Question: Patrick, talk about the journey made from not being on the All?Star ballot to now being named the MVP?
- PATRICK SHARP: I guess I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bothered by it. But it was motivation to play well this year and I really can’t argue with it. The Blackhawks have a ton of big names and great players and a lot of guys that deserve to be here. So I’m proud to be a Blackhawk in the All?Star game and things worked out.
Question: The season you’ve had in general really stood out on the team with a lot of stars in Chicago. What’s it going to take to keep that momentum moving forward?
- SHARP: Well, we just have to keep things going. It’s a simple answer. But I feel like we’ve been playing good hockey as of late. We’re healthy. It’s the first time in a while. And we feel good about the last 30 games here. So I think you look at the Western Conference, everything’s so tight that you have a good week or bad week and things are going to change quite a bit. I know I’m excited about it. I know my teammates are excited about starting on Tuesday, and we can’t wait to get to Columbus.
Question: Patrick, would you trade the MVP award for a win in this game?
- SHARP: I thought we won the game. It’s a game where there’s lots of offense. There’s some pretty plays lots of nice goals on both sides, and I’m honored to win the trophy. So I guess I gotta thank all the fans that voted, and it means a lot.
Question: Kind of along the same lines, so you guys are all going to fly home together. Who owns bragging rights on the plane?
- SHARP: It’s a good question. I think this will be topic of conversation, definitely I’ll be sure to bring it up a few times. And Jonathan and I have some unfinished business with the shooting targets there yesterday, the accuracy shooting. So we’ll have to do something back in Chicago. But all in all I think it was a great weekend for the Blackhawks, the coaching staff, the four players in the game, I think we all had a lot of fun and represented the team well.
Question: Going through the weekend and being separated from the band, as it were, as everybody was put together, was that any kind of motivation to say, look, even though I’m not with you guys, I’m still just as proud to be here?
- SHARP: It’s tough to get too motivated for an All?Star game. I think I just wanted to go out there and play well. I was lucky to be playing with Claude Giroux making good passes out there and David Backes, a guy I see quite a bit playing against the Blues, so it’s nice to team up with him instead of being his enemy for once. It was tough to see the other guys on the other team. They won the game. I got the trophy. So I guess everybody’s happy. But Buff gave me a nice pass on one of the goals. He set up Giroux and I got the tap in. So I have to thank Buff for the great pass there.
Question: Patrick, you told me on Friday night that after what your parents, their traveling issues here on Friday, driving all night, that you told them you’d have to put on a show here this weekend. I guess you delivered.
- SHARP: I didn’t want to let them down. Their flight got cancelled out of Newark, so they met some people here in Raleigh and jumped in a minivan and drove from midnight to 8:00 a.m. just to get here to watch the game. I’m glad I can bring the trophy home, and I know that my dad and my brother will be fighting over the car. So we’ll see who wins that. I think my brother Chris might win out.
Question: Could you give us your impressions of the new format, and is there anything you’d change?
- SHARP: It’s tough to say. I think ? I don’t think there’s any reason to change the format. But the fact that they did seemed to have generate a lot of interest. I know I had fun with it. A little nervous going into the draft. There’s a lot of talk about that last guy. But there is really no pressure at all. I think everyone had fun with it. And the skills competition was great. Some of those events I hadn’t seen before. But all in all I think it was a good weekend. I think Carolina should be proud. Cam Ward did a great job. Jeff Skinner, I got to meet him. Seems to be a fan favorite here. And our team captain, Eric Staal, I think did a great job all weekend. Gotta thank him for putting me on his team, and I think that everyone here in Carolina should be proud of those guys.