Hossa, Sharp confident goals are coming

April, 25, 2014
Apr 25
1:59
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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ST. LOUIS -- The lack of goals from Chicago Blackhawks forwards Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp against the St. Louis Blues in their first-round series hasn’t been for the lack of trying.

[+] EnlargeMarian Hossa
Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY SportsPatrick Sharp, left, and Marian Hossa haven't had a goal of their own to celebrate this series.
Hossa and Sharp have combined for 70 shot attempts in the four games. Hossa has taken 37 total shots, including 21 on net. Sharp has 33 total attempts, including 18 on net. Despite those numbers, the Blackhawks’ regular-season-leading goal scorers have been held to zero goals in the series.

Both players obviously hoped their personal results would change as the series nears its end, but neither expressed any frustration about their play prior to Game 5 on Friday.

“We had lots of chances, Sharp or me,” said Hossa, who scored 30 regular-season goals. “I know we haven’t scored a goal yet, but definitely feeling like we’re creating a lot of chances. That’s a good thing -- creating something. And just doesn’t matter who scores as long as there’s a big win at the end.”

It just hasn’t been quantity for the pair. They’ve had the quality variety as well. Blues goaltender Ryan Miller was lying on the ice when he robbed Sharp in the first period in Game 4. Hossa had a wraparound chance denied in Game 2. Sharp wasn’t able to convert on a breakaway opportunity in the second overtime of Game 1.

Not getting those opportunities is what would frustrate Sharp

“No, I'll take all the chances I can get,” said Sharp, who had 34 regular-season goals. “It means I'm creating something and doing something good out there. Sooner or later they're going to start going in."


So far, the Blackhawks have gotten by without the pair scoring. The series is tied 2-2 heading into Friday’s game, and the Blackhawks have scored 12 goals in four games.

Hossa has made sure his focus hasn’t been just on his offense.

“I try to play my 200-foot game,” Hossa said. “That’s my priority. Definitely you try to help offensively, but my game doesn’t change whether I score or not. Definitely would be great to help the team offensively.”

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock hasn’t even been that concerned about Hossa with the puck.

“Hossa's greatest attributes aren't his play with the puck, it's his play without the puck,” Hitchcock said. “He puts more pressure on people without the puck than anybody in the league and he's done it since I've been coaching against him in Ottawa.

“He doesn't need to score to be a significant player. He causes more turnovers other than [Jonathan] Toews, than anybody up front on their team. He's got great jump on stoppages, play, out of scrums, faceoffs. You might get a chance where maybe he doesn't score for a week, but he has a huge impact in the game. I don't think that's going to change.”

Sharp did acknowledge the Blues have had something to do with their play as well.

“It's a pretty even series,” Sharp said. “There's lots of chances on both sides. I feel like I've had a few good shots on net, but I'm usually used to getting a few more better looks. But they're a good defensive team, they clog things up and they make it tough to get to the net. You put all that stuff together it's going to be tough to get as many looks as the regular season.”

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville wasn’t worried about his team’s chances if the two players continued not to score.

“I think whether we get it or not I think just playing the right way is kind of exactly what we’re just talking about,” Quenneville said. “We think top guys, eventually they’re going to get their turn. Hopefully, they can break out.”
Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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