with Saad’s help again, gave them a 4-2 finish.

Arizona Coyotes

The next day, across the Mississippi River and just under 300 miles away back at the United Center, Hossa scored Chicago’s two regulation goals with the help of Captain Jonathan Toews in their shootout loss to the Coyotes.

With 7:16 left in the second, Hossa shoveled the puck in at close range thanks to a nice dish from Toews for a 1-0 lead.

Then, down 2-1 with 7:42 left in the game, Hossa flicked the game-tying goal in five-hole.

 

The team was unable to score in overtime and lost the shootout for an ultimate 3-2 loss–Coach Joel Quenneville said after the game that Hossa would have been up next had it gone to another round.  

 

Vancouver Canucks

Two days later, Hossa teamed up with Saad, Toews, Michal Rozsival and Patrick Kane for another two goals in the Blackhawks’ 5-4 overtime loss to the Canucks.

After a relatively uneventful first period, the goaltenders stopped a flurry of 77 shots and allowed nine by, counting overtime.

The high-scoring game featured goals by Kane, Linden Vey, Bo Horvat, and Zack Kassian in the second period alone.

With 7:12 left in the third, Hossa edged Chicago closer to Vancouver’s lead by knocking in a pass from Toews and Saad.

Daniel Sedin extended the Canucks’ lead next, before Saad made it 4-3.

Then, Hossa tied the game with less than a minute in regulation, rushing up ice to take an unbelievable angle shot with moves that would make other 36-year-olds (OK, and me) jealous.

Ultimately, Daniel Sedin would score in overtime with help from Henrik Sedin and Luca Sbisa to steal the extra point for the Canucks.

 New Jersey Devils

Hossa had one goal and one assist in the Blackhawks 3-1 victory over the Devils. With Toews, Saad, and Brent Seabrook, Hossa was able to continue a points streak on his hot week.

Down by one into the third period, Hossa finessed through the offensive zone on the power play and, with a quick release at the faceoff circle, tied the game.

Hossa then passed back and forth with Toews, ultimately setting the captain up for the go-ahead goal.

Pittsburgh Penguins

This game was a bit of a slump for the Slovakian forward, who, despite 21:34 of ice time didn’t tally a goal or assist in the Blackhawks’ 2-1 shootout win.

Detroit Redwings

Hossa was back in action, though, against his former team. Even though Chicago fell 3-2 in the shootout, his second period assist helped keep the Hawks alive.

Hossa passed the puck to Saad as they entered the offensive zone and stayed on the defensemen while Saad went top shelf with 3:11 left in the second.

 

Hot, Hot Hossa

In the first 52 games of the season, Hossa scored 10 goals. Now, he is in the Blackhawks’ top three scorers and top-50 for the league.

He told the Chicago Tribune he attributes new skates, additional workouts, and persistence to his recent burst of offense.

“There are lots of great young kids in the league who are strong and fast so I need to do a little bit extra to keep up with them,” Hossa said. “I try to keep working on my speed by doing exercises away from the rink and in the gym on my legs. Little things are helping. I try to keep up.”

His teammates beg to differ.

 


Hossa’s boost is just what the Blackhawks need as they chase the Predators. And it’s a reminder for any players who may be slumping.

“All of a sudden, the puck is going in for you,” Hossa told the Chicago Tribune. “You’re getting more confidence and you start doing more right plays. You start taking people one-on-one and things are going your way. … It’s a little bit of luck with more confidence combined. You have that feeling when you have the puck good things will happen.”

The Blackhawks finish their eight-game homestand with games against the Colorado Avalanche at 7:30 p.m. CT tonight, against the Boston Bruins at 2:00 p.m. CT Sunday, and at 7:30 p.m. CT Feb. 24 against the Florida Panthers.

Carly Mullady grew up needing to know more about icing than its deliciousness on cupcakes. She's the lone daughter of four children, with a father who was among the last cut from the Midwest tryouts for the 1980 Miracle on Ice Olympic team. And she knows very little matches the thrill that happens from puck-drop to handshakes. A rink didn’t return to her hometown until she was gone, but she’s been able to see two younger brothers on the ice. She's their feistiest fan. Her other hockey loyalty lies with the Blackhawks--whether it's meant seeing games for $8 with student IDs when the Madhouse didn’t have much of a temper at all, or dancing to Chelsea Dagger at standing room only--there’s something magical about a roaring anthem, the Indianhead sweater, and the Original Six. A former journalist and current editor, she carries a penchant for excitement (and maybe even fighting) with a resume that includes working for Chicago-area newspapers, and television, including The Jerry Springer Show, as well as NBCUniversal in New York. After East Coast living and a return to the Chicago area, the new Mrs. is giving Graceland a go with her Southern Gent, who now shares her adoration of the game, and their rescue dog, Doc Holliday. Other interests include Cubs, Bears, Illini, Crimson Tide, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, baking a mean pineapple upside-down cake, Kate Spade accessories, and a properly coordinated cardigan for every ensemble.

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