Third time's the charm for Hossa?

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:44 PM ET

CHICAGO — Two straight years, Marian Hossa has been so close to claiming a Stanley Cup title, only to fall short.

Is his third time the charm?

The championship series is still a long ways off, but the Chicago Blackhawks forward who was on the losing end in each of the last two Stanley Cup finals — first with Pittsburgh and last year with Detroit — has the fire.

“Definitely, but I don’t put too much pressure on it because I didn’t win the last two years,” Hossa said.

“I don’t look at the past. This is another year and it’s another big challenge and I’m looking forward to it.

“You can only do so much, try to play the best possible and that’s all I can control.”

If anyone knows how to keep an even keel through the playoffs, it’s Hossa.

He’s learned the hard way not to become too excited, first when he and the Penguins lost to Detroit in the 2008 final series in six games.

Then, the lesson was hammered home a year ago when the Red Wings — who he signed a one-year deal with to give what he believed was his best chance — fell to his former team in seven games.

Those are experiences you can’t forget going forward.

“Just the experience, the total package, been-there-done-that kind of thing from going through big games,” Hossa said.

“When you go through those games, you know what to expect and that’s huge.”

Hossa said he didn’t consider signing a one-year deal again, and joined the up-and-coming Blackhawks when he inked a 12-year, US$62.8 million contract.

After missing the first 22 games due to shoulder surgery, he collected 24 goals and 51 points in 57 regular-season games.

Heading into Monday night’s clash with the Vancouver Canucks, he’d netted one goal and seven points in seven outings.

Although losing in the finals two straight years could be devastating to the point a player may wonder whether he’ll ever climb the mountain, Hossa said the lesson has taught him he can get back.

“We are confident in this team, we have a great team, and we are looking forward to going far again this year,” he said.

“We know what we’re going to go through, but it’s still far away.”


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