Spellman: Hossa continues to amaze for Hawks
Marian Hossa showed again Saturday night that he's still got that magic.
Big Hoss turned in the play of the game in the first period when he stickhandled through a pair of Buffalo defenders and then wristed one on goal that Jhonas Enroth was somehow able to deflect away.
But since this was Hoss being Hoss, of course he was able to keep the play alive in the Sabres' zone with some precision stick work along the boards.
When his shift finally was over, the sold-out crowd at the United Center let him know it was job well done.
"He's one of those players that even when he was scoring big numbers, he was responsible," coach Joel Quenneville said. "His two-way game was always in place because he backchecks harder than anyone in the game.
"He goes the same way on the offensive side of things, but I think he's at that point in his career where whether he's scoring or not scoring he still contributes in a positive way to your team game."
Hossa almost struck again on a second-effort attempt in the second period, but it wasn't to be. He finally hit the board midway through the third when he scored on a shorty to give the Hawks a 4-2 lead.
"It doesn't matter what his production is at the end of the year," Quenneville said. "You know he was a big part and an influence on how we have to play the right way."
The last time a Buffalo team came to Chicago for a home opener, bad things happened.
As in the Bills stunning the Bears.
Buffalo native Patrick Kane attended that game and on Saturday morning was asked by Buffalo reporters if he had trouble finding a rooting interest.
"No, uh … that's a different sport," Kane said with a grin. "I made sure I went there with neutral colors."
But, he admitted:
"I was kind of fist pumping under the chair when (Dan) Carpenter hit the field goal to win it."
Former Bears quarterback Jim McMahon participated in the Shoot the Puck competition between periods Saturday.
McMahon didn't score, but it didn't matter to the UC crowd, who showed No. 9 plenty of love.
He said it:
-- Joel Quenneville describing Marian Hossa