Hossa's goal likely helping his confidence, Quenneville says
Marian Hossa has piled up 487 regular-season goals during an 18-year NHL career that should one day see him enter the Hockey Hall of Fame.
So while the 36-year-old Slovak isn't about to doubt his scoring ability anytime soon, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said that Hossa's goal Saturday night against Columbus -- his first of the season -- may nonetheless provide a confidence boost.
"Absolutely," Quenneville said. "Guys that are known as scorers enjoy scoring like everybody should. Nice to see the finish. (He) made a great play in the neutral zone."
As the final seconds of a full two-minute 5-on-3 power play were ticking off the clock, Hossa pick-pocketed the puck from Matt Calvert, zipped into the offensive zone and buried a shot from the right circle that gave the Hawks a 3-0 lead at 7:48 of the third period.
"In this age of my career I don't think about just points and goals," Hossa said. "I'm just worried about how I feel and play. I feel good. I know the points and goals will come."
Now the Hawks just need to get Jonathan Toews off the schneid. The Hawks' captain will get his next chance Thursday when Florida invades the United Center.
Hossa and Toews are also waiting for the roulette wheel to stop spinning when it comes to who is on their line's left wing.
"We'd definitely like to have one player for some period of (time)," Hossa said. "You get used to it and you know what to expect. ... But it's the coach's decision at the end and he's (trying) to look for somebody."
Of all the combinations Quenneville's tried, Hossa was most complimentary of Viktor Tikhonov, who flashed on the top line in the third period against Philadelphia last Wednesday. Tikhonov, though, was a healthy scratch Saturday, the second time he has sat out a game.
"Oh man, I was really excited when I heard that was a line," Tikhonov said. "We kind of clicked a little bit (against Philly). ... Unfortunately (the next night against Washington) we couldn't get much going early and I wasn't really surprised when the lines got shuffled around again.
"You've got to kind of try something until it works. Hopefully I'll be able to get that chance again because it was really fun."
Coach Joel Quenneville was impressed by Vincent Hinostroza, who made his NHL debut and centered the third line during the Blackhawks' 4-1 win over Columbus on Saturday.
"I liked him," Quenneville said. "Had speed, he was dangerous, he was a threat. That line (which also had Teuvo Teravainen and Ryan Garbutt) was much improved from our last game."
The Hawks converted 2 of 5 power-play chances against Columbus. Neither tally was a thing of beauty with Teuvo Teravainen's goal coming when it deflected off a Blue Jackets player's skate and Marian Hossa's coming at the tail end of a 5-on-3 that almost went for naught.
Still, coach Joel Quenneville wasn't complaining.
"Nice seeing the power play get (a couple) whether they were ugly, or whatever you want to call 'em," he said. "But certainly they turned out to be big goals in the game."
Teravainen's goal gave the Hawks a 2-0 lead just 65 seconds after Artem Anisimov broke a scoreless tie in the second period. The Hawks have converted on 18.2 percent of their power-play chances, which ranks 18th overall.
Between Patrick Kane's second-period goal vs. the Islanders in the season's third game and Artem Anisimov's second-period tally Saturday vs. Blue Jackets, it took 179 minutes, 10 seconds for a Blackhawks forward or center to score. ... Niklas Hjalmarsson leads the Hawks with 15 blocked shots. ... Ryan Garbutt has the most hits (22 in five appearances).