Sharp enjoying eight-game scoring streak

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Sharp enjoying eight-game scoring streak

Life is pretty nice for Patrick Sharp right now.

Off the ice, the Blackhawks left wing is enjoying the family life after becoming a first-time father last week. On the ice, things are pretty harmonious, too. A scoring streak will do that for you.

Sharp is riding a career-high, eight-game scoring streak, extended to that on Friday night when he had a goal and an assist in the Blackhawks 4-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. For Sharp, scoring is nothing new. He tallied 34 goals last season, two shy of his career-best 36 from 2007-08. But hes been as effective helping (five assists) as his has scoring goals (seven) on this latest streak, which is currently the longest in the NHL.

I dont know if its any one thing in particular, he said Saturday. I dont know if its a hot streak or luck, but I feel like Im working hard, were working hard as a line and the pucks going in.

That line of Sharp, Marian Hossa and Marcus Kruger has been effective. Hossa himself is on a four-game scoring streak (three goals, five assists).

Sharp was an offensive threat from the start last season. This October wasnt quite as productive, but it didnt help that he missed training camp after an emergency appendectomy. Still it was only a matter of time.

And staying put has also helped. Sharps been at wing all season, as the Blackhawks have used Patrick Kane and Kruger, instead, at that No. 2 center spot.

In October I re-learned position again, finding out opportunities to take off and what your responsibilities are. Its starting to come pretty natural, Sharp said. Our power plays clicking, too. All of that adds up to pretty good numbers.

Coach Joel Quenneville said, "Weve been relatively healthy and we havent done too much in the change department (at center). (Sharps) playing very well for us this year, and that lines been good together.

Every player goes through his streaks and slumps. Sharp just happens to be in the midst of his streak right now, and hell enjoy it as long as it lasts.

Ive said many times you dont know when next goals going to come, he said. So Ill keep working hard and hopefully it comes tomorrow.

Briefly

Daniel Carcillo (upper body) did not practice on Saturday and Quenneville said hes likely out tomorrow against the Calgary Flames. Quenneville added that Carcillo is feeling better.

Forward Ben Smith was sent back to the Rockford IceHogs on Saturday morning. Quenneville said they wanted him playing tonight, when the IceHogs host the Milwaukee Admirals.

Ray Emery will get his fifth consecutive start tomorrow night.

Central Division gets major shakeup as Predators acquire P.K. Subban

Central Division gets major shakeup as Predators acquire P.K. Subban

If you’re a hockey fan and were on Twitter around 3 p.m. Central time today, you probably looked skeptical as the trade news hit.

As first reported by Nick Kypreos, P.K. Subban is heading to Nashville and Shea Weber is going to Montreal.

We can imagine your reaction because we had it too. Eyes bulged. Mouths gaped. You checked the accounts of those venerable scribes tweeting the news because the accounts had to be fake, right?

Nope, it was true. And just like that, another Central Division team will have a very different look come the fall.

Sure, the Predators lost a great defenseman in Weber. He has a howitzer of a shot that has left those brave (read: crazy) enough to block it in plenty of pain. Jonathan Toews tweeted good luck to Weber, and “thanks for leaving our division.” Yeah, Weber left an impression. His shot left a bigger one, sometimes in the colors of black and blue, and Central foes won’t miss seeing it five or six games per season. But with Subban the Predators will do just fine. Subban is a great player and charismatic individual, possessing one of those personalities of which the NHL doesn’t have nearly enough.

Welcome to another Central change. St. Louis is facing some. The Blues already traded goaltender Brian Elliott. Per Post-Dispatch reporter Jeremy Rutherford, Kevin Shattenkirk expects the Blues to trade him. David Backes’ and Troy Brouwer’s status with the team is up in the air.

Minnesota hasn’t made any big changes player-wise (yet) but did at the top, hiring Bruce Boudreau in May. The Wild have gotten to the postseason regularly lately but haven’t gotten too far – they can thank the Blackhawks for three of those exits. Minnesota probably needed a new voice.

But does hiring Boudreau, a consistent regular-season coach who’s struggled to get the big postseason victories – again, see the Blackhawks two years ago – improve Minnesota’s chances?

The Blackhawks have gone through this makeover thing just about every year, and they’ve already done it again this offseason. Andrew Shaw’s trade to Montreal, that same Montreal that just sent Subban packing, means they’ll be missing a net-front presence that Shaw brought on a steadier basis than anyone else the past five seasons. It’s not the only void they need to fill. A veteran defenseman wouldn’t hurt. Neither would another forward with some experience. They have some cap space, but will there be enough to get both?

The Subban-Weber trade is one of those blockbusters we don’t see often anymore. It’s staggering. It’s eye-popping. There won’t be anything as big as this for a while but, with free agency opening on Friday, there will nevertheless be other changes in the NHL.

The Central is already looking a little different. Imagine what it’ll look like by September.

What's the next move for the Blackhawks?

What's the next move for the Blackhawks?

When the Blackhawks traded Andrew Shaw it meant the team gave up a key player, but also got essential breathing room under the NHL's hard salary cap.

While losing Shaw is a blow, the team netted draft picks and salary cap relief. The move came just after Bryan Bickell and Teuvo Teravainen were traded for a pair of draft picks.

CSN Chicago's Blackhawks Insider Tracey Myers went on SportsTalk Live to talk about the Blackhawks' recent moves and what's ahead in the video above.

The question now becomes what's next? The Blackhawks have holes to fill heading into the season and now do have some room under the salary cap.

Myers said adding a veteran defenseman is arguably the top priority and Brian Campbell and Andrew Ladd are mentioned as possibilities.

How the Blackhawks will replace Shaw specifically will be tough. Recently signed prospects Tyler Motte and Nick Schmaltz could help to add some depth, but it's hard to rely on those players right away.

Watch the video above to see the full discussion of what the Blackhawks can and should still do in the rest of the offseason.

Canadiens agree to six-year deal with former Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw

Canadiens agree to six-year deal with former Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw

The Blackhawks probably would've liked to be the ones to sign Andrew Shaw to a long-term deal. Instead, it was the Montreal Canadiens.

The Habs announced Monday they agreed to terms on a six-year contract with Shaw, who according to reports will take home an annual average salary of $3.9 million.

"We are very pleased to have agreed to a long-term deal with Andrew Shaw," Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said in the announcement. "As I mentioned last Friday following his acquisition, we are adding a solid character player to our team, a reliable player who plays with grit and a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Chicago Blackhawks over the past five seasons. Andrew will add more leadership to our team. I had the opportunity to discuss with him over the past few days, and I sense his determination and excitement in joining the Canadiens’ organization for many years to come."

The Blackhawks, in another salary-cap squeeze this offseason, traded Shaw to the Canadiens last week in exchange for a pair of draft picks.

In five seasons with the Blackhawks, Shaw totaled 137 points, scoring 70 goals and tallying 67 assists. He was a key member of a pair of Stanley Cup winners in 2013 and 2015. In 67 playoff games, he registered 35 points.