By Ashley Dunkak
DETROIT (CBS DETROIT) – Marian Hossa angered Detroit Red Wings fans in 2009 by signing with the rival Chicago Blackhawks after playing for the Wings during the 2008-2009 season as they tried to defend their Stanley Cup.
Hossa scored in the first period of Wednesday’s game between the two rivals, and after the game he provided more ammunition for the Detroit fans who already dislike him.
The Red Wings prevailed 5-4 in a shootout, but Hossa evidently had a bit of a beef with the way the Red Wings played.
“There was great hockey,” Hossa said. “Lots of intensity, lots of tight battles, small holds, and the referee couldn’t see it. That’s how it is against this team. They’re smart. They hold you. They’ve got smart players.”
If Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville held a similar opinion, he did not say so. He credited Detroit for superior play.
“We weren’t very good tonight,” Quenneville said. “They worked hard. They were the harder-working team … We didn’t play well enough or hard enough.”
Detroit and Chicago faced off 11 times last season – four games in the regular season and seven in a conference semifinals series that the Red Wings led 3-1 but eventually surrendered. The Blackhawks went on to win the Stanley Cup, and the Red Wings moved to the East. Now the teams face each other just twice a year, and they will not meet in the playoffs unless both make it to the finals.
Needless to say, the Red Wings were out for redemption Wednesday. They got it, even with their lineup decimated by injuries and populated by younger, less experienced players.
“You knew they were going to be excited about the challenge,” Quenneville said. “The guys that have been up from Grand Rapids work hard, and they’ve got some skill, and they’re relentless, and they play the way the other guys play. It was workman-like on their side and not so much on ours.”