Cleaning out the notebook as the Rangers wish they could just keep playing….
I’ll take this opportunity now to say I always thought Marian’s younger brother had more upside than he was given credit for earlier this season. And yet I, like a lot of people who watch the Rangers closely, would be lying if I said I saw this sort of output coming—most recently a run of three goals in his last four games. What’s interesting about Hossa’s progress of late is that even Tom Renney originally envisioned the left wing as predominantly a defensive-minded forward. But he also figured that if Hossa could gain confidence at one end of the ice, his play at the other might improve as well.
“Believe me this is at the front end of a process of developing a player,” Renney said. “We felt that if we could establish a really sound defensive base, get him some penalty killing and help him to define a role for himself that he might be able to become more coonfident and we could present him with the next challenge. But I can’t tell you this was preconceived.”
Maybe not, but for all the heat Renney has taken this year in underutilizing other young players like Petr Prucha and Thomas Pock—not to mention the core of players in Hartford—you’d have to admit he was on to something with his investment in Hossa. No, I’m not saying you can expect the wing to continue to score goals at the same clip. But Hossa is still relied on as a defensive anchor (along with Marty Straka) playing on a line with Jaromir Jagr. And he’s already proven the Rangers have something to work with moving forward.
“As a player he was a one-way offensive player before he got too slow to play the game”, Dupuis said with a laugh.
My one objection is there are no clips of me going end-to-end before tucking a shot under the crossbar.
Maybe it’s because I’ve never actually done that….