May 26, 2010, 4:30 PM EDT
For three straight seasons, Marian Hossa will play in the Stanley Cup finals, and he’ll be doing so with his third different team in a row. It’s an odd mercenary accomplishment for the Czech winger, who chose to leave Pittsburgh for Detroit (the team that beat the Penguins) and then the Red Wings for the Blackhawks (the team that lost to the Red Wings the year before).
Of course, as you’ve probably heard amid bridesmaid jokes, Hossa failed to win one so far. He infamously claimed that the Red Wings had a better chance to win the Cup in the off-season before the Penguins proved him wrong. If it doesn’t happen now, a great player will mainly be a punchline during his career.
So, the question is, will this be the year Hossa will finally win the Cup? Let’s glance at why it could happen and why it might not.
Hossa had a great run with the Penguins, totaling 26 points in only 20 games played. At the time I wondered if Sidney Crosby was the No. 1 reason for his success, which is a reasonable assumption since the young star helped greybeard Bill Guerin have a career playoff run last season.
Since parting from Crosby, Hossa compiled 26 points in 39 games during seven playoff rounds (as opposed to four with Pittsburgh). He only has 2 goals (but a respectable 11 points) in 16 games so far. If it comes down to Hossa, he might not raise the Cup. The other big factor is the mere presence of Chris Pronger (he’s really good).
That being said, this is his best chance to win a Cup yet. His team has home ice advantage. Despite the Flyers hot streak, we cannot forget that Philadelphia limped its way into the playoffs while Chicago fell just short of the top seed in the West. The Flyers haven’t faced an offense like the Blackhawks’ in the postseason so far. The firepower provided by the Devils, Bruins and Canadiens pale in comparison to what Chicago brings to the table.
There’s something a little dirty about the idea that Hossa might finally win his Cup in such a sloppy fashion, but if it ever will happen, it will be this June.
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