Chicago Blackhawks: Patrick Sharp Must Improve His Game

Nicole BlumContributor IIIFebruary 16, 2013

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 20:  Patrick Sharp #10 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates with the puck during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Arena on January 20, 2013 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Blackhawks defeated the Coyotes 6-4.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Patrick Sharp is—more like was—known for his ability to score key goals and make plays for the Chicago Blackhawks. His presence on the ice this season, however, is lacking.

Sharp was a top contributor to the Blackhawks in prior years, scoring more than 30 goals in each of the last two seasons. Many thought that the Ontario native was only improving with each season.

At least, it seemed that way.

Patrick Sharp only has two goals for the ‘Hawks this season. He has not scored in 10 games.

This is odd, considering he is playing with Patrick Kane and Dave Bolland—both players have scored nine and five goals, respectively.

Yes, the Ontario native has tallied 12 points so far this season. But this is no excuse for the winger’s lackluster play—many of Sharp’s points could be credited to Patrick Kane's work.

It is not as if Sharp does not have the opportunity to score. The 31-year-old is usually one of the most featured forwards on the Blackhawks’ power play. He’s even out on the ice, on average, longer than Jonathan Toews.

Coach Joel Quenneville continues to give Sharp the chances to score and contribute. It’s just not happening.

Let’s compare Patrick Sharp’s production to Marcus Kruger. Kruger’s average ice time is nearly seven minutes less than Sharp’s and is rarely seen on the power play. Yet, the fourth-line center and penalty killer has three goals.

While the rest of the Blackhawks continue to beat expectations, Sharp is in a slump.

Patrick Sharp, however, is not worried about his goal drought at the moment. "I don't get too concerned with it,” Sharp said before Friday’s game (via Tim Sassone, Daily Herald). “I know it's a part of my game that I'm counted on to do, but it's going to go in sooner or later." 

Hopefully, the scoring returns sooner rather than later.