Apr 27, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Patrick Sharp (center) celebrates his goal with right wing Ben Smith (left) and right wing Patrick Kane (right) during the third period in game six of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the St. Louis Blues at the United Center. Chicago won 5-1 to take the series 4 games to 1. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
My biggest frustration with the Blackhawks during this the LA Kings series centers around two players. The two Patricks’ are letting the Blackhawks down in a big way. Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane are letting down the Blackhawks. Before this season started Patrick Sharp came into training camp in the best shape of his career. Sharp was focused on making Team Canada and winning the goal medal. Sharp had his best regular season of his career ( 34 goals and 44 assists) and did indeed win the goal medal as a member of team Canada.
Now when the Blackhawks need Sharp the most, he has been the invisible man. Sharp has 3 goals and 4 assists. He has looked dejected and not assertive with his game during these entire playoffs. He is now committing dumb penalties and putting the Blackhawks on the penalty kill. The Blackhawks have struggled mightily in this series with penalty kill. If the Blackhawks are going to force a Game 6, they need some production from Sharp especially on the power-play.
The other Patrick is Patrick Kane. Kane has disappeared in this series. Kane is not taking over games as he did in Game 1 of the Minnesota Series, or scoring game winners like in the Blues series. In last year’s “Some Nights” Championship video, Kane stated, “ I stand for big goals in the biggest games”. Thus far Kane has not lived up to that statement in this series. Each game in this series has been huge and Kane has been held down by the Kings. Kane needs to find this “space” that he keeps claiming to have found earlier in the series. Last playoffs when Kane was struggling, he watched footage of playoffs goals with his Dad. Kane and his Father Kane better breakout the game footage pronto. Unlike Sharp, Kane did not achieve Olympic success and was crushed by the Team USA meltdown. If Kane wants to avoid Stanley Cup heart ache, Kane must up his game and score big goals and their biggest game tonight.
The Blackhawks need both Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane to play well tonight if they hope to force a Game 6.
The Blackhawks take on the La Kings in Game 5 at 7:00pm on the West Side.
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