Patrick Sharp, Blackhawks Demolish Avalanche

On his 32nd birthday, Patrick Sharp recorded a hat trick as the Blackhawks skated circles around the visiting Colorado Avalanche.

By the end of the first period, Colorado coach Patrick Roy may have wanted to put a ring in each ear to subdue the goal horn at the United Center after the long Christmas break.

Sharp’s first goal came at 12:27 (yes, the date) in the first period from off a pretty feed from Duncan Keith.Jonathan Toews broke up the scoring – and got himself out of a scoring drought – with his 14th at 18:03 after a nice play by Marian Hossa created a rebound opportunity.

Sharp scored his second, this time on the power play, only 75 seconds after Toews’ goal. At the end of the first period, the Hawks were up 3-0 and had allowed only five Colorado shots to get to their netminder.

The second period opened as the first one concluded: with Sharp scoring. He scored his third only 69 seconds of game time after his second, and only 27 seconds into the middle frame. According to the Hawks, Sharp became the first player in team history to record a hat trick on his birthday on Friday night.

For good measure, Sharp made a spectacular defensive play at around eight minutes into the second, eliminating a scoring chance and setting up Toews for a 2-on-1 breakaway that Chicago’s captain deposited past Jean-Sebastian Giguere for his second of the night.

Antti Raanta allowed Colorado’s first goal – scored by Paul Stastny – on the Avs’ ninth shot of the game less than one minute after Toews’ second goal.

Patrick Kane made a Patrick Kane play at 13:30 to set up Michal Handzus for his fourth goal of the season, extending the Hawks lead to 6-1 in the middle stages of the second period. Kris Versteeg added his eighth goal of the season as the Hawks took a 7-1 lead to the dressing rooms.

Through 40 minutes, the Hawks out-shot the Avs 24-12, with Raanta making a few very impressive saves while his counterpart played the role of sieve.

Giguere was relieved at the start of the third period, replaced by Semyon Varlamov.

Players all over the roster had big statistical nights. Sharp and Toews had four-point nights, Keith had three assists, Niklas Hjalmarsson had two apples, and Handzus and Versteeg had two points (one goal, one assist) each. Brent Seabrook and Hossa also had assists in the game.

Kane’s assist extended his personal point streak – that started in November.

Gabriel Landeskog closed the scoring, pulling Colorado to within 7-2 at 7:37 into the third period.

Michal Rozsival was called for a delay of game minor penalty for an equipment violation with less than two minutes remaining in a 7-2 game… because the officials hadn’t embarrassed themselves in the game. The Hawks successfully killed both of their penalties in the game.

Raanta faced five shots in the third period for a total of 18 against in the game, allowing only two goals. Varlamov was perfect against 13 shots in the third for Colorado.

With his two assists on Friday night, Hjalmarsson tied his career-high of 17 points in a season – in Game 40. He last hit that mark with two goals and 15 assists in 77 games during the 2009-10 campaign.

The Hawks are 10-1-1 in the second half of back-to-backs, and will put that mark on the line in St. Louis on Saturday.

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11 Responses to Patrick Sharp, Blackhawks Demolish Avalanche

  1. wall says:

    and Hartman, Hinostroza, and TT all looked very good in the WJC 1st games!!!

    2nd line looked really good…

    Rosey looked like last year’s Rosey…

    WOW!

  2. ebonyraptor says:

    Patrick Sharp is known as a streaky scorer but the streak he is on now is the best I ever remember him having and that play where he hunted down Duchene and turned a Colorado breakaway into a Toews goal – WOW – outstanding!

    Not much to complain about in this one. That was thoroughly enjoyable, especially coming against an Avs team that has put it on the Hawks a few times over the last couple years … not to mention getting to watch the pompous Roy huff and puff and look totally clueless about what to do – double outstanding!!

    Really nice to see Toews pot a couple. He has been looking more like himself lately. Hopefully whatever it was that was hampering his play is better now and the Hawks with a healthy Toews will be even better than they have been – triple outstanding!!!

    Duncan “Norris” Keith’s passing this season – quadruple outstanding!!!!

    Let’s hope the Hawks bring the same focus and energy against the Blues tomorrow.

  3. Phil says:

    A most satisfying and dominant performance last night. It was a thing of beauty from a team that kept the gas pedal down almost the entire game. Well said by Tab concerning Sharpy last night. He was really flying on his skates, and combined with Toews and Hoss, my God those guys were amazing last night. We came within an eyelash of potting a double hat trick on one line! Something I have never seen before, and it leaves me wondering when was the last time that happened? When was the last time one line put up 5 goals or more in a game? I know Mulvey got 5 in one game many years ago, but that was a show by the Toews line that was memorable. Also, well pointed out by Tab was the play that Sharp made in the d zone to spring Toews for his breakaway goal. That was maybe the best single effort by a Hawks player all year in my book.

    Man that game last night was fun to watch at the UC. It was the kind of game where watching hockey in person is a special experience when you see a team flying on that level. The Av’s had no answer. If there was a slight downer last night, I felt Bicks had a rough night. He got popped pretty good in the first period in the O zone by an Av’s D man after skating rather passively to begin the game. Bickell needs to bring more than that kind of effort, and even though he is fresh off the injured list as of last week, he needs to play with more of an edge. Even though the Av’s got their butts handed to them, they still ran around pounding our guys with no answers back. That’s a job for Bicks and Bollig, and I guess last night they felt there was no need to waste the energy. They will surely need it tonight against a Blues team that is somewhat depleted with injury, and should have a sense of purpose against the high flying Hawks.

    The Avs players probably had nightmares last night seeing Hawks players cycling pucks in their zone. This matchup with Colorado was one I had circled on the calendar for some time. We have had some trouble with those guys in recent contests and of course there was the stinker bump in the road to start the circus trip. Avs were very opportunistic in that game, and they were gloating along with their arrogant coach. Patrick Roy I respected greatly as a player, but the guy always came off as kind of a dick with his comments during interviews. So last night, there were bungled line changes by the Avs. Roy hangs out Giguere to dry when it goes 3-0 Hawks. Just left his keeper in to be fed to the sharks. Why not put in Putin’s buddy, the woman beater Varlamov, and see if that stops the bleeding? Nope, Roy left Giguere in to get lit up through the second, and then brings out Varlamov to start the 3rd, who by the way made some great saves. Why even bother at that point when the game is in the bag for the Hawks? Colorado has some skilled players that might have been kick started by a goalie change early when it was 3-0. Maybe this is Roy’s way of telling his team, take a beating, ALL of you. I’ll show you guys how it’s done by hanging our keeper out to dry. I just think Roy is a jerk along the lines of AV. Sorry guys rant over.

    I think Q reduced the Toew’s line ice time in the 3rd, but not by that much. I was hoping to see some double shifting by the 3rd and 4th lines in the 3rd given the fact we play the Blues in what should be a spirited contest on the road tonight. Notable though is the fact that Steen, Sobotka, Reaves, and Polak are not supposed to skate tonight. I am amazed the league did nothing with Backes for that kneeing incident against Jersey earlier in the week. He should be out as well, the cheap shot piece of s*it. Hawks need to keep playing their game. If they can roll 4 lines tonight, and avoid taking dumb penalties, we should get another big W. Then look ahead to the finale against LA in what is this years best weekend triple header on the schedule as a possible sweep.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  4. Morrison says:

    THAT’s HOCKEY BABAAAAAY.

  5. Michigan Mo says:

    Sharpy has mentioned that making team Canada would be an important accomplishment, but he is obviously going for it. I’ve never seen him on a tear like he is right now, on both ends of the ice. Really hope he gets a spot.

  6. RyanDale says:

    Phil, be interesting to know that hat trick number. I know 99 had like 50 career tricks, so maybe he and Kurri might have done it. I recall Kurri getting 3 trix in one SERIES vs Chi! 66 and Jagr maybe?? or LAs Triple Crown line. But it would have been so nice to see last night and quite a feat given league scoring levels now

    What a great memory that will be for 10 and his family, he mentioned his parents were there too. He is such a classy guy . Wish we coulda saved a couple goals for tonight, hopefully we got something left those bums. No way is it a must win, but you still want to show your mettle. Bad night at the dot for 19, nit picking there, but still hard to see him at 38%.

  7. JS says:

    Just to quote myself:

    “Not sure why the hate on the Toews line. They dominated possession and were really close to potting a few goals. Even with a “slumping” Hossa (16 points in the last 15 games) and Toews, they dominated. They just didn’t score. It happens. They aren’t always going to look like the Globetrotters of hockey.”

    There is still something wrong with Toews, but it’s obviously something he can play through without injuring it more. Let’s just hope it heals by April.

    Handzus was good last night. That’s expected when the old man gets a few days off. Sadly, Kane has to skate with him again tonight so I imagine he ends his point streak unless they pot one on the power play.

    Time to send Kostka down to the Rock and bring up a kid to rotate! Let’s go!

  8. RyanDale says:

    ^braggart :-) agree johnny is still hurting and be assured Backes will be trying to make it worse tonight. Is Steen in or out? I think we can get it done tonight as long as we arent killed on pp/pk and their goalie doesn’t just steal one. Boys know we haven’t beaten them for awhile, they’ll play hard. Just hope Q doesn’t chase his tail all night trying to matchup

  9. JS says:

    Steen is on the concussion IR, RD.

    The Hawks had 9 defensive zone draws last night. 9.

    It was pretty obvious that Colorado left their legs at the airport. Tonight’s matchup should be much more entertaining… from a hockey perspective.

  10. Sr. Brad says:

    JS, the 1st line hadn’t been on top of their game for awhile, as Toews was injured and Hossa’s head was elsewhere after his child’s birth…Sharp was good, the whole way through…I said it after last game, Tazer is back, and he showed it again…Hossa is getting better, but he’s still not back at 100%…and they were lights out last night, so they can be even better…

    Sharp is all world right now…he really wanted to make Team Canada this year, so he came out from game 1 with great focus, and hasn’t lost that focus at all…Q is right, this is Sharp’s best season, thus far, EVER…his play on the 2nd Toews goal was, again, all world…

    The HUGE news??? Kane, Saad and Versteeg (who drove the bus for the last month) are showing no signs of slowing down or stopping, and I don’t think they will…Kane’s confidence is at an all time high…Saad just keeps getting stronger and better, and Steeger is finding his “Hawk’s game” once again…this is an incredible team…and when you consider that we have Rozy, BB (who is playing well) and Kostka rotating as our 6th DMan, our depth and power are unmatchable…when the Hawks are focused, they win…doesn’t matter against who or where…tonight against the Blues, I see this driven, focused team coming out and proving to the Blues that they are the better team.

    The only “questionable” spot for the Hawks right now is in goal…Raanta has shown that he can be a good NHL starter, but there isn’t anyone behind him…but with CC set to return, we soon return to perhaps the best 1/2 punch in the league! So…best forwards, best Defence, best tandem goaltending, best bench coach, best GM, best owner…hmm, I think we have a shot at the Cup…

    One more thing…he won’t get any press, but Shaw had another great “behind the scenes” game last night…winning F/O’s, winning board battles, controlling the puck, taking the body, getting under the opposition’s skin, screening the goalie, and making some nice, crisp passes…IMO, he’s a HUGE part of the Hawks success…thanks Shawsy, we love you!!!

  11. goldenbladz says:

    Dushene is a fast skater but Sharp showed just how fast he is. That play may go down as the best defensive play of the year and the immediate transition to offense and the pass to Toews and subsequent goal is just outstanding.

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