Patrick Sharp, Blackhawks Blast Devils

Kane NJ

Patrick Sharp stayed red-hot with two more goals as the Blackhawks showed no sympathy for the Devils, sending New Jersey home for Christmas with a 5-2 loss in their stocking.

Sharp opened the scoring with his 17th goal of the season in the first period off a pretty pass from Marian Hossa. The shot was redirected off the glove of Devils defenseman Mark Fayne and past Cory Schneider.

New Jersey tied the game at one at 5:37 into the second as Stephen Gionta was the beneficiary of a John Merrill shot that ricocheted a couple of times before slipping past Antti Raanta. The tie was short-lived, however.

Patrick Kane scored his 22nd of the year, tipping in a Nick Leddy shot. Kris Versteeg worked hard on the forecheck to set up a good opportunity for Leddy, and Kane was rewarded for being in the right place at the right time.

After Brandon Saad made a strong play on the forecheck to win a puck battle, Bryan Bickell unleashed his best shot since returning from injury and scored his sixth of the season. That tally held up as the game-winning score for Chicago.

Michael Ryder added a second goal for the Devils 59 seconds into the third period, but the Hawks erased any questions with two more goals in the final frame. Sharp scored his 18th of the year on a breakaway off another gorgeous feed from Hossa, and Leddy scored a power play goal to close the books.

Sharp hit a post with just over 40 seconds remaining in regulation for what would have been a hat trick. Schneider came out to play a puck and had his pass attempt picked off by Sharp, who just missed having a few lids tossed on the ice.

Jonathan Toews, who has been slumping in the eyes of some, won 17 of 22 faceoffs and was credited with an assist in just over 20 minutes of ice time. Marcus Kruger won three of four a the dot and was strong on the one penalty kill the Hawks successfully negotiated in the game.

The performance in front of Raanta was outstanding, as the Devils were limited to only 12 shots on net. The Hawks were only credited with 11 blocked shots in the game, led by Kris Versteeg’s three. Leddy had a fantastic night as well. He skated 17:03 and was credited with an assist and his fifth goal of the season.

On the flip side, Schneider allowed five goals against 37 shots. Hossa, Saad and Brent Seabrook were credited with two assists each, and Versteeg and Duncan Keith were credited with one assist each in the victory.

In the dominant effort, coach Joel Quenneville was able to spread out the ice time before the holiday break. Only four Blackhawks – Keith, Seabrook, Toews and Sharp – skated over 20 minutes in the game, led by Keith’s 23:55 on the ice. Every Hawks skated played over 10 minutes in the game.

28 thoughts on “Patrick Sharp, Blackhawks Blast Devils

  1. That was just the kind of game we wanted going into the Christmas break. The word dominant would not be inappropriate. A 38-18 edge in faceoffs and 37 shots for the Hawks and only 12 shots for the Devils is a pretty accurate picture of just how dominant the Hawks were. Unlike the game against the Canucks, this game the Hawks played all 3 periods like the superior team. Actually the 5-2 score probably should have been more lopsided as the Hawks found iron on a number of their shots “not on goal”.

    With Anaheim winning again tonight (9 in a row I think), they keep their 1 point lead on the Hawks. The thing of note with the Ducks is they have played 9 more road games than home games (24 on the road and only 15 at home) – and they are 13-0-2 at home. So they will have a lot of home cooking in the second half of the season.

    Dallas beat LA tonight – so that was nice. St.Louis blew a lead and lost to the Flames in a shootout – so that was nice. And the cherry on top – Mike Smith scored on himself to lose the game in OT against Buffalo when he backed into the net not realizing the puck was lodged in the back of his pants – hilarious.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone.

  2. got 5 , coulda been 10. Yet there we were, one goal game 5min into 3rd

    I guess the Devils are no longer ‘surging’ after a 3-0-1 run stoked by white hot D Andy Greene(-3 vs chi). Love that eastern media.

    Merry Christmas

  3. Weve scored 5 or more goals/game moar this year then we have in any other year since we had our team (full roster wise…/’08-09). Amazing.

    We do want the 1 seed but the 2seed is good too. We’ll try to win as many games as we can/pts./standings. It is what it is. Even if Ana is the 1seed, San Jose was the 1 seed in ’09-10 & we were 52-22. That worked out pretty well.

    Blackhawks Proud.

  4. It was enjoyable to watch the Hawks own the Devils last night. It should be noted though that NJ appeared to have little interest in this game apart from skating up and down the ice and trying to avoid puck possession. The Devils surprisingly were one goal away from tying things up in the 3rd! This Devils team was as bad last night as those Bolton Honda commercials that have overrun the Christmas TV ad campaign. Hawks could have scored 10 last night.

    I thought there were some real brought spots last night. The play of Versteeg, Smith and Hossa was very strong. Versteeg is getting his legs back, and the guy makes so many smart hockey plays. Fast hands, good positioning along the boards was notable. He has some jump back in his skates. Smith is also becoming a very effective regular utilizing his speed and quickness. With Bicks back in the lineup I like how the lines looked last night. Keep rolling 4 solid lines and the Hawks will prosper. Great shot by Bickell last night. He can really let em rip. Bollig hardly played last night. I thought Kostka was pretty bad last night. The more I see this guy play, the more I like Brookbank. Rozy needs his rest.

    Did any of you guys notice when Keith got tripped from behind early in the game? This was one of those plays that just triggers Duncs. He gets this scary look in his eyes that says someone is going to pay. I figured for sure he was going to end up in the box for getting some retribution. I guess someone talked him off the ledge at the bench.

    Thanks EbRap for the updates with our competitors. I saw the replay of the Smith own goal. It was indeed hilarious.

    Some big games coming up. Avs, Blues, and then Kings in a 4 day span will be fun to watch and a good measuring stick as to where this team is. Right now the Hawks are pretty healthy, scoring lots of goals, and getting a little better on the PK. Goaltending with Raanta a wonderful surprise.

    Merry Christmas everyone and

    Lets Go Hawks!

  5. Phil- Congrats on the “hat-trick”…Kostka is scaring me… I commented to my wife about Bolton’s Cheesey Honda commercials… and I am very interested/concerned on these next few games (Hawks have not played/point-ed well vs. Blues/Avs)…

    also- saw the Rage in Keith… luckily there was a stop in play- or I think he would have gone after someone.

    Phil- the only observation you are missing… the “TROPHY” shoot the puck girl was only an 8… way below the average for that event!!!

    Did anyone see the Dirty/cheap- leg/knee from Backes on Flames player… Hopefully, He will be suspended/out vs Hawks- that was CHEAP!!!

  6. Saw that Backes play live, how is this guy a Captain of an NHL team? I really have a hard time understanding how someone so bush league wears a C . This is , i believe, the same team that has opted not to have players skate by the bench after scoring to high five teammates because they think it’s inappropriate. And Backes is your freakin Captain? wth?

  7. Tab great summary as always. I wasn’t able to watch the game but know were to get a great game summary. The Hawks have a tough stretch after the break, it should be fun as always. NHL network is playing the world juniors. They have highlighted. Tuevo as a top 5 player to watch going into the tournament. It’s good to be a Hawks fan happy holidays

  8. Well said RD! Backes disrespects the C on his jersey by his style of play. He has been a cheap shot artist for years. No class at all. Another reason the Blues won’t win until that changes. It starts at the top.

    Wall, I think the game in St Louis this weekend will the most interesting of the “big three” coming up. Avs will face what I believe to be a motivated Hawks team playing at home Friday. Sat in St Louis will be a good test. Hawks I think have been good in backs to backs this year. We should have taken points in St Louis back in Oct. LOL to your comment about the 2nd intermission shoot gal. I stopped watching that bit years ago for the most part. “Talent” used to be much better IMO…

  9. To look at that play, Backes looks like he is trying to run over Stajan as Stajan is looking down, but Stajan, at the last second, shifts to his right and Backes misses the body and catches his leg. If Backes just skates at Stajan and stands him up, Stajan has to take the hit and give up the puck. But Backes tries to run over a guy who is trying to make a “hockey” play.

    If the look on a criminals face tells a story, the look on Backes face tells a story of frustration, guilt and regret. Frustration because the Blues were getting out played by the Flames, guilt because he was caught red handed and regret because he will miss a few games when his team needs their “captain” the most.

    Backes should get at least a 3 game suspension for that reckless play. You can see how this game has changed on that play from 5-10 years ago. A few years back, Backes gets pummeled by someone on the ice and all hell breaks out. Did you notice that NOBODY on Calgary even came close to Backes for fear of a retaliatory penalty or being sucked into a penalty?

    I know this looks bad for Backes, but you can never convince me that ANY player at the pro level of hockey will intentionally hurt another player. Sometimes emotions take over and stuff happens (ie: Shawn Thornton), but nobody EVER thinks about hurting another player, these guys have to much respect for each other. Most of the crap the happens is “reactionary” to a situation(ie: Duncs and Carter from last years playoffs).

    With or without Backes, the Hawks have to start to show the Blues who owns the division. Right now we are 0-2 against them and a dominating game against them is a definite “must”!!

  10. Reg – I disagree regarding no pro player intentionally tries to hurt another player. I’ll grant that maybe when it isn’t during the heat of the moment they would never consider trying to hurt another player, but there are players, and Backes is one of them, that do try to hurt other players when they are caught up in the game. There are too many incidents perpetrated by some players for it to be accidental.

    David Backes and Dustin Brown are two examples of guys that wear the “C” for the team who are pretty good players who don’t need to goon it up to keep earning an NHL salary, and yet they multiple incidents of knee on knee and elbows to the head and all kinds of plays that cross the line between good hard hockey plays and dirty plays. Those players do not have respect for other players and that’s why the keep making dirty plays. That leads to only one conclusion – they intentionally cross the line and don’t really care if the other player gets hurt. I don’t think there’s any disticntion between intentionally trying to hurt someone and intentionally doing a play that might hurt someone.

  11. Does anyone know why Carl Dahlstrom is not on the Swedish team for the world juniors? He was a top 4 d-man for their team during the summer exhibition games yet he is not on the roster for the upcoming tournament.

  12. ER, I agree with your comments 100%. Good you included Brown who kind of fly’s under the radar unless you watch lots of Kings games and see what goes on.

  13. Reg Dunlop- you say tomatoes I say tomahtooes… do guys try to “hurt” each other?
    Torres/hit on 81… cheap, dirty, illegal in a couple of ways… AND no he wasn’t trying to hurt him… just trying to make a “good check”!!!! PLEASE!!!! If that were true the NHL should not only suspend – but make offenders take a 6 month program/class on what is legal and what is not!!!

    While Keith’s reaction was dirty, cheap… it was a quick/sudden reaction to a Jerky play by Carter… Keith was childish, and sorry (I know he meant to hit w/ stick- just not that high)- still suspension worthy- but he was acting on emotions and not thinking.

    MS- I would guess that Dahlstrom is hurt… seems like his games are low in # compared to others…

    The Torres/Backes hits- will HURT people… are cheap… and really weren’t spur of the moment/sudden reactions to other violent/cheap plays… So IMO- emotions/reactions are not involved… they are committed by pathetic/dirty/ win at all cost type of guys… the NHL needs to take actions to minimize these plays.

  14. Good game by the Hawks…nice to see Toews back to 100%…Tab described Toews as slumping, but I think we all knew he was injured and it was only a question of time…more than anything else, I liked how he battled hard last night all over the ice to win possession…Sharp and Hossa benefited greatly from his efforts…IMO Toews was the 1st star of the game…Hoss still looks a little tentative and off, but certainly was better…

    Nice to see Bickell have a much better game, and that 3rd line was great…what a huge bonus moving forward with that 3rd line in tact…but over the last month the 3 best Hawk forwards have been Kane, Saad and Versteeg, and they were very good again…this is depth that other teams simply don’t have…plus, they know what it takes to win a Cup, to an extent, even Ben Smith does…

    And with Anti Raanta playing so well, and CC right on pace for getting back into game action, the Hawks are looking very, very good.

    I agree with the posters who thought Kostka did NOT look good…a little lazy in the DZone and unsure of himself…if he wants ice time, he’s going to have to play consistently well…no matter how much he looks like Thor…

  15. Agreed Phil and Wall, there are absolutely guys who will take shifts attempting to injure an opposition player…I guarantee you it happens…how badly is another question altogether, but in my mind, it doesn’t matter…guys who have to stoop to the level of injuring another player to make a play or to win a game, or in Torres instance win a series, have NO place in hockey…

    And let’s face it, when Carcillo hurt his knee last season against EDM, he was definitely trying to hurt the Oiler player…that was one of the stupidest plays I have witnessed in hockey…so it happens…

    Backes is a punk, and he is the EXACT reason why fighting is still in hockey…and yet, not a single Flame went after him…I guess the OT win was a nice payoff, but still….

  16. ‘I don’t think there’s any disticntion between intentionally trying to hurt someone and intentionally doing a play that might hurt someone.’

    ER, your right and I think regardless if they meant to or not, if there’s any contact to head or knee/knee then your suspended.

    I think that the league needs to have the suspensions be for the proper amount of games too. This 2,5 & 8 games suspensions are a joke. They need to be 10,15 & 20 and if people think that’s too much salary involved then just have 1/2 salary deduction per game. Team doesn’t get roster spot & cap hit for those games.

    An idea, suspend for next 3games and next 3games against the team he did it too. Every time someone does something, the team they did it to doesn’t benefit in anyway. Especially when the refs usually don’t call a 5min ejection, sometimes no penalty at all (crosscheck to the side of Versteeg head against glass…).

    I think regardless of what refs call, the league always needs to suspend according. When players know they be suspended for stuff refs don’t call/see it will lower the times it happens. Hockey will always remain physical just not dirty without proper suspension.

  17. I love Christmas, it’s my favorite time of the year. Others may have their own way to celebrate, or a different reason for celebration, or even a different holiday all together, and that’s great – people are different and have different beliefs and that’s what makes this world of our so diverse and wonderful, but for me it is the original reason we celebrate Christmas – the Christian reason – the birth of Jesus. So to all my fellow Christians I wish you a very Merry Christmas and remind you to remember the reason for the season. For all of my fellow Hawks fans who have different beliefs, I wish you a Happy Holidays and hopefully time spent with family and friends.

    And to all, I wish a Happy New Year. May you be healthy and prosperous and find joy in your life. And may some of that joy come from watching our beloved hockey team stay healthy and play well.

  18. Off topic…apologize in advance.

    Where can I get decent hawks jersey at decent price? By “decent”, I want a sewn emblem, not iron on vinyl. I can’t seem to find that for less than $180. (downers grove) is $180 for Reebok “Premier”. Blackhawks store at 333 N Michigan is $200+ for same jersey. (official NHL website, I think) is $185. This Reebok Premier is a really nice jersey. But I want jerseys for my three daughters, and they aren’t worth $180 each. Ha!

    For $75 (on sale), I can get a very mediocre knockoff w vinyl emblem and lettering at Sports Authority. I want better than that.

    Te most important thing i want is a cloth, sewn emblem. Any help?

    Thanks, and again, I apologize to anyone who feels this is inappropriate use of the blog. I consider this appropriate posting, among fellow Hawks fans. Now if I was asking where to find a Sedin jersey…

  19. Hawkey- If you don’t want cheap, you will be hard pressed to find anything for less than 140-150 if you hit sales. 175-200 is the going rate for a “good jersey”. Full Authentics can run 300+. If you go online you can get Chinese made replicas for cheap, but i have heard horror stories about getting those. logos will be off set or in the wrong place. numbers wont be even… etc. you get what you pay for.

  20. Actual authentic are the 7287 edge 2.0 & the only place right now is on ebay for 325. Then have (708) 478-6090) sewn on the number and name plate.

    Retail authentic are the 7187 edge 1.0 & you can find those for 140 (premier are 105)with number and name plate at These are the ones with the vector logo. I would call them to make sure there legit/sewn properly.

    To make sure there exactly what you want. I would get a blank jersey for lowest cost somewhere and have do the custom number and name plate.

  21. Thanks, Tim and Morrison. Morrison, blackhawksstoreonline is one of the “Chinese” ones Tim references. No returns, poor grammar on their “about us” and FAQ pages give them away. Great prices, but not going to take that chance. Others I’ve seen (including triplethreat) are $180, even for the premier. Wow, that’s a lot of money for a jersey.

  22. Yea, I mentioned triple threat sports for their custom numbers and name plate. That’s where I am sending my 7287 to have number and name plate.

    The picture on the blackhawksstoreonline site looks like the 7187 w/vector logo. I have one of those and its authentic. That’s why I would call to make sure, where ever you end up getting from to make sure… You really have to inspect. I am not sure where you can get a premier for lower price. Like you’ve seen a lot of places are not sewn good or etc.

    The Blackhawks store downtown have their number and name plate sewn on by the people who do the guys jerseys, so there good. Triple threat sports is very good.

    I would go with a black one then have one of those good places do number and nameplate. That way you know youre getting top end sewn & you can inspect jersey before you custom and send back if its not ‘real’ or one of those indo knock offs.

    Depending on how old they are, just get larger size now so they can wear them for a long time…

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