December 23, 2008

10 Days of Penguins Christmas: Marian Hossa Rides Shotgun With Sid

The year in hockey 2008 was a memorable one for the Pittsburgh Penguins and their fans. As we wind down the year, we'll be taking a look at 10 of the best moments of the past year in Penguins hockey.

In a total of 32 games (regular and postseason combined), Marian Hossa compiled 15 goals and 21 assists, including the Eastern Conference Semifinal winner against the New York Rangers in overtime of Game Five.

The never-ending search for a competent winger for Sidney Crosby culminated on February 26 when general manager Ray Shero acquired Hossa from Atlanta, immediately stamping the Penguins as legitimate contenders for the Stanley Cup. Pittsburgh was taking a big risk knowing that Hossa would become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and more than likely he was a rental player, but with the team that took to the Mellon Arena ice on a nightly basis, it was worth the gamble.

The end result was a tough loss in the Stanley Cup Finals, whose final play was that of Hossa almost sneaking a rebound passed Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood as time expired in Game Six.

Was the trade worth it?

Yes it was. Any time you can give your team a shot at the Stanley Cup, you take it, and what Shero had to part with were personnel that will not haunt him in future years.

Hossa's subsequent spurning of the Penguins higher offer to join the Red Wings because he felt they gave him the better chance at a Cup drew the ire of Pens Nation. Like jilted lover, the grudge is still there and there was a feeling of revenge when Pittsburgh came back and defeated Detroit 7-6 on November 11th.

A season later, Crosby is missing a player like Hossa on his wing. The Slovakian native was icing on the cake of a dominant Penguins lineup. His addition after the trade deadline took Pittsburgh to another level, one the team may not reach this season.

The New Rant
I Am Legend with Max Talbot and Petr Sykora
Malkin's Badass Goal Against the Flyers
Malone's Double Breaks Senators
Ruutu's Leg Kick
Pure Hockey, Outdoors
Nicklas Backstrom and His Own Goal Sinks the Caps
Malkin Lets Us Know Everything Will Be Alright

Ballhype: hype it up!

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