Patrick Sharp (Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)
Patrick Sharp played his first regular season game against the Blackhawks since being dealt in the off-season and he didn’t go easy on his old mates. Sharp assisted on the game’s opening tally before scoring with an absolutely perfect wrist shot to pace Dallas to a 4-0 win.
The off-season trade that sent Patrick Sharp to the Stars wasn’t really shocking considering the Blackhawks’ salary cap situation, but watching the veteran winger in a Dallas jersey is still an odd sight — even more so when he’s scoring against Chicago.
Sharp has been good for the Stars this season, and he looked it once again Tuesday against the Blackhawks. With Dallas leading 1-0 as the second period began, Sharp wasted no time doubling the lead and doing so in the same fashion he scored many of his goals as a Blackhawk: flying down the wing and perfectly placing a shot.
It took Sharp just 11 seconds to turn up ice, slip past Duncan Keith, receive a pass from Jamie Benn and pick a corner — one that most players in the league wouldn’t have been able to — over the shoulder of Chicago netminder Corey Crawford:
Don’t let anyone tell you Sharp’s game is starting to slip, because the 33-year-old obviously still has a lot of gas in the tank. Tuesday was his first regular season tilt against the Blackhawks since being traded and he came to play: Sharp assisted on the game’s opening tally and his goal was an insurance marker. He now has 12 goals and 27 points on the campaign, putting him on pace for 28 goals and 63 points this season.
Sharp has two years remaining on a five-year, $29.5-million contract he signed with Chicago in August 2011, and if he continues his scoring pace there’s no reason why he can’t land an extension with the Stars as soon as he becomes eligible on July 1, 2016. Sharp’s 27 points are good for fourth in Dallas. Only defenseman John Klingberg and elite duo Benn and Tyler Seguin have found the score sheet more.
There’s some extra salt in the wound with Sharp scoring, too, because the two players Chicago acquired in the deal haven’t exactly been huge contributors for the Blackhawks. Defenseman Trevor Daley has already been flipped to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Rob Scuderi and cap space. Winger Ryan Garbutt was a healthy scratch in mid-December and has one goal and four points in 30 games while averaging 11:32 per outing in Chicago.