Time To Give Patrick Sharp Credit As An Elite Forward
Patrick Sharp is aging like a fine win. And I’m not talking about his good looks. Not unlike Paul Konerko over on the South Side, Sharp continues to put up big numbers for the Chicago Blackhawks, while not getting nearly enough credit in doing so.
It’s understandable that Sharp doesn’t get the pub on a team that features a top five forward in Jonathan Toews, a future Hall of Famer (Marian Hossa), and the league’s favorite frat star (Patrick Kane). Even living in the shadow of that trio, Sharp has continued to perform, and perform well.
Sharp put up 69 points in 2011-2012, the second highest total on the team. That comes even after he missed training camp because of an emergency appendectomy and missed time during the regular season with a wrist injury.
Though he doesn’t get nearly enough credit for it, Sharp has become one of the bigger offensive threats in the National Hockey League. His game has become much more than just an accurate shot and has become much more well rounded, serving as a passer, in addition to being the great shooter. It’s a shame his evolved game hasn’t found its way to center.
Living in the shadow of the offensive ability of Kane, Toews, and Hossa, Sharp doesn’t get the love for his defensive game because of how strong the latter two also are on D. But Sharp is darn good defensively for a forward and is a penalty kill wizard. Again, why isn’t this guy lining up in the middle?
Sharp’s first round series against the Phoenix Coyotes wasn’t great, but outside of a couple guys, no one on the team stood out. Sharp went all Casper though, only showing up a couple of times to wince on the bench. He says that his wrist was healthy, but I say otherwise.
With the World Championships now over, Sharp has the summer to rest that wrist up before next season, since it doesn’t need surgery now (or so we think). If Sharp comes to camp completely healed up, as expected, and is completely healthy throughout the season, he should approach the 70 point mark again in 2012-13 and could touch higher levels than that.
A season like that could get people’s attention, since he apparently doesn’t have it yet. Paul Konerko has used an incredible start for the Chicago White Sox to finally get the praise he’s long been worthy of, it’s time for Patrick Sharp to get the same.
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