Patrick Sharp: 500 Games of Quiet Dominance
With only two games left on the calendar, the Blackhawks line up as the sixth seed in the Western Conference.
Fans have been quick to point out the flaws with this year’s Hawks team (special teams and… special teams), but Chicago has quietly put together one of the more impressive offensive seasons in the Western Conference.
And leading the way in Chicago the whole year has been Patrick Sharp. Indeed, Sharp has been leading the Blackhawks for most of the past decade.
Thursday night will be his 500th in a Blackhawks’ sweater, a mark worth celebrating for one of the game’s good guys.
One would think that Sharp would carry a higher profile around the league after winning All-Star Game MVP honors a year ago, but the focus continues to be on Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa.
Indeed, even in Chicago, Sharp is often taken for granted because of his admittedly stunning good looks and charm. In spite of the lack of league-wide exposure, Sharp has (quietly) continued to carry the Blackhawks’ offense.
Entering Thursday, the Hawks are tied with the Canucks as the highest scoring team in the Western Conference (244 goals). Only 10 players in the conference have reached 67 points, and two of them are Blackhawks: Hossa (second in the conference with 77) and Sharp (tied for ninth with 67).
Since the All-Star Game, while the Hawks have been without Jonathan Toews, Sharp has stepped up his game even more. He has 27 points in 30 games since the Break, including three game-winning goals five points on the power play. Sharp’s 13 goals since the Break are tied for seventh in the Western Conference.
Heading into Minnesota, Sharp’s 67 points are four off his career high of 71 from last year, and his plus-27 mark is the best of his career. He is also skating the highest average ice time of his career (19:54), and reached the 30-goal plateau for the third time in his NHL career.
He has been one of the best Blackhawks forwards of the last 20 years. Sharp shares two distinctions with Eric Daze. Daze was the last Blackhawks player to win All-Star Game MVP honors before Sharp, and he was also the last Hawks’ player to score at least 30 goals in consecutive seasons (2000-01 and ’01-02).
Yes, you read that correctly. It had been ten years since a Blackhawks player scored 30 goals in back-to-back seasons.
Sharp has now scored 183 goals in the Indian head sweater, which is 19th in franchise history. His 368 points are tied (with Kane) for 28th in team history.
Acquired in one of the best trades in franchise history, Sharp has been everything the Blackhawks needed to leave the dark days of underwhelming crowds and early summers behind. One of the centerpieces to the renaissance on the west side of Chicago, Sharp has always been the consummate professional.
Congrats on reaching 500 games, Sharpie! Here’s to 500 more.
7 thoughts on “Patrick Sharp: 500 Games of Quiet Dominance”
Patrick Sharp is the second best all-around player on the Blackhawks. For many teams around the league he would be the best…He is a beast and we are lucky to have the privilege of watching him.
Great article. I agree that Sharps deserves way more credit than he gets, but because of his (mostly) local popularity. When teams bear down on our top stars during games, its usually Sharpie who steps up and gets the job done. He is seriously a force to be reckoned with. Congrats Patrick!
Sharp is a class act. He seems to be one of the guys that makes for a good locker room too – a leader both on and off the ice. He has literally played every forward position and on every forward line. His production and versatility are great assets for the Hawks. I’m very please the Hawks re-signed him and look forward to many more years of quiet dominance by Sharpie.
A great article Tab and well deserved for Sharp…he is a consummate professional, and next to Toews, is the life blood of this team…and like Toews, he does it very quietly and very consistently…I remember earlier this season, when Toews was still healthy and having an MVP season, you were still torn between Toews and Sharp for the team award…
As for Daze and Sharp being the only Hawks in 10 years to have back to back 30 goal seasons, that will change as soon as the Hawks coaches, management and teammates start realizing that opponents simply cannot be allowed to abuse Jonathon Toews…
Toews, if allowed, will become the best player in the NHL over the next 3 seasons, but that’s a big IF…Sharpie is not the kind of player than can really stand up for Tazer, but there has to be guys that will, ie Bollig!
Again, nice article.
Great article! If Toews weren’t in Chicago, I think it would be Sharpie wearing the C. Really an amazing player. What makes him special in my eyes is not just his talent, but how he is off ice. He is a true leader that can help bring a team together and lighten up the mood if need be. You never hear him talk about himself. He better retire as a Hawk. And…….. HAHAHA Flyers!!!
Carcillo will be back next year, and I have a feeling he might be effective.Beach I would love to see earn some time as he is tough and skilled!Both of these guys need to temper their emotions , Carbomb to me will bring that next year.Sharpie and Toews along with Kane, will benefit once we have skilled nastiness to deliver.
Not only that, Sharpie brought a physical presence against Phoenix the other night in game 2! Sharp does not look intimidating, but he consistently out-energies and out-plays our opponents! Thank you Patrick!