Focused Hatred

By William R. Eller


Ok there I said it. In my mind what Hossa did to the fans of the Penguins is right up there in Pittsburgh sports history of anger causing actions.

1.) Neil O’Donnell (two picks in super bowl)

2.) Barry Bonds (not throwing Sid Bream out)

3.) Wayne Gretzky (not better than Mario)

4.) Marion Hossa (taking less after saying he wanted more money here)

5.) Cleveland

We all have our top five list of sports figure we hate, mine is above, here is why most of Pittsburgh hates Hossa. As all of you know the quote in question is this…

"It was a really tough decision for me to make," Hossa said. "When I compared the two teams, I felt like I would have a little better of a chance to win the Cup in Detroit.”

The irony is that for the first time that I can remember an athlete was being honest on why he was leaving one team for another. This hatred was justified during the two regular season meeting versus Detroit; the booing, the screaming, the cursing was simply great. But now, in the Stanley Cup finals, this hatred could cost us the Stanley Cup.

The battle is no longer Hossa, the battle is the Red Wings, and this war is for the greatest championship in professional sports. The Red Wings in some minds are the equivalent of the New York Yankees in Major League Baseball. The rich history of Cups, the players, and that whole octopus thing are reasons to at least respect Detroit. For the next two weeks however…


Let me start at the back and look at goaltender Chris Osgood. Every piece of news I hear about Osgood is he sucks and they want him out of net in Detroit. At some point the three times Stanley Cup Champ the tenth leading victory goalie in NHL history should get some respect. I always here Osgood can be beat I haven’t seen it yet.

At defense for Detroit you have Nicklas Lidstrom top five all time in my mind of defensemen. I can’t say anything bad about Lidstrom he frankly scares me with his ability of keeping a puck in on the power play. Niklas Kronwall also on defense brings the heat on all breakout attempts. The great hits get the fans involved and bring some fear to the players trying to bring the puck up ice. Kronwall toes the line of dirty with these hits, but until the refs and the NHL start calling charging just a little bit more you will continue to see Kronwall bring the pain.

Up front for Detroit are Pavil Datsyuk, Kris Draper, Henrik Zetterburg, and Johan Frazen. Obviously I have left some players out but all forwards on the Red Wings should be looked at closely. They play a team game and every player can score, they all finish checks, and all forecheck effectively.

So here’s the deal somewhere put your hatred for Hossa in the back of you mind…save that garbage for the regular season. Focus on what is at hand, the Stanley Cup.


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