In Sharp's absence, Hawks pick up scoring

In Sharp's absence, Hawks pick up scoring
January 13, 2012, 9:18 pm
Share This Post

When Patrick Sharp was sidelined after Sundays game against Detroit, the familiar rallying cry went out: a 40-point player was out and everyone else had to step up and contribute.

So far, everyone is.

The healthy Blackhawks are picking up for the injured parties, as 10 different players got on the score sheet in each of their last two games, 5-2 decisions over Columbus and Minnesota.

It was something the Blackhawks needed considering recent injuries, especially in the absence of Sharp (wrist), who had 20 goals and 20 assists.

When a guy goes down you know there are extra roles that come on you. Guys have taken over those roles, said Dave Bolland, who has three goals and two assists in his last two games. Were doing a great job at it. Well just keep going, keep rolling.

So far the call has been heard, and the more unsung goal scorers have responded loudest. Viktor Stalberg has four goals in two games. Bollands been scoring. Rookies Jimmy Hayes and Andrew Shaw have contributed, too.

The points have been spread around the roster and theyve all been welcome sights.

Its nice when you get contributions across the board, coach Joel Quenneville said. We talk all year long that we need more consistency in our team game, and whether theres production or not, I thought we had good rotation in our lines for back-to-back games here.

Defenseman Steve Montador, who had two assists on Thursday, said we obviously have some big horses here, and its good to know theyll contribute more often than not; having said that, the rest of us have to chip in from time to time. Were going to get the opportunities.

Montadors right: the Blackhawks horses, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane and Sharp before he was hurt are still going to get the bulk of the points. Thats why theyre among the leagues elite. But every superstar benefits from having a good supporting cast. The Blackhawks are benefiting from theirs right now.