Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011
10:29 AM Updated 2:55 PM
By Tracey Myers
Patrick Sharp has emerged as one of the best players in the NHL. On Tuesday, he was rewarded for that.
Sharp and Patrick Kane were named to the NHL All-Star Game on Tuesday, as the Chicago Blackhawks will now send four players to the event in Raleigh, N.C., later this month. Joel Quenneville and assistant Mike Haviland will also be coaching one of the All-Star squads.
Sharp, whose 25 goals place him third in the NHL, was happy to get the news.
I feel good about it. Its a huge individual accomplishment, said Sharp. I can honestly tell you it doesnt match up to what happened last June. Thats the most important thing. But with everything said, Im very excited and I cant wait to go.
He admitted it was on his mind these last few days.
With the two off days I knew theyd be announcing it and I knew I had a chance to go, Sharp said. You try not to concern yourself too much. You just do what you can on the ice. If those perks come along, its a bonus.
Sharp has been tremendous for the Blackhawks this season, from his consistent play and offense to the six game-winning goals hes provided that tie him for tops in the league (with Steven Stamkos and Dustin Byfuglien).
His goals have been very efficient for us and putting us in a good spot for a win, coach Joel Quenneville said. I think Sharpies elevated his game to be considered among best in the league.
Kane was fifth in fan voting among forwards. He missed several games with his left-ankle injury in December and has 13 goals and 20 assists in 35 games.
Its been an up and down season, between not starting off great and the injury, but the last couple games feeling like myself, Kane said. Ive proven before I can be an All-Star caliber-type player, and maybe thats why I was selected.
Despite suffering that injury, Kane said there was no way he would miss this game.
Two years ago I was going through the same thing with my right foot. I would never risk missing an opportunity like this. These only come along a certain amount of times, Kane said.
Captain Jonathan Toews, who was voted into the All-Star Game along with defenseman Duncan Keith, was happy to get a few more on the trip.
Ive said it a million times when Duncan and I got the nod: it wouldnt feel right if we didnt have guys like Sharpie and Kaner there, he said. Theres a lot going on this weekend and you get to enjoy it with your teammates for sure.
And, of course, the selections were a good opportunity for the Blackhawks All-Stars to have a little fun with each other.
I wouldnt mind going against Kaner. That little rat, Id try to throw him into the glass, Sharp said with a laugh. Then again wouldnt mind him setting me up for some goals, too.
Kane said, (Sharps) talking big in front of the media, before skate he said he wanted to wear No. 88 at the All-Star Game. You have to ask him about that.
Oh captain, a captain?
All-Star captains will probably be chosen sometime next week. Toews said hed be flattered if he was selected but isnt thinking about it too much.
Sharpies joking a bit but I dont see it happening. If so itd be crazy, Toews said. The joke is, if I am, I pick Sharpie last. A lots riding on it. Obviously you want to win that game. Whoever does end up being captain has to put some thought into it for sure.
When told Kane said hed vote for him as captain, Toews said, he wants to be on my line again, too. Hes talking about winning the car for MVP and only way hes gong to do that is if he has me on his line. Well see.
Duncan Keith did not practice on Tuesday. Quenneville said it was a maintenance day, and Keith is expected to play Wednesday against the Colorado Avalanche.
Corey Crawford will start against Colorado.
Nick Boynton has the flu and did not practice on Tuesday.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.