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Stanley Cup nothing new for Pronger, Hossa

 Philadelphia Flyers' Chris Pronger looks on looks on during hockey practice at the team's training facility in Voorhees, N.J., Thursday, May 27, 2010...
 FILE - In this May 2, 2010, file photo, Chicago Blackhawks' Marian Hossa (81) controls the puck past Vancouver Canucks' Christian Ehrhoff as goalie R...

Stanley Cup Flyers Hockey

Philadelphia Flyers' Chris Pronger looks on looks on during hockey practice at the team's training facility in Voorhees, N.J., Thursday, May 27, 2010...

Stanley Cup Back Again Hockey

FILE - In this May 2, 2010, file photo, Chicago Blackhawks' Marian Hossa (81) controls the puck past Vancouver Canucks' Christian Ehrhoff as goalie R...

Some NHL players spend their entire career chasing a chance to play for the Stanley Cup, while for others like Chris Pronger and Marian Hossa, its becoming a regular event.
Philadelphia's Chris Pronger will make his third finals appearance in five years, with three different teams, when he takes the ice for the Flyers. He was on the Anaheim Ducks winning team in 2007 and tasted defeat with the Edmonton Oilers the previous year.
"All you hear about is guys talking about it's the toughest trophy in pro sports to win. There's no question it is," Pronger said Thursday.
"The mental battles you face _ being down in a series, momentum shifts, that stuff or the physical toll it takes on your body to play this many playoff games at this high a level at this style of play it's very taxing.
"You have to be prepared for it to understand what it's going to take. The abuse you're going to put on your body to play 20, 27, 28 games, if you play four seven-game series."
Hossa's trek is even more rare. He'll be playing in his third straight championship round with a different team. He's lost his last two, first with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2008 and then last year as a member of the Red Wings when they fell to Pittsburgh.
"Definitely want to touch the trophy," Hossa said. "What you learn is that this is a great opportunity. Somebody will say it comes once in a lifetime and it comes three times for me. It didn't work out two times and hopefully the third time will be the one. Just keep hoping and do the best you can."
Hossa, whose contract is worth $62.8 million, has managed only two goals in 16 playoffs games so far this year, but Chicago is 12-4 in the postseason and is in the finals for the first time since 1992.
A year ago, Hossa scored 40 goals for Detroit in the regular season but managed only six in 23 playoff games when he was fighting a shoulder injury that required surgery after he signed with Chicago.
"It does bug me because the puck doesn't go in for me. Offensively I'm not happy," he said. "It could be better definitely. But in other departments I'm trying to help the team defensively and try to play on the plus side."
Pronger may be matched up against Hossa, who plays on a second line with Patrick Sharp and Troy Brouwer.
But the one confrontation that is being talked about most is seeing Pronger go against Chicago's burly Dustin Byfuglien, who has emerged as a star while playing on the Blackhawks' top line with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.
Byfuglien has eight playoff goals, including four game-winners.
"He's definitely got the size and the experience and he's smart," Byfuglien said of the 35-year-old Pronger. "He's been around and he knows how to handle situations. My work is going to be cut out for me."
Pronger, who spent eight seasons with the St. Louis Blues under current Chicago coach Joel Quenneville, signed a seven-year, $34.9 million contract extension not long after his trade from the Ducks to Philadelphia.
In addition to his rugged play at the blue line, he's also scored four goals and has 10 assists in the postseason.
"It was a lot we gave up for Chris Pronger. But we felt that at the time the impact player that Chris was and is and has been for our team this year, we believe it was worth it," Flyers general Paul Holmgren said.
"He's a game-changer type player. That's what we were looking for. And he's brought that for us."
The Blackhawks could use more scoring from Hossa but are satisfied with his ability to keep the puck while being defended and being an offensive threat that teams must address _ even if his goals are down.
Certainly the 31-year-old Hossa knows what it's like to play in the finals, and how painful it is to lose.
"When you didn't win, you have the time during the summer to think about things," he said. "I want to make sure we're in a better finish this time."


Updated : 2020-12-05 14:19 GMT+08:00