Hossa expected to play in critical Game 4
BOSTON - Marian Hossa didn't take part in the morning skate here Wednesday, but Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said he expected his star right winger to play tonight in Game 4 at TD Garden.
"He's fine," Quenneville said.
There has been much speculation over the injury that kept Hossa out of Game 3 on Monday, ranging from a hip problem from a Zdeno Chara cross-check earlier in the series, to a neck injury to a shoulder injury.
Hossa's teammates and at least one member of the Bruins came to his defense Wednesday and addressed criticism Hossa received for not at least trying to play in Game 3.
"He's a warrior, man," Hawks center Andrew Shaw said. "He's played a lot of hockey in five years. It's unbelievable how much he has played and how much he has battled through. He's a class act. He's a great player and a great teammate. He wants to be out there with us and hopefully he will be."
Bryan Bickell said Hossa addressed the team before Game 3 after leaving the warm-up early and told them he couldn't play.
Shaw thought that took guts.
"If you're hurting you kind of don't want to tell anyone just so you can play," Shaw said. "He wants to go out there and help the team and be part of it. He's a heck of a player and leader."
Even Bruins center Chris Kelly said Hossa deserved the benefit of the doubt.
"I don't want to comment on his injury or what's wrong with him," said Kelly. "He's like every other hockey player, if he can play he's going to play. I guess he wasn't capable of playing. I don't think anyone is questioning his willingness to play through things.
“Everyone knows what's at stake. Everyone knows how important this time of the season is and if he can play, he's going to play. With Hossa out, he's a great hockey player and it takes a team to fill that void. I thought the guys that played in his spot did a good job trying to replace him."
The Hawks trail the Bruins 2-1 in the Stanley Cup Final and need a win tonight in Game 4 to come home for Game 5 tied 2-2.
“For many of us, it’s the biggest game of our lives,” Bickell said. “If we win this we’re going back home. If we lose this it’s a big hole.”