Sharp overlooked in NHL, not with teammates

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Sharp overlooked in NHL, not with teammates

Monday, Dec. 27, 2010
3:02 PM

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

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

Preview: Blackhawks open preseason against Penguins Wednesday on CSN+

Preview: Blackhawks open preseason against Penguins Wednesday on CSN+

Scott Darling and the Blackhawks open up preseason play against the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday, and you can catch all the action on CSN+ at 7:30 p.m. 

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.  

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After World Cup of Hockey, Patrick Kane joins Blackhawks at training camp

After World Cup of Hockey, Patrick Kane joins Blackhawks at training camp

Patrick Kane’s break from the ice lasted less than a week, his time in Toronto serving as a good preseason primer, of sorts.

And with the season about two weeks away, Kane said he’s about where he needs to be.

Kane and Michal Kempny joined the Blackhawks on Tuesday, two of several players beginning to trickle in from their World Cup of Hockey stints. For Kane, the World Cup didn’t go nearly as long as expected – Team USA was ousted in the preliminary round. But now, the focus is on honing things before the season begins.

“I feel pretty good,” Kane said following the second group’s practice on Tuesday. “I feel like everything’s starting to come around right now for sure. I guess, starting to feel kind of like myself again on the ice, so to speak. It’s good to be back in the locker room here with all the guys and back in a Blackhawks uniform, too. It’s always fun coming back. Feels like home, for sure.”

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Kane will not play Wednesday, when the Blackhawks face the Pittsburgh Penguins in their preseason opener. How many preseason games he does get is uncertain; but considering Kane’s time in World Cup of Hockey, the Blackhawks aren’t concerned with him getting rusty.

“He’s going to probably want to do it sooner than later, but I think we can be patient because he’s already been playing games,” assistant coach Mike Kitchen said. “Usually the veteran players when you come into a normal camp, they want to play maybe two or three games to just get their timing. For him, he’s already played quite a few games. There’s no reason to get him in right away, so we’ll just kind of bring him along, especially this early into camp.”

Team USA had a dismal showing at World Cup of Hockey, losing all three games in the preliminary round. But Kane said he’s put that behind him.

“It was a situation, looking back on it now, where we lost to a good team in Europe – they’re in the championship now – and I think at that point there’s a lot of noise from the outside that maybe crept in to our locker room a little bit. We needed to beat Canada. You could say they probably outplayed us but we had chances I that game to keep ourselves in it and ended up losing that one and we were out. But you’re playing in the World Cup of Hockey, you’re playing for your country, it’s always an honor to play for the United States. I’ll always remember playing for my country and always want to do it if you get the opportunity.”

BRIEFLY

  • Duncan Keith skated with the second group on Tuesday. The Blackhawks will continue to monitor him. “He’ll probably want to get maybe a couple of [preseason] games just for his timing, especially for a defenseman, too. Just so he’ll able to get his gap control and things like that. I imagine he’ll want to try and get some games, but we’ll just see how his knee’s come along and how he responds,” Kitchen said. “We don’t want to put him in a situation before we have to because it only is preseason. We’ll just have to monitor that.”
  • Scott Darling is scheduled to play the entire game vs. the Penguins tomorrow.