Patrick Sharp has been in worse slumps, if that’s what you want to call it.
Sharp’s not sure that what he is in the midst of even qualifies as a slump. He hasn’t scored a goal in nine games, but his 12 points leave him tied for third on the Blackhawks in scoring with Marian Hossa.
The Hawks, meanwhile, are 10-0-3 and remain the only team in the NHL without a loss in regulation.
“It doesn’t matter,” Sharp said Thursday. “I’m still producing offensively at the same clip I normally do, it’s just Kaner (Patrick Kane) is doing the scoring and I’m getting the assists instead of the other way around.
“And the team is winning. If we were losing it would be a different story. It’s tough to complain when your team is undefeated.”
Sharp scored 33 goals last season despite missing eight games with an injury and knows he won’t approach that number in a season shortened to 48 games because of the lockout.
Sharp also had 36 assists, a part of his game that often gets overlooked.
“A lot gets made of the puck going in the net and everyone congratulates the goal scorer,” Sharp said. “For a lot of years people came to me after games when I had a goal and they probably should have gone to the guy that made the play or got the assist.
“I don’t get too concerned with it. I know it’s a part of my game that I’m counted on to do, but it’s going to go in sooner or later. I’ve had some games this year that I wasn’t happy with, but as long as I’m skating and moving my feet and creating chances, I’m happy.
“Like I said, I’m still producing, the team is winning, so there’s nothing to complain about.”
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville is not concerned about Sharp’s lack of goal scoring as long as the line (with Dave Bolland at center) keeps producing.
“I think that line generates a lot,” Quenneville said. “I talked to them today and I think they want to be more productive. They had some good shifts the other day and some good looks at it.
“Sometimes they don’t go in for you, but that line has been effective and productive, and (Sharp) has been productive as well.
“I think goal scorers love the fact that when they cash in it feels better, so I think eventually they’ll start going in (for Sharp).”
Friday would be a good time for Sharp to bust loose against a San Jose team that has dropped six in a row. The last time the two teams met last week in San Jose, the Sharks jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the Hawks rallied to win 5-3.
The Hawks never believe they are out of a game, and it showed that night when they were able to recover from that quick 2-0 hole.
“We believe in each other and we believe in our team system and that’s important because you’re not going to cruise through every game,” Sharp said. “There are going to be bumps in the road. We’ve been down early in games and have been able to remain focused and just play our game and that’s the way to be successful.”
firstname.lastname@example.orgCopyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.