Status still a mystery for Hawks’ Patrick Sharp
BEN MEYER-ABBOTT ON THE blackhawks March 21, 2011 11:41PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Blackhawks are expected to have an update today on the status of Patrick Sharp.
Sharp suffered an apparent left knee injury Sunday when he collided with Rostislav Klesla late in the first period of the Hawks’ 2-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes.
The team returned to Chicago early Monday but didn’t practice and didn’t update Sharp’s injury status.
The setback comes at an inopportune time. The Hawks have been without defenseman Brian Campbell (left leg) and center Dave Bolland (concussion) for the last four games.
Bolland remains out indefinitely, but Campbell might start skating with the team today. The Hawks are expected to call up at least one player for the game Wednesday against the Florida Panthers at the United Center.
Sharp, who is second on the team in points with 68 (34 goals, 34 assists), missed 16 games in 2009 while on injured reserve after spraining his left knee. He missed one game this season because of a concussion.
Sharp is only two points shy of 300 for his Hawks career. He has 150 goals and 148 assists in 424 games since joining the Hawks in December 2005.
“You never want to see him go down,” defenseman Duncan Keith said. “You never want to see anybody go down, but that’s the tough part about hockey. He’s a tough guy to replace, but if we can get everybody to get chipping a little bit more here and there, that’ll help fill the void.”
Keith and Brent Seabrook were paired together Sunday against the Coyotes. The two spent most of the first part of the season as defensive partners, but Sunday was the first time they were matched since coach Joel Quenneville broke them up in early February.
“We just felt like moving them around a little bit, just an adjustment,” Quenneville said. “I thought we’ve been giving up a little too much quality lately. It’s good to get them back, and they did a good job together as well.”
Keith had been paired with rookie Nick Leddy, and Seabrook was playing with Niklas Hjalmarsson.
Seabrook blocked four shots in 26:25 of ice time against the Coyotes while Keith — the NHL leader in time on ice per game — logged a game-high 30:01, had four shots and scored on the power play.
It was the third time in the last six games, and 12th this season, that Keith has played at least 30 minutes.
Keith’s goal Sunday gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead with 30 seconds left in the first period. It marked the first time the Hawks had led at the first intermission since March 5 at Toronto, a span of six games.
The Hawks held the Coyotes without a shot for the first 12:20 of the game and limited them to four shots in the period.
“Obviously, it was good scoring first, and I just thought we were sharp, we were aware and definitely better than that last game [a 5-0 loss at Dallas],” Quenne-ville said. “Certainly, the effort is what we’re looking for.”
NOTE: The Hawks reassigned forward Ben Smith to Rockford after the game Sunday, nearly 24 hours after he joined the team in Arizona.