Blackhawks News

Patrick Sharp Named NHL’s First Star of the Week

By Skylar Peters

Patrick Sharp had one hell of a week.

6 goals, 1 assist, and a 32nd birthday later, the Chicago Blackhawks forward was awarded with the NHL’s First Star honor for the past seven days.

Dec 23, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Patrick Sharp (10) reacts after scoring his second goal against the New Jersey Devils during the third period at United Center. Chicago defeats New Jersey 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

It was hard to argue with the League’s decision on Monday morning, as the 12-year NHL veteran was easily the best player on a Chicago Blackhawks team that has, well, a lot of good players.

Sharp kicked off his dynamite week with a goal in the Blackhawks’ win over the New Jersey Devils on December 23rd. When the Blackhawks returned after the Christmas Break, Sharp exploded on his birthday, scoring three of the Hawks’ first four goals, (including the game-winner) and adding an assist for a four-point night in a 7-2 Blackhawks romp over the Colorado Avalanche. The hat-trick was the third of his career.

Sharp capped it all off against the St. Louis Blues, scoring two more, including a beautiful goal that earned Highlight of the Night honors on TSN, and even had a mention on ESPN.

Sharp is now fourth in NHL scoring, behind the Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin, teammate Patrick Kane, and Alex Steen of the aforementioned Blues.

The last seven days aren’t just a ‘flash in the pan’ for Sharp either, as he now has 11 goals in his last 10 games. Blackhawks’ head coach Joel Quenneville had this to say about Sharp’s performance:

"“Great week, great year. He’s scored some highlight goals… That line’s {Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa} been effective game in, game out. But I like the consistency, and his production is at a high level as well.”"

Sharp’s play comes at a most opportune time, as the rosters for Team Canada are being debated for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, where Canada will try to defend their gold medal. Sharp is the sixth-highest scoring Canadian in the NHL this season, and was not a part of the 2010 team in Vancouver, where the Blackhawks had sent three Canadians (Toews, Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith).

Sharp just took it all in stride.

"“You prepare to get into the zone all the time, that’s what you practice for. And when things come together it feels pretty good”"

When asked about his possible inclusion on Team Canada, the Winnipeg, Manitoba native had this to say:

"“I know what’s coming in a few weeks or days, but who knows if those decisions have been made or if it has any impact at all… I’m just trying not to think about it”"

The Blackhawks take on the L.A. Kings on Monday night, where Sharp will try to extend his scoring streak to four games.

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