Patrick Sharp didn’t have to say he was frustrated. You could hear it in his voice and see it on his face. Although the Blackhawks have won five consecutive games, the 35-year-old’s second tenure with the franchise he helped win three Stanley Cups hasn’t gone as he had hoped. Sharp has scored just one goal since Oct. 18 — yet coach Joel Quenneville has kept him in the lineup. The question: Would Quenneville scratch a player who has meant so much to the Hawks? Quenneville’s motivational weapon has always been ice time, and if Monday’s practice is any indication, Sharp may be getting a wake-up call. Sharp was not in the line rushes as Richard Panik, who is going through struggles of his own, replaced him on the third line with Vinnie Hinostroza and Ryan Hartman. “What do you want me to say?” Sharp said. “I could play faster. I could play with more pace. I could use my speed more. I find myself standing around a little bit too much.” Quenneville could change his mind before Thursday’s game against the Stars, and maybe Monday’s move served as enough of a jolt for Sharp. “As you get older, you know what your strengths are and you know what can get you to places as quick as possible and keep the puck,” Quenneville said. “Naturally you’re probably not as fast as you once were.” Playing with more speed is easier said than done, especially as a player ages. Sharp has been trying to find ways to compensate.
Will Blackhawks bench struggling Patrick Sharp for Thursday's game?
Chicago Tribune | Dec 19