Sharp overlooked in NHL, not with teammates


Sharp overlooked in NHL, not with teammates

Monday, Dec. 27, 2010
3:02 PM

By Tracey Myers

Patrick Sharps slap shot found the back of the Columbus net six seconds after the Chicago Blackhawks went on their power play on Sunday night. Once again it was timely. Once again, it proved to be the game-winner.

And once again, Sharp isnt going to get too giddy about any of the numbers hes putting up right now.

Its nice to score, especially in a win, but count the numbers at the end of the season, Sharp told the media after tallying his 19th and 20th goals this season on Sunday. If you sit back and start worrying about how many goals you have or how many points you have, thats when the pucks not going to go in for you.

Its understandable if Sharp doesnt want to put the kibosh on his productivity. Still, its hard not to trudge out the impressive numbers:

His 20 goals are third-best in the NHL.

His seven power-play goals are good for fifth in the league.

His 36 points are 14th-best.

He now has five game-winning goals this season and hasnt gone more than two games without recording a point.

Not bad for a guy whos not on the All-Star ballot, on which his name should be written.

Im surprised hes not on the All-Star ballot. Hes having a really good season, said Marian Hossa, who was on a line centered by Sharp on Monday morning. Hes a shooter and hes quick and thats his advantage. Hes so quick and hes using it and its paying off.

Sharps currently on a torrid pace, but hes put up decent numbers for a few seasons now. His two goals on Sunday guaranteed him his fifth consecutive season scoring 20 goals or more.

So the question is, in a league and even on a Blackhawks team full of superstars, does Sharp get overlooked in the league?

Hes not overlooked in this room but definitely in the NHL. He had 36 goals a few years ago and now hes proven almost a point-a-game guy, Patrick Kane said. I dont want to pump his tires because we battle a little bit like big brother and little brother. But hes fun to watch out there.

Sharp may not have generated much national attention earlier this season when the ballot was drawn up, but he should be getting it now. Regardless of where he falls among the leagues best, however, the Blackhawks are reaping the benefits of his productivity.

We certainly appreciate what he does for us, coach Joel Quenneville said. He consistently produces and plays in every situation. His consistent play has been in the right areas. Hes been one of those guys when you look over the course of a year, he continues to do the same thing game in and game out. Its been appreciated and noticed.

Tracey Myers is's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Five Things from Blackhawks-Maple Leafs: Richard Panik stays hot

Five Things from Blackhawks-Maple Leafs: Richard Panik stays hot

This Five Things was headed for a lot of negativity before the final three minutes of regulation. But thanks to the Blackhawks’ third-period comeback, this one won’t sting as much as Friday’s installment.

So while you all celebrate the Cubs going to a World Series, let’s look at Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ 5-4 shootout victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

1. Waking up just in time. The Maple Leafs haven’t played their best hockey in third periods – entering Saturday’s game, they’d been outscored 6-1 in that frame. But for 17-plus minutes of the third it didn’t look like the Blackhawks were going to take advantage of that stat. But they would, salvaging a point out of nowhere with two goals within a minute (Artem Anisimov at 17:32 and Richard Panik at 18:32). Better late than never.

2. The Richard Panik show continues. The forward said he doesn’t think about Toronto anymore, that it’s all about the team he’s with now. But looking at his celebration on his game-tying goal late in the third period, there had to be a little motivation to score against the Leafs, right? The Blackhawks don’t care who the opponent is, and Panik now has six goals to start the season.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

3. Power play fizzles. Ah, thought we were going to talk about the other special teams? In a second. The bigger problem on Saturday was the Blackhawks’ advantage, on which they went 0-for-6. It took until overtime, when their fifth power play was a 4-on-3 for them to really generate anything against the Leafs.

4. Late-period goals hurt. The Blackhawks looked set to enter first intermission with a 1-0 lead but Tyler Bozak scored with just 14 seconds remaining. They could’ve had a 2-2 tie entering the second intermission but James van Riemsdyk scored with 1:44 remaining in the second. Again, the Blackhawks overcame that. But coach Joel Quenneville talked about the loss of momentum in games, and here are two examples of it.

5. The Auston Matthews show. The Leafs phenom didn’t score a goal on Saturday but there’s no doubt he had his effect. His speed was especially on display on William Nylander’s goal; Matthews drew several Blackhawks and Nylander had a rather open net on the rebound.

Blackhawks rally to beat Maple Leafs in shootout

Blackhawks rally to beat Maple Leafs in shootout

As the clock ticked down to under three minutes remaining in regulation, the Blackhawks were looking at more negatives than positives.

Their power play wasn’t working. Their penalty kill was 1-for-2 and they were trailing 4-2 to the Toronto Maple Leafs. But just when it looked like the Blackhawks were headed for their second consecutive loss, they pulled out a comeback.

Richard Panik scored the game-tying goal against his former team and Artemi Panarin scored the shootout winner as the Blackhawks came back to beat the Leafs 5-4 on Saturday night.

Tyler Motte scored his second goal in as many nights and Artem Anisimov had two goals. Scott Darling stopped 30 of 34 shots through regulation and overtime. The victory didn’t erase some of the issues the Blackhawks still have, some of which showed in this one, too. But it brought some needed relief.

“It was a big win in a lot of different ways,” said Duncan Keith, who had two assists, including the primary one on Panik’s goal. “I know it’s still early but I think we were able to put some pressure on there. And anytime you get big goals like that late in the game when they’re needed, it’s a confidence boost and something we can build off.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

The end looked like it was going to be frustrating, especially after William Nylander’s second goal of the night gave the Leafs a 4-2 lead about five minutes into the third. But Anisimov scored his second goal of the evening with 2:28 remaining to pull the Blackhawks to within 4-3. Just one minute later, Panik scored his sixth of the season to tie it 4-4.

Panarin’s shot in round three of the shootout, coupled with Darling stopping Mitchell Marner’s wrist shot, sealed it.

“Obviously we were down 4-2 and came back against a great team. That helps our confidence,” Panik said. “Everybody’s pumped about a win so that’s a good sign.”

The Blackhawks will take it but they know they had their problems in this one. Their power play went 0-for-6. That included two 4-on-3 opportunities in overtime. They allowed another goal on their penalty kill, although they did snuff out another Toronto power-play opportunity in the third period.

“It’s one,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “We need several, several, several to get excited. But certainly that was, we’ll say, timely.”

The Blackhawks still have a long way to go this season. That penalty kill still needs work. They want more consistent play. But considering how this was looking with about three minutes remaining in regulation, they’ll take it.

“We’re certainly fortunate to come back in a game like that,” Quenneville said. “There have been a lot of comebacks in the league this year and we’ve given up some leads ourselves. That was a little different way of going about it. There are some positives but more so how we played in the third period. But we still lose a lot of momentum in the game. That’s what we’ve got to shore up.”