Blackhawks Hossa in midst of major slump
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Nobody needs to remind Marian Hossa he hasn't been pulling his weight for the staggering Blackhawks.
In the six games the Hawks have played on the road since the all-star break, Hossa has no points, is minus-6 and has only 10 shots on goal.
"I'm definitely not happy with that," Hossa said Monday. "Not only the points, but the last bunch of games I'm not happy with the way I've been skating. I have find a way to get the energy back and the skating ability. That's my hockey, play with the puck more and skating."
Hossa said participating in all-star weekend has had nothing to do with his slump.
"You can talk about it if you like, but that would be an excuse," Hossa said. "I'm expecting from myself to be better and help the team."
Hossa is hardly alone in his poor play since the all-star break. Jonathan Toews has no goals and 2 assists, Patrick Kane 1 goal and 3 assists, Patrick Sharp 2 goals and Duncan Keith is minus-8.
"We certainly need our top guys to be special players here," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I think they compliment our special teams as well and it's their defensive game, led by these guys, that helps reinforce the message."
It doesn't get any easier for the Hawks with road games Tuesday in Nashville and Thursday in New York against the red-hot Rangers.
"We have to go game by game, that's the only way to look at it," Marian Hossa said. "We've put ourselves in a big hole and the only way out is to go period by period, play zero-zero hockey and try to find a way to win."
The Hawks also play Saturday afternoon in Columbus, then have to turn around and face St. Louis on Sunday morning at the United Center.
"It's a tough stretch for sure," Joel Quenneville said. "We've got be positive and find a balance between being positive and angry."
Not only did general manager Stan Bowman give Joel Quenneville a vote of confidence Monday, he told CSNChicago.com that looking for a goaltender before the Feb. 27 trade deadline was "not a priority."
"We're not focused on goaltending. We're really not," Bowman said. "I know there's a lot of talk about that, but internally, we have to focus on the guys we have, and turning it around from within."
Ray Emery gets the start in goal for Tuesday's game at Nashville even though he was the losing goalie in Saturday's loss to Phoenix.
Joel Quenneville plans to keep Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp together as a line for the game at Nashville. ... Defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson will miss his third straight game with concussion-like symptoms but still is considered day-to-day, according to Quenneville. ... Defenseman Steve Montador (upper body) remains on injured reserve and is eligible to come off on Wednesday. ... Duncan Keith, who played more than 30 minutes at San Jose on Friday and 28 at Phoenix, didn't practice Monday but will play Tuesday.
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