Patrick Sharp had every right to feel relieved.
After all he had been through in the St. Louis series -- hitting posts, missing nets, the physical beating -- frustration had to give way to pure joy.
But there was none of that from Sharp postgame Sunday after his crucial third-period goal put the Hawks ahead by a pair.
It was Sharp's first point of the series, but when I asked him about it Sharp showed no signs of happiness or liberation. He looked focused and displayed the piercing eyes of a man still wanting to bust a stick over the crossbar.
That is a very good indicator for the Hawks.
"It's frustrating, but I've been through many stretches like that before," Sharp said with no hint of a smile. "I'm a guy that's supposed to score goals on a nightly basis. You just have to keep skating, keep shooting and find a way to get to the net."
After losing a faceoff, sprinting to the point and blocking a shot, Sharp kept skating and took a sweet feed from Patrick Kane. Sharp was basically even with Kevin Shattenkirk when he took the pass just outside the St. Louis zone and then opened up a step on the defenseman, who clipped Sharp in the face with his stick in desperation.
While being hooked, Sharp lost the puck, which slid under Ryan Miller for a 3-1 Hawks lead.
"Blocked shot and I kept my feet moving," Sharp said. "I knew Kaner was going to hit me with the pass. I knew I was in. I just wanted to focus on getting a shot on net.
"It was tough to get to the net in a series like that. I had an opportunity, so I wanted to get it there however I could. All the shots I had in the series that didn't go in, it's funny that the first one I score rolls off my stick and goes in."
It was the Hawks' second goal in 77 seconds early in the third and the Blues were finished.
"The third goal was a backbreaker," said Blues coach Ken Hitchcock. "It really took the wind out of our sails. You could see a big sag on our bench."
Should Miller have had it?
"I don't want to get into that," Hitchcock said. "First two periods were the best we ever played in this building. We had to play close to perfection. We had our chances, but we just couldn't get the lead.
"And then every time they scored, it seemed like there was a 19 or 88 or 10 or 81 on their backs. That's how it felt."
While No. 10 wasn't smiling, No. 19 was quite happy for his teammate.
"It was so nice to see," Jonathan Toews said with a grin. "He's been working for it all series. It seems like it's something people start talking about. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with how you're playing. You're getting chances and they're not going in.
"I know what that was like last year in the first couple rounds. You can't worry about that. You just keep playing and stick to the things that make you successful.
"For him to get that third goal was huge for us. Great for him to get it going, and especially big for our team."
What's impressive about Sharp is that he still works hard off the puck even when he's snakebit. He's making plays defensively, taking the body and looking to help in any way he can."
That's unusual for a goal-scorer of Sharp's ability.
"It's not about me," Sharp said. "It's a big win. Lot of talk about not scoring goals, but it's about us winning the game."
Sharp's series was something of a microcosm of the entire team start to finish against St. Louis. A lot of frustration, tough getting it going, but playing their best when the most was on the line.
The real positive is that the Hawks took down the Blues while getting a single point from their top goal scorer and point producer, not to mention a pair of lonely points from Marian Hossa, their second-leading goal scorer.
The good news is the Hawks won the series without them scoring much. The better news is Sharp scored the goal that essentially ended the Blues' season.
But to watch Patrick Sharp after Game 6 is understand that he is still angry.
And you get the feeling he is eager to take it out on someone.
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