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.
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.