Sharp overlooked in NHL, not with teammates

289615.jpg

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.

Blackhawks sign goaltender Jeff Glass to two-year deal

Blackhawks sign goaltender Jeff Glass to two-year deal

The Blackhawks added organizational depth to their goaltending position by inking Jeff Glass to a two-year deal that runs through the 2017-18 season, the team announced Thursday. His deal carries a $612,500 cap hit, according to CapFriendly.com.

Glass, 31, signed a contract with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League in January, and played well enough to earn himself a deal at the professional level.

He owns a 5-4-1 record with a 2.38 goals against average, .917 save percentage and two shutouts in 10 games since joining the IceHogs, and has earned victories in four of his last five games.

A third round selection by Ottawa in 2004, Glass has yet to make his National Hockey League debut, but he's making strides in the right direction by jumping Mac Carruth on Rockford's depth chart and rotating with Lars Johansson.

The move provides insurance for a Blackhawks team that is relatively thin at the goaltending position outside of Corey Crawford and Scott Darling, the latter of whom will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. 

And given the uncertainty of Darling's status heading into the summer, Glass could compete for the backup job next year. He also fills the expansion draft requirements if Chicago chooses to go that direction, although it's unlikely he'll be claimed by Las Vegas.

Blackhawks look to keep rolling vs. Coyotes

Blackhawks look to keep rolling vs. Coyotes

The last time the Blackhawks faced the Arizona Coyotes was the first game the current top line of Nick Schmaltz, Jonathan Toews and Richard Panik were thrown together.

Yeah, the combination's worked out well. So has the Blackhawks' game in general, as they've won seven of eight including that Feb. 2 game. Now the Blackhawks will try to keep the momentum rolling with their lines and their game when they host the Coyotes Thursday night at the United Center.

The Blackhawks' current run of success started in the desert and part of that has been finding more consistent lines. Everything else has gradually improved off of that, from goal scoring to puck possession.

"I think it's puck possession, puck control, pace to the game," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I thought we were very inconsistent in that early and we were defending way more than we were accustomed to. You're vulnerable for penalties, you're vulnerable for quality scoring chances against and not generating enough. I think that's the progression in our game now, it seems like all four lines are having the puck and having some zone time and having some rush chances, zone chances and it seems like every line's contributing there, and that's the big difference."

[RELATED: By the bye - Blackhawks keep rolling following break]

The Blackhawks' top line didn't have immediate chemistry but Quenneville kept them together and let them work on it. But as Toews said, it was about the group keeping the all-around game going, points or no points.

"Sometimes you just gotta work until things start clicking," Toews said. "Everyone seems to start paying attention when you start scoring goals, regardless of [the fact you're] doing things right. It's nice that we're scoring but we have to stick with what's making us a successful line at both ends of the rink right now."

Corey Crawford will start vs. the Coyotes. Niklas Hjalmarsson did not skate this morning but is expected to play. Quenneville said Michal Rozsival could draw into the lineup.

Broadcast information

Time: 7:30 p.m.
TV: CSN
Live stream: CSNChicago.com

Blackhawks lines

Nick Schmaltz -Jonathan Toews-Richard Panik
Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane
Dennis Rasmussen-Marcus Kruger-Marian Hossa
Ryan Hartman-Tanner Kero-Vinnie Hinostroza

Defensive pairs

Duncan Keith-Niklas Hjalmarsson
Michal Rozsival-Brent Seabrook
Brian Campbell-Trevor van Riemsdyk

Goaltender

Corey Crawford

Injuries 

None

Coyotes lines (via Arizona Republic)

Tobias Rieder-Martin Hanzal-Radim Vrbata
Brendan Perlini-Christian Dvorak-Shane Doan
Max Domi -Alex Burmistrov-Ryan White
Jamie McGinn-Jordan Martinook-Josh Jooris

Defensive pairs

Oliver Ekman-Larsson-Luke Schenn
Alex Goligoski-Anthony DeAngelo
Jakob Chychrun-Connor Murphy

Goaltender

Mike Smith

Injuries

Lawson Crouse (lower body), Brad Richardson (tibia)