Patrick Sharp, Blackhawks Put Out Stars

In spite of being short-handed six times on Saturday night, the Blackhawks went into Dallas and dominated. Led by a stellar performance by Patrick Sharp, the Hawks earned a 5-2 victory over another division opponent.

Hawks DAL

Sharp was credited with an assist on each of Chicago’s first four goals in the game, 11 helpers in the season’s first 17 games. What’s more, because of the amount of time the Hawks spent killing penalties, Sharp was limited to only 15:31 on the ice in the win.

That penalty kill took care of business against one of the worst power play units in the league. Chicago successfully killed all six power plays in the game, which will help the Hawks improve significantly from their position as the 27th-ranked penalty kill in the league.

Andrew Shaw (4:45) and Brandon Saad (4:57) were pressed into additional duty on the penalty kill and played very well. Marcus Kruger once again showed improvement at the dot and played a good overall game. He won nine of 14 faceoffs, tied for the team lead with three blocked shots and was credited with one hit and one takeaway in the game. He skated 4:45 short-handed while serving two of the team’s six penalties.

Corey Crawford was phenomenal, stopping 31 of 33 shots to earn the win. His counterpart, Kari Lehtonen, didn’t finish with an outstanding save percentage (.867) but he kept Dallas in the game. Many of the 30 shots put on Lehtonen were either through traffic or from within a few feet of the net, and he stood tall the entire night.

Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa and Johnny Oduya each had two points to lead the offense. Niklas Hjalmarsson skated over six minutes on penalty kill duty in the game and tied for the team lead with three blocked shots in the game, and was rewarded with an empty-net short-handed goal in the game’s closing moments.

Brandon Bollig continues to impress as well. He saw time on each of the Hawks’ first two penalty kills, totaling over one minute of short-handed ice time in the game. He was credited with two blocked shots and a team-high four hits in the game, and skated 37 seconds and three shifts more than Bryan Bickell.

Cody Eakin and Tyler Seguin scored the two Dallas goals.

The Hawks come home to host the Edmonton Oilers at 6:30 pm CT on Sunday evening.

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15 Responses to Patrick Sharp, Blackhawks Put Out Stars

  1. Travis says:

    Still love the fourth line. Gotta say Kruger is climbing my list of favourite Hawks to watch. He always seems to anticipate the play by a split second, or waits the extra second for something to open up. His effort matches his intelligence.

    Kruger, Bollig, and Smith consistently crash the net. None are defensive liabilities. It’s a dream 4th line. You gotta feel safe putting them out for 12 minutes per night.

    Don’t know what Brookbank is doing on the wing. No glaring errors, fundamentally sound game tonight, but there are at least two more deserving players for the position in Rockford.

    Bickell showed glimpses tonight of being the power forward we need. Another couple games at that level, and he’ll break through.

    That hole at 2nd-line centre is still glaring. Shaw is not the answer. Kruger is too good a fit on the 4th line. It’s gotta be Pirri; he has no other place on the team besides 2nd-line centre. Here’s hoping he goes on a hot streak and puts the Hawks over the top.

  2. Dickie Dunn says:

    “Don’t know what Brookbank is doing on the wing.” — yeah, neither do I. I know it’s difficult to question Quenneville – his record grants him that – but, WTF? Could Morin really be less effective than Brookbank (and double shifting Kane)? If coach Q doesn’t want to play Morin, call-up a forward he is comfortable using – with all due respect to J.Q., the Brookbank/double shift strategy is bullshit.

    Tab (anyone?), what are the chances that Khabibulin plays in Rockford (enough) to “relocate his game”?

  3. RyanDale says:

    Well the 1st pd was hardly a recipe for success on the road what with the parade to the pen box. We have not seen that for quite awhile. Luckily Dallas was only ahead by one late in the pd and the 81goal to tie it gave us some momentum into the break. Again in the second we get behind yet need only around 3 min to tie and very late get the PPG to put us ahead for good. The game was closer than 5-2 would indicate, for sure. Outside of the penalties I thought we looked real solid. Road record is lookin familiarly strong as well. Lets make sure we take care of biz vs Edm or the weekend is a bust

    88 has now equaled his pim from last year already(8),….. so much for the Lady Byng!

    did 10 set or tie an nhl personal high with 4As? i’m guessing yes . anybody know?

  4. McKay says:

    I don’t think PIMs for delay of game (awful rule) and ticky tacky hooking calls hurt you for the Lady Byng.

  5. wall says:

    Agree guys- the BBank @ Wing??? That 3rd line used to be my favorite line last year…
    This year it is my least favorite/noticeable… Feel sorry for 65 and renders 29 pretty useless skating with BBank… Perhaps Q has Morin just watching positioning tapes on BBank playing wing ( and saying “Look at this old piece of crap skating #17 -his line isn’t getting scored on- cuz he is in the right places!!!”)… any line w 17 is WEAK!!!

    Sharp was great… his anticipation/IQ were incredible last nite- really like how he spun out of the pressing D man to spring Hoss!

    And while 37 is still slower and weaker than most of the top 6… he did show signs of learning and understanding of HOW, when, and where Q wants the puck moved!

  6. JS says:

    Pirri has improved an INSANE amount defensively. He’s getting to pucks quicker and using his strength to push people off the puck. I’m wondering if Q thinks he has played well enough to keep Handzus out once he’s healthy. (here’s to hoping)

    Sitting Morin for Brookbank is ridiculous. We can all say Q is a great coach all we want, but the two teams he has won the Cup with were by far the best in the league. I definitely question his coaching decisions. Morin should be playing. The third line has done nothing in the last two games and it has rendered Bickell completely useless. Maybe Morin will come back with a really strong game today. Or maybe Morin can’t play for Q and we are going to see McNeil much sooner than anyone anticipated.

    Special teams looking a lot better now… even with Kruger taking the dumb penalties.

  7. steve says:

    Morin is not playing because Q wants him to earn it. Morin still makes mistakes defensively and Q will not give him a full time role until he thinks defence first. He did not give Pirri the 2nd line center job right away either. He had to play 4th line and show he would be responsible with the puck. Eventually Morin will get the job.

  8. Dickie Dunn says:

    Steve, point taken. But, meanwhile Brookbank at wing isn’t doing much positive for the team. He has played well (an improvement over last season, at least) this yaer, as a defenseman.

  9. JS says:

    What has Brookbank done to earn time at wing?

  10. wall says:

    If not Morin… we can only hope Mills comes back soon- he really earned more time in his limited play… wouldn’t mind seeing Mills on 4th line and 28 bumped to 3rd if Q is not going to play Morin.

    Either way- Bix needs a Right Winger who can chase down a puck IMO.
    Next year we could see 37 or Danault on 3rd line w/ 29 and 65 chasing pucks…

    65 continues to impress with his IQ and instincts… 65′s skating and heart are always there… but Q loves/trusts the IQ of 16,65,2o- I think TT has Great IQ and is another guy who knows where the play/puck is going!!!

    Stars coach Ruff commented after game… “Dallas out-skated, out possessed, out worked… but Hawks out-smarted us!!!” I completely agree! And Kudos to Hawk’s Brass for finding these High IQ players w/ lower draft picks!

    Another great Ruff quote- who was the best player on Team Canada 2010-
    answer- “who ever was playing with Toews!”

  11. RyanDale says:

    Agreed, You would think with Bix new deal that they might consider giving him a decent line to play on. Skating him with 17 is not the answer. Who saw this coming last summer?

    McKay, you’re right, just being a bit facetious.

  12. Morrison says:

    17 on 3rd inst for long time. Moe will get back in there, as well as Mills. Everybodys going to get some games here and there… It will sort out & the ‘right’ guys will be in and will have good back ups.

  13. Sr. Brad says:

    Another outstanding effort across the board…and we are all getting so used to CC doing his thing game in and game out…very, very good goaltending…

    The monster 1st line just continues, and its a real key that the 2nd line with Pirri, isn’t killing us like it was when Handzus was centring it. Pirri is really trying to focus on defensive positioning and so they haven’t really clicked offensively yet…but as long as they are “even” every game, we will continue to dominate…the 4th line continues to play very well, as Bollig and Ben Smith are doing all the little things well and Kruger just gets better and better and with his new hand position on the stick, he has turned his F/Os around making him a hugely valuable player…and we should give Bowman yet another pat on the back for resigning Kruger to such a friendly contract.

    The only thing to “complain” about again is Q’s decision to dress Brookbank over Morin…BB isn’t hurting us, but that 3rd line (which has been our key line all season) simply can’t get into a groove without a steady winger, and the weird thing is that Morin was playing very well and the 3rd line was killer…so hopefully this will change immediately…

    The Defence is getting back into SC shape as they are playing better and better…the big improvement is Rozy…he’s been great these last 2 games…Hammer has been great as usual, and it was nice to see him get rewarded with the SH goal…

    Now, we need to bear down and beat the Oilers…

  14. Sr. Brad says:

    Great comments guys…I didn’t want to make too big of a deal with the BB/Morin thing, but that 3rd line is the best in hockey and they need to be firing, and that’s NEVER going to be with BB…if Q won’t play Morin, then bring someone else up…the Hawks are FAR TOO GOOD a hockey team and that 3rd line is far too good to play BB at wing.

  15. Sr. Brad says:

    As for the penalties…lets just say that there was a little hometown bias last night…the Stars could have been called for at least a dozen more penalties had the refs wanted to.

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