Sharp's versatility continues to pay off for Blackhawks

Sharp's versatility continues to pay off for Blackhawks
December 11, 2013, 10:15 pm
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Nina Falcone

Confidence hasn't been an issue for Patrick Sharp this season. Whether he's putting pucks in the net or creating chances for his teammates, he's consistently contributed in one way or another as the year's progressed.

Lately the points are flying Sharp's way, and on Wednesday his confidence continued to show in numbers as he scored his eighth point in three nights by tallying a goal and two assists in the Blackhawks' 7-2 win over the Flyers.

"Confidence is fine, it's been good all year," Sharp said after the game. "I think the last couple games our power play's been key, scoring multiple goals on the power play definitely helps for the individual stats, but personally my confidence has been good all year."

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His teammates took notice as Sharp went on to record his seventh multi-point game of the season. But it's not just about the points when it comes to Sharp's game; that's only one piece of the puzzle.

"He's been great all year," captain Jonathan Toews said. "When pucks weren't going in for him, he was still creating, still making things happen and I think people take notice when a player like that starts scoring a little more often. Whether it's on the power play, he's getting all his shots through and he's been great from the point.

"Anytime he gets a chance, he gets the puck to the net. Whether it goes in right away or not, something's gonna come of it. So it's nice to see him have that confidence and I think when things are going well for him like they are right now, he's just gonna keep getting better."

That versatility has especially paid off for Toews as Sharp's taken a few faceoffs for him as some soreness in his hand continues to heal. 

Toews said he's confident having him step in at center when the situation calls for it, and Sharp is happy to fill in for the Blackhawks' captain when need be.

"Yeah I always say I'm better at faceoffs than Johnny too, so now I have to prove it," Sharp said jokingly. "He's one of the best in the league, he'll be back there taking them — any of the big ones I'm sure he'll take. But I'm comfortable playing center down low or taking faceoffs if they need me."

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The Blackhawks as a whole have been putting on a big performance their last few games as they've outscored their opponents 19-6 since their Dec. 8 victory against the Florida Panthers.

Throughout that run, Sharp's versatility and playmaking skills have helped his team in more ways than one, and coach Joel Quenneville is very happy with the performance he's seen.

"He's been excellent," he said of Sharp. "Shooting the puck well and he's finding looks there, made a great play to Tazer there… sometime they start going in for you and you get a lot of confidence with your shot, with puck possession in scoring areas, your patience with play recognition with the complemented players he's with. It's been nice to see him and that line and our offense get a nice contribution. A lot of guys, but Sharpie's been excellent."

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