BOSTON — Tony Amonte didn’t make this much news when he played for the Blackhawks.
Amonte, serving as an analyst for CSN New England and Boston radio station WEEI-FM 93.7 during the Stanley Cup Final, questioned Marian Hossa’s toughness for missing Game 3 with an undisclosed injury.
“You’re in the Stanley Cup Final. You play until you can’t play anymore,” Amonte said Tuesday on the radio. “You give whatever you can to your organization and that’s the way most guys will do it. That’s what (Bruins winger) Nathan Horton is doing right now.”
Amonte was just as tough on Hossa on TV.
“You look throughout his career and he usually plays about 60 games,” Amonte said on CSN New England. “He’s not a guy (who) will play through a lot of injuries.”
Amonte got his facts a little mixed up. Hossa was quite durable early in his career, missing only 42 games his first 10 years in the NHL. Since signing with the Hawks as a free agent in 2009 he has missed more games, but Hossa sat out only one game last season and eight this year.
Hossa’s Hawks teammates and at least one Bruins player came to his defense Wednesday before Game 4, which Hossa was expected to play.
“There’s no question in our locker room that guys are laying it on the line for each other and they have been throughout the entire season and the playoffs,” captain Jonathan Toews said. “Especially this time of year, guys are playing through tons of stuff.
“There’s no question in our locker room that if Hoss could go and he could be effective for us, that he would have. If people want to criticize from the outside, it’s up to them. But there’s no doubt in our mind that Hoss is going to do everything in his power to get back in and help our team.”
There was much speculation over the injury that kept Hossa out of Game 3, with rumors ranging from a hip problem from a Zdeno Chara cross-check earlier in the series, to a neck injury to a shoulder injury.
“He’s a warrior, man,” Hawks center Andrew Shaw said. “He’s played a lot of hockey in five years. It’s unbelievable how much he has played and how much he has battled through. He’s a class act. He’s a great player and a great teammate. He wants to be out there with us, and hopefully he will be.”
Bryan Bickell said Hossa addressed the team before Game 3 after leaving the warm-up early and told them he couldn’t play.
“I know that he was disappointed,” Bickell said. “He wanted to play, but he didn’t think he would help the team in any way, so he decided.
“He talked to the team before the last game saying he was sorry and he wanted to play, but he’d feel better to give it that extra two days’ rest and make sure he could be ready for (Wednesday). It was nice to hear it and shows the passion he has.”
Shaw thought what Hossa did took guts.
“If you’re hurting you kind of don’t want to tell anyone just so you can play,” Shaw said. “He wants to go out there and help the team and be part of it. He’s a heck of a player and leader.”
Even Bruins center Chris Kelly said Hossa deserved the benefit of the doubt.
“I don’t want to comment on his injury or what’s wrong with him,” said Kelly. “He’s like every other hockey player — if he can play he’s going to play. I guess he wasn’t capable of playing. I don’t think anyone is questioning his willingness to play through things.
“Everyone knows what’s at stake. Everyone knows how important this time of the season is and if he can play, he’s going to play.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.