Marian Hossa led the Chicago Blackhawks in points and assists this year, but after a vicious hit from Raffi Torres of the Phoenix Coyotes in Game 3 of their quarterfinal matchup he and the team are in an interesting position.
According to Hossa's teammate Jonathan Toews, who spoke to Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times after the Blackhawks' 3-2 loss, it doesn't sound like Hossa is going to be back in the near future.
Obviously, the most important thing is Hossa's health. He was taken to the hospital after the hit and later released, so that is a good sign.
But looking at what this does to the Blackhawks on the ice, losing Hossa puts them at a distinct disadvantage against anyone they play.
The team has a lot of offensive firepower, but everything ran through Hossa. He was the table-setter who made everyone around him better.
If Toews is right and Hossa is out for an extended period of time, Patrick Kane becomes even more vital to the success of the team. He has the ability to lead the offense, as evidenced by his two assists on Tuesday night.
The problem is, Kane has not been playing up to his potential this season. His passing and puck-handling are still great, but his ability to put the puck in the net seems to be diminishing.
Hossa was the straw that stirred the drink for this offense. He made everyone around him a little bit better, and helped to keep them afloat when they were struggling in the middle of the season.
With him being out, the Blackhawks aren't going to make it out of the first round. That's certainly not what they had in mind when they finished the regular season with 101 points, fourth-most in the Western Conference.