SAN JOSE, Calif. - A breakout game from Marian Hossa would be a most welcome sight for the Blackhawks in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals tonight at HP Pavilion.
While Hossa's overall game has been more than pleasing to coach Joel Quenneville, the winger is bothered that he has only 2 goals in 13 playoff games.
"It's definitely bugging me that the puck is not going in," Hossa said following Tuesday's morning skate. "I've got to try and shoot everything at the net and make plays, and I'm sure sooner or later they have to go in.
"Sometimes you need just a little break and the puck goes in. It is in my head and it's bugging me because I like to score goals, but things are not going my way right now. I'm trying not to put too much pressure on myself because it's not going to do any good, right?"
Hossa has 10 points and is plus-6. His pressure on the backcheck has been outstanding to the point where the Sharks have talked about the need to be more aware of him coming from behind.
"The contribution he gives our team is noticeable," Quenneville said. "His 5-on-5 responsibility, offensive zone and defensive zone, he's rock solid. He kills penalties and plays the power play and gives us a lot of puck possession time as well.
"His thought process and how he plays our system and team game is as good as anybody. He's always consistently one of the players we appreciate how he plays. Productivity is something that sometimes gets down, but a guy like that on any night can break out and be a big factor offensively."
The Hawks expect to see a desperate San Jose team not wanting to go to Chicago down 2-0.
"They'll probably be more physical and a little more ticked off, so we have to elevate our game," Adam Burish said. "We're going to have to have our best game of the playoffs, I think, to get the same result."
The Hawks say they need to stay out of the penalty box after giving San Jose 5 power plays in Game 1. The Hawks had no power plays in the series opener.
"Hopefully we get to test our power play to see how it is," Brian Campbell said.