Do you remember Hossa’s first game as a Hawk? How could you forget it?
We waited nearly two months for him to be unveiled, requiring shoulder surgery after he signed here in the summer of 2009. We heard the buzz when he started practicing. Joel Quenneville seemed amazed, as he told the press that normally returning players from injury slow practice down, but Hossa actually sped it up. I clearly recall my ticket rep at the time, who would sneak down and watch practice at times, telling me on the phone, “Wait ’til you see this guy.” We kind of knew what we were in for. Did we completely know, though?
I’d say it was like Christmas, except it was on black Wednesday. There he was, in the 2nd period on the penalty kill, simply smothering the point-men for the Sharks with Jonathan Toews. They caused a turnover and though they’d barely played a period together, Toews knew where Hossa was. And he was gone in a flash. The Sharks couldn’t get anywhere near him.
He made it look so easy. Evgeni Nabokov might as well have skated off the corner. You know true class when you see it. That was this. So effortless. I remember Fifth Feather, when he had his own blog (far better than this one) described it in his wrap, and filed it under, “Oh right, he kills penalties too!” folder.