PITTSBURGH -- If you don't think that tonight is about Marian Hossa of the Detroit Red Wings, and his chance to "validate" his decision to jump the Sidney Crosby bandwagon and join the Red Wings, you'd be wrong.
The entire media contingent almost crashed each other trying to get a question in for the ex-Pittsburgh Penguins winger today before Game 6 at Mellon Arena. And this is what he had to say:
Q. Is it odd being in this situation this year, although you're 3-2 up and not down in the series?
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HOSSA: It's always more fun when you're up. Right? So, it is a different situation for me. I am really looking forward to it, because I have never been this close to winning the Cup. Last year I was two games away. And now I am only one game away.
You remember the atmosphere in the building last year when the Red Wings won the Cup. Wasn't it a motivation for you to join Detroit in the summer?
[Pause] I came to Detroit [pause] to have a good experience with older players. Because you never know when you're going to have a chance to play with Chelios or Lidstrom. That was another reason why I came. You always want to play on a competitive team and I had some great choices to make between the Penguins and Detroit. And I had to make one.
You're back in this building. How tempting is it to really get it done tonight?
[Smiling] Oh, it is really tempting! It's kind of itching being so close. I just want to finish it right away. I don't want to wait. I know it is going to be a real battle. Those guys know that it is going to be a do-or-die for them.
Will winning tonight validate your decision to come to play in Detroit?
I try not to think about it too much. We have this huge step in front of us. We just have to focus on the last... hopefully this is the last game for us. I try to focus on the game tonight and not think about anything else.
That Game 6 last year is still a bad memory for you?
Obviously, when you lose it is not a fun memory. They are in the same situation this year and they are trying to make it better for themselves.
You have a lot of experienced guys on your team who have done it, who have taken the last step and won the Cup. What kind of an advantage is it?
It is a huge advantage. There are guys here who have two, three, four Stanley Cups. They have been in this situation before. And it is something you cannot buy.
Were you motivated by comments after Game 4 that your team was old and fatigued?
I don't think anyone paid any attention to it. We know what we can do, and we have to stick to that.
Do you have any superstitions as to how to suit up, for example, tonight?
I think everyone has some. But it's nothing special. It's just the way I put my equipment on. How? Piece by piece. I don't even think about this anymore.