Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp shows he’s ready with practice hit
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org October 5, 2011 10:02PM
Updated: November 16, 2011 9:45AM
He wasn’t able to play in any exhibition games, so Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp is doing everything he can to be ready for opening night Friday against the Stars in Dallas.
On Wednesday, that meant giving his team a scare.
Sharp made a play on Jamal Mayers against the boards at practice, sending his new teammate down to the ice screaming in pain. Mayers got up slowly and made his way off the ice under his own power, but he was favoring his right arm.
But that was the worst of it for the banged-up Hawks. It didn’t take long for Mayers to return.
“It wasn’t that bad, was it? I told him I was coming,” Sharp joked. “I guess all that weight training has paid off. Hopefully, he’s OK. We had a good laugh about it. Hopefully, he doesn’t try to get me back one of these days. I’ll be sitting up with you [the media] at practice.”
As for Sharp, he says he’s ready after missing most of training camp because of an emergency appendectomy. He’ll start on the right side of Jonathan Toews as rookie Brandon Saad handles left wing. Coach Joel Quenneville also said he won’t ease Sharp into his first game since last season.
“My conditioning is where it needs to be,” Sharp said. “It’s just a matter of game speed, taking hits, protecting the puck and doing all that stuff. But I’m ready to go. Barring anything major in the next day or two, I’ll be playing.”
Dave Bolland (upper-body injury) is questionable for the weekend’s home-and-home matchup against the Stars, and Ben Smith (concussion) is questionable for the season opener.