It wasn’t the easiest of years for Patrick Sharp.
The veteran forward, and core member of the Chicago Blackhawks, had some issues this season, despite the overwhelming success that took place on the ice for the club overall. Whether it was his health or his inability to find the back of the net, 2013 was a difficult regular season for Sharp.
Due to a variety of injuries, mainly an injured shoulder, Sharp was limited to 28 games during the regular season. He missed just over a month starting in the beginning of March, played in a pair of games at the beginning of April before re-injuring that shoulder and missing almost two more weeks. He played in two of the Hawks’ final three games.
When he was healthy in the first half of the season, Sharp had a hard time finding the back of the net consistently. He ended up with only six goals in 28 regular season games, finishing with a minuscule shooting percentage of just six percent. Not exactly what you’re hoping for from a guy with six straight seasons of at least 20 goals.
Since the postseason has gotten underway, though, Sharp has seen his level of play, and his scoring, come up a level. He’s been one of the only top six forwards providing goals, and is a large part of the reason that the Hawks have taken a 3-1 series lead over the Minnesota Wild.
In four games against the Wild in the Western Conference Quarterfinals, Sharp has five points. Four of those are goals, coming in Games 2 and 4 for Sharp. The Hawks have won those games by a combined score of 8-2.
It’s pretty clear that Sharp is finding his game and, perhaps more importantly, finding his confidence. The other big names on this roster will start scoring soon. But having Sharp in the mix and producing regularly makes this team that much more dangerous.