LOS ANGELES -- Overshadowed by the return of Jonathan Toews and his late-game heroics, was another stellar night for Patrick Sharp in the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 victory over Los Angeles on Monday night.
His three-point game included his 22nd and 23rd goals of the season. With 41 games to go, he’s on pace to shatter his career high of 36.
“Who knows what’s going to happen the next 41 but so far so good,” Sharp said.
Sharp’s effectiveness has increased with his power-play prowess. He’s become a mainstay on the point and is cashing in.
“I think the playoffs last year got me a little confident playing the blue line,” Sharp explained. “It’s a tough position to play, especially when there is a lot of white ice behind you and the goalie is the last man back there.”
Sharp has become a master at the one-timer. He and Patrick Kane seem to have a chemistry when the Hawks are up a man. They connected again on Monday giving Sharp nine power play goals on the season, that’s fourth most in the league.
The Hawks were awful in the first period, much to Joel Quenneville’s dismay. Knowing the Kings did not want to get swept in the season series, Quenneville expected better from his team.
“It was the opposite start we wanted,” he said. “We knew they start fast in this building. [Corey] Crawford kept us in the game as well. It wasn’t the start we were looking for at any stretch.”
“All the mothers came down and slapped us around a little bit,” Sharp quipped. “It wasn’t the prettiest 20 minutes.”
Seabrook gets tough
Brent Seabrook took a hit to make a play on the winning goal as he took the puck behind the Kings net. He was able to center it while going down to the ice. Jonathan Toews scored from there.
“I just tried to get it in front of the net,” he said. “Got hit and sort of got lucky.”
More than anything, Seabrook was happy to get a win for all the player’s mothers who were on the first ever Hawks’ “mom’s trip.”
“[The] dads got no wins last year so it’s nice to get one for the moms,” Seabrook said.
Joel Quenneville had brand-new line combinations for the game. Quenneville said he was looking for “balance” and pointed out at least two players on each line had some familiarity. This is how they lined up on Monday:
Troy Brouwer/Toews/Marian Hossa
The Hawks played their 41st game of the season on Monday marking the halfway point of the season. At 21-17-3, they are no sure-thing for the playoffs.
“We broke this losing streak, we won a game, we’re healthy and we’re going to start a little run here,” Sharp stated after the game.
All-Stars results loom
All-Star final voting will be announced on Wednesday morning. The top vote-getters will make the team and then the two captains -- yet to be announced -- will help pick the rest of the rosters. The Hawks have several candidates who could be voted in -- Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith were among the leaders--and Patrick Sharp should be a shoe-in selection by a captain.