Featured image: NHL/Blackhawks infographic
Perhaps Marian Hossa‘s gold stick came with magical powers. Since hitting his 500th goal (coincidentally his first of the season) Oct. 18, he’s scored six goals, tallied two assists, and contributed to a seven-game win streak for the 10-3-1 Blackhawks.
It could be the stick. Then again, there could be power in a nose-honk from cute daughters like Zoja.
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) October 31, 2016
Just prior was an overtime game-winner Sunday night, launching the Hawks 4-3 over Dallas Stars. With just 28.7 seconds left in OT, Hossa fired a slapshot from the high slot past goalie Kari Lehtonen, earning victory and his 1,100th point with the league. It came with the help of a screen from Artem Anisimov, who has had a hot stick of his own this season with eight goals and nine assists in 13 games earning the second star of the week Oct. 23.
But the first, Goal 500, came against the Flyers Oct. 19. It came in his 18th season after ending last year just one literal goal and one figurative–another Stanley Cup ring–short.
It was part of a 7-4 Blackhawks victory that, despite a loss to Columbus Oct. 21 and an overtime loss in Calgary Oct. 24, sparked a chain of wins.
- On Oct. 22, Chicago beat Toronto 5-4 in the shootout after Richard Panik (six goals and four assists in 13 games this season) tied the game in the third. Captain Jonathan Toews and winger Artemi Panarin finished the game in the shootout.
- Hossa tallied the game-tying goal on the power play at the end of the third in what would be an overtime win Oct. 28 in New Jersey. Anisimov scored the game-winner with 3:45 left in overtime for the 3-2 victory. Panarin, of course, had the other Chicago goal.
- Two days later, at home, Corey Crawford recorded his first shutout of the season with a 3-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Toews, Anisimov, and Hossa scored while Crawford made 32 saves.
- Anisimov continued a streak of his own in a 5-1 victory over the Flames Nov. 1. He had one goal, one assist. Winger Patrick Kane had three points (one goal, two assists), while rookie Tyler Motte had one goal, as did Panarin and Niklas Hjalmarsson.
- Hossa tallied two goals, one in the first and one in the third, in a 4-0 shutout over the Avalanche Nov. 3. Toews and Panarin also scored.
- On Nov. 5, Ryan Hartman tied the game at two and Kane gave the Hawks a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars after Brett Ritchie and Curtis McKenzie responded to Richard Panik opening goal.
Hossa, Panarin, Toews, and Anisimov have been solid in recent weeks.
Coach Joel Quenneville has been especially grateful for the veteran.
“It’s a tremendous accomplishment, tremendous career,” he said. “The best part of his game is the consistency of being a pro night in, night out, being responsible both sides of the puck, plays hard every single game.”
Hossa was drafted 12th by the Ottawa Senators in 1997. He joined the Blackhawks after losing the Stanley Cup in 2009. He’s since won three. After his 500th goal, he told the media:
“I never thought I would one day play 1,000 games or reach 500 goals or get tHe has 328 goals at even-strength, 139 on the power play and 33 shorthanded,o 1,000 points. That was something I never thought about. If somebody would tell me that, I would say, ‘Yeah, right. You’re crazy.'”
Hossa ranks 39th of 44 players in the time it’s taken to score 500. He has 328 goals at even-strength, 139 on the power play and 33 shorthanded.
Fine. One more time.
HONK! HONK! pic.twitter.com/ov4KX6rsIE
— #HockeyFightsCancer (@NHL) October 31, 2016
Next, the Washington Capitals visit the Blackhawks Nov. 11 for the annual Veterans Day game–players will wear special warmup jerseys to honor the military.