IN BRIEF: Sharp returns to center, but he's fine at wing, too
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- It doesn't matter which position Patrick Sharp is playing, center or wing. He's producing at an impressive clip for the Blackhawks.
''I feel like I can contribute at both ends of the ice at center or the wing,'' said Sharp, who Friday became the first player in the NHL to reach double figures in goals this season. ''Every game situation is different. At center, I'm moving my feet a little bit more. I'm skating into pucks; I'm not really stopping. On the wing, I've got to use acceleration and speed more. It always depends who you're playing with.''
Sharp moved back to center Saturday against the Minnesota Wild after two games at wing. He centered a line with Tomas Kopecky and Viktor Stalberg. Kopecky was used at center the last two games but was a minus-5 in the Hawks' loss Friday to the Edmonton Oilers.
Sharp played 21 minutes, 11 seconds and didn't have a point after taking a four-game goal streak into the game. But Sharp, who was a plus-1 and had a team-high five shots on goal, said he isn't about to keep tabs on the list of scoring leaders.
''Early on in my career, I used to read a lot into it,'' Sharp said. ''But I've been around long enough to know [if] things are going well, there's no reason to change anything. There's no reason to get comfortable or complacent.
''I don't really set a number. ... I just really want to contribute every game.''
Soup-y of the day
On Friday, coach Joel Quenneville described defenseman Brian Campbell's availability for the two-game trip against the Wild and New York Rangers on Monday as ''doubtful.'' But he had a more positive outlook when he was asked about Campbell on Saturday.
''I'm a little more encouraged than I was the other day,'' Quenneville said. ''I'm optimistically encouraged.''
So there is a slight chance Campbell might play Monday for the first time since spraining his right knee in the preseason.
The Hawks recalled Ryan Potulny from the Rockford IceHogs with center Dave Bolland day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Potulny was one of the final cuts in camp. He can play center or wing.
''He got better as camp went on,'' Quenneville said. ''He progressed to a point where you thought he could help us out here. You can use him in all situations.''
John Scott was back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch the last two games. Scott played 6:11 on the fourth line against his former team. Scott appeared in 71 games for the Wild from 2008 to 2010.
Winger Bryan Bickell, who signed a three-year deal this summer, was scratched for the first time this season.