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updated: 1/18/2014 8:33 PM

Why is Blackhawks' Hossa never in Selke chatter?

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  • The Blackhawks' Marian Hossa, middle, celebrates with teammates after scoring his second goal during Friday's victory over Anaheim at the United Center.

      The Blackhawks' Marian Hossa, middle, celebrates with teammates after scoring his second goal during Friday's victory over Anaheim at the United Center.
    Associated Press

 
 

Jonathan Toews deserved to win the Selke Trophy last season as the NHL's top defensive forward.

Toews had 48 points in 47 games and was third in the league at plus-28, won 59.9 percent of his faceoffs and shared the NHL lead with 56 take-aways.

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Just as Toews was deserving last year, so too is Marian Hossa this season.

There isn't a better two-way forward in the entire NHL than Hossa, who has 19 goals, 41 points and is second in the league at plus-25 (first among forwards).

Yet Hossa is rarely mentioned when it comes to Selke candidates.

Is it because he plays right wing and the Selke is considered an award for centers? It's possible.

Of the 35 Selke Trophy winners since the award was first given out in 1978, only eight have been wingers. Since Montreal left winger Bob Gainey won the first four Selke Trophies, only four have been wingers -- the last being Jere Lehtinen of Dallas in 2003.

Nobody backchecks like Hossa, who is coming off maybe his best game of the season Friday against Anaheim when he scored twice, including once short-handed, in the Hawks' 4-2 win.

His stride is a thing of beauty, and there isn't a more hardworking player on the Hawks.

Hossa just turned 35 and he still outplays most of his teammates on a regular basis. It's time to recognize his hard work and hustle all over the ice.

Here comes Boston:

The Hawks and Boston Bruins meet Sunday for the first time since last spring's Stanley Cup Final.

"I think it's going to be special," said Bryan Bickell, who started the Hawks' memorable Game 6 comeback with the tying goal in the final two minutes at TD Garden. Dave Bolland scored 17 seconds later to give the Hawks the Cup.

"To have the series that we did in the Finals to win, it's going to be emotional," Bickell said. "It's going to be an intense game. I know they weren't happy losing. They're going to come and give it everything they've got."

Corey Crawford would like to treat it as just another game, but he knows it's not going to be.

"I'm sure once we get into that game there will be some memories from the Finals, definitely some emotions too," Crawford said. "It will be a matchup of two good teams. I'm not sure how much history there will be from the playoff series, but that's easy for us to say."

He's No. 2:

So far so good for Andrew Shaw at second-line center between Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad.

It's three games into the experiment that Hawks coach Joel Quenneville has said could become permanent. That's what Shaw is hoping for.

"I knew I had the capability to do it," Shaw said. "I'm getting that chance and I'm going with it. I can't take my foot off the gas. I have to keep going and keep pushing and keep impressing people.

"I want it to be a long-term thing. Playing with a great player like Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad is a privilege. I just have to keep working and keep competing for them and hopefully keep having success with it."

Shaw is not your typical playmaking center, but he can make plays and goes to the net hard.

"I've always impressed myself," he said. "I've always exceeded my goals and just keep moving forward and keep wanting more and more."

Versteeg OK:

It turned out Kris Versteeg is fine and returned to practice Saturday.

Versteeg left Friday's win over Anaheim after the second period following a collision with teammate Bryan Bickell. He practiced on the third line with Bickell and Michal Handzus.

tsassone@dailyherald.com

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