Patrick Sharp had a pretty nice week for the Chicago Blackhawks, including a hat trick to celebrate his 32nd birthday. On Monday, he was honored for it.
Sharp was named the NHL’s No. 1 star of last week for his recent stellar outings. Sharp had six goals, including that birthday hat trick, as part of a seven-point week.
But Sharp’s not praising his individual outings. Instead, it’s all about the team.
“It’s just a string of good games,” he said. “Our line (he, Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa) has been playing well, starting with the New Jersey game. We had jump in our legs. The team’s playing well, and (last week) was a product of the team’s success.”
Coach Joel Quenneville said the consistency of Sharp’s game “is at a new level.”
“Great week, great year. He’s scored some highlight goals,” Quenneville said. “That line’s been effective game in, game out. But I like the consistency, and his production is at a high level as well.”
Indeed, Sharp’s production goes well beyond this past week; he has 11 goals in his last 10 games entering tonight’s contest against the Los Angeles Kings. Call it chemistry with his linemates, or call it a successful streak that all good goal scorers have each season. Whatever is working, Sharp will take it.
“You prepare to get into the zone all the time, that’s what you practice for. And when things come together it feels pretty good,” he said. “You want to stay on the ice as long as you can. Right now our team’s playing well and a lot of guys are putting up some big numbers. Hopefully that continues.”
What’s also continuing is talk of Sharp on Team Canada in the upcoming Winter Olympics. It seems like a lock at this point — the official announcement should be during the first week of January. Sharp said recently that it’s in the back of his mind, but he’s keeping his focus on the Blackhawks.
“I know what’s coming in a few weeks or days, but who knows if those decisions have been made or if it has any impact at all,” he said. “I’m just trying not to think about it.”