It would have been one thing if he wasn’t still firing shots or contributing in other ways. But Sharp was creating chances (often hitting the post) and finding ways (he has 10 assists) to help the Blackhawks continue their dominance of the Western Conference.
Still, Sharp has been a goal scorer throughout his career and likes doing that. So when Sharp snapped his 10-game drought with a goal in the second period of Sunday’s 3-2 win over the Los Angeles, he was glad to finally push his goal total forward again even if he knew it would eventually happen.
“I know I’ve scored goals my whole life and know I’m going to score a lot more,” Sharp said. “Just focusing on playing a good game, and I know those things are going to come.
“It feels good now, didn’t really at the time. Just caught up in the moment and worrying about that next shift. But I know it’ll be nice to go home and feel good about scoring, especially in the win.”
Sharp’s goalless streak was his longest since going through spans of 12 and 16 games without a goal during the 2006-07 season. Sharp has led the Blackhawks in goals the past two seasons with 33 last season and 34 in the 2010-11 campaign. He has 196 career goals.
Sharp scored his goal Sunday when a shot from Jonathan Toews bounced off Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick and skidded between the two circles. Sharp stopped it and quickly took a shot. Quick was out of position, and the puck flew into the back of the net at 0:56 of the second period.
Sharp skated toward the glass, threw his arms into the air and then pumped his right fist in celebration. The goal put the Blackhawks ahead 3-0, but it would end up being the game-winner after the Kings rallied with two goals in the third period.
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was happy to see Sharp back in the scoring column.
“We don’t care who scores, but the offensive guys, they like to cash in,” Quenneville said. “I know he’s been productive, that line’s been productive. Scoring is always good for a guy who likes to score. It’s part of his game. It was a big goal for us at that time, first shift, second period.”