– As if you needed reminding, Marian Hossa turned down big bucks from the Penguins this offseason to sign a one-year deal with the Red Wings because he thought it gave him a better shot at winning the Stanley Cup.
Hossa is now one win away from fulfilling that goal, with Game 7 here Friday (8 p.m. EDT) against his former team. But he hasn’t exactly been carrying the Red Wings on his back.
The 30-year-old has no goals and 3 assists in the Stanley Cup finals. Hossa has just 6 goals this postseason, and has put the puck in the net just twice (both in Game 4 of the Western finals) in the past 14 games.
Hossa had 26 points in 20 playoff games with the Penguins last spring. With the Red Wings, he has 15 points in 22 games.
Has it reached the point where he’s pressing?
"I don't think it's pressing. I think in their building, he hasn’t been as good," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "I think he’s way better at home than he's been in their building."
All of Hossa's assists in this series have come at Joe Louis Arena. In Pittsburgh, he's been held to 10 shots in three games, all Red Wings losses.
But veteran Kris Draper isn't worried one bit about his teammate.
"Hossa wants to be the guy. There’s no doubt," Draper said. "And he’s a world-class hockey player. He’s a clutch hockey player, and he wants to be the difference."
Hossa is one of the elite hockey players in the world, but he finds himself in the rarest of situations. The team he spurned on one side, him on the other, staring down the possibility of having to watch his ex-teammates parade the Cup around his home ice for the second year in a row. That could weigh on the mind of anyone in a similar situation.
Draper doesn’t think that nightmare of a possibility will have any affect on Hossa.
"We know how bad he wants this," Draper said. "We know Hossa’s going to come with everything that he has. He wants this just as bad as all of us, and he’ll be ready to go, no doubt."