-- Excuse Marian Hossa
if this feels a little bit like déjà vu times two.
The Chicago Blackhawks' winger will be making his third-straight appearance in the Stanley Cup Final with his third-different team. He played for Pittsburgh in 2008 and Detroit in 2009.
According to the ever-reliable Elias Sports Bureau, when the series begins Hossa will become the first player to ever play in the Stanley Cup Final in three consecutive years with three different teams.
"Yeah, it is weird," Hossa said. "I'm speechless."
He's also hungry. Hossa is 0-for-2 after losing with Pittsburgh (to Detroit) in 2008 and with Detroit (to Pittsburgh) in 2009. You have to think that now, Hossa's got a hunch he's due.
"I want to touch the next trophy," he said. "It's a great feeling coming to the Finals again, definitely it is, but this time I want to finish in a much more positive way. People say this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance. Well, it's my third one so it would be great to do it."
Hossa went scoreless with only 3 assists in last year's Final, but he had 3 goals and 4 assists with Pittsburgh in the six-game series against Detroit two years ago.
He's heard the old saying, "third time's a charm," and was crossing his fingers when it was brought up to him again Sunday.
"I really hope so," he said.
Of course, through his previous two experiences, Hossa has learned about all the various nuances and distractions a player is presented when he goes to the Final. He believes this Blackhawks team is built to win there.
"There's lots of enthusiasm here," he said. "This is a young group with lots of energy; the motor seems like it never stops running, and that's what is great about this team. Even when we're down we just keep going.
The Blackhawks proved that Sunday by rallying from a 2-0 deficit to beat San Jose, 4-2, finishing off their sweep of the Sharks in the Western Conference Finals.
"We were down 2-0 and we got a couple of ugly ones, and all of a sudden the game is on," Hossa said. "Then we just out-skated the opponent."
Hossa played another strong game Sunday, but again his stick was silent. No one on the Blackhawks is more snake-bitten when it comes to scoring than No. 81, who has only 2 goals in the playoffs and didn't score on 15 shots over four games against San Jose.
"Oh, I am frustrated, trust me," Hossa said, while still smiling because the Blackhawks won despite his lack of offense. "Definitely, I'm getting close chances, but for whatever reason the puck doesn't want to jump in. That gets in a goal scorer's head."
Hossa has done just about everything else well, though, which is why he's still skating on the second line and still playing more than 19 minutes, as he did on Sunday.
"I try to do other stuff better than I used to do, like going hard back and killing penalties," Hossa said. "I'm putting the pride in that department and trying to be plus for the team that way while still trying to shoot the puck. I'm hoping one lucky one will go in and we can go further with that."
He has at least four more games to get lucky. Then again, it seems like Hossa always has another four more games at this time of the season.
"It's a great moment," he said, "but we have one round ahead of us and it's going to be the biggest one."Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
Author: Dan Rosen | NHL.com Staff Writer