Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Streaking/Slumping: Sharp racks up points
By Jesse Rogers
Patrick Sharp has racked up the points while Bryan Bickell's drought continues.
1. Patrick Sharp, Forward: He’s been back and forth between the Hawks’ top two lines and continues to pile up points -- as well as shots on goal. His hat trick on Friday in Anaheim came at a crucial time. The Hawks were less than 20 minutes away from a fourth consecutive loss before Sharp and linemate Jonathan Toews exploded in the third period. Sharp's 22 points rank fourth on the team but his plus-11 is tops. So are his 89 shots which places him second in the NHL in that category. He had 13 on net in the final two road games of the Hawks' just completed trip.
2. Jonathan Toews, Forward: His plus/minus has gone in the right direction after a couple of tough games in the middle of the recent road trip. And his monster effort in Anaheim alone gets him a streaking mention. He had five points in the game, four in the third period during a comeback for his team. He followed that game up with the game-winner in Los Angeles after a perfect face-off victory to start the scoring sequence. Toews leads the Hawks in points (25) and isn’t far behind in plus/minus (plus-9).
1. Bryan Bickell, Forward: Now at 12 games and counting without a point, he’s become a whipping boy for fans. In fact he has one point since the fifth game of the season. Dropped from the third line to the fourth, could the press box be far behind? His physical play has dried up with his points and unless Bickell shows some needed energy on the bottom line he’ll undoubtedly be replaced by Ben Smith in the lineup. Joel Quenneville likes size but Bickell isn’t playing big right now.
2. Michael Frolik, Forward: Like Bickell he’s been dropped all the way to the fourth line even after getting a brief stint with Toews and Co. at the top. He’s gone pointless in eight games before and after an injury sidelined him for two contests. Where once he was getting scoring chances now he’s been much less noticeable on the ice. He, Bickell and Dave Bolland were part of a dynamic line in the playoffs last season and were the only trio on the team to start the year together the way they finished it. But that’s long forgotten as both Frolik and Bickell have slumped badly.