Obscured in the NHL by controversies surrounding goons such as Chris Simon, and foul-mouthed tirades from coaches such as John Tortorella, has been a remarkable feat by a Sharp shooter with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Heading into last night, Patrick Sharp had scored six — SIX — short-handed goals. Let’s put this in some sort of perspective:
•Jason Blake, signed by the Maple Leafs for megabucks as a free agent in the off-season largely because of his scoring prowess, entered last night with five goals — one fewer than Sharp had scored shorthanded.
•Recognizable names such as Todd Bertuzzi, Sergei Zubov, Jozef Stumpel, Mike Grier, Raffi Torres and Jordin Tootoo all had fewer goals on the season than Sharp had shorthanded.
•No team in the NHL had scored more short-handed goals than Sharp.
•Two teams — the Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers — had not produced even a single shorthanded goal this season.
Needless to say, Sharp is on pace to set an NHL record for short-handed goals. The 26-year-old right-winger from Thunder Bay, Ont., also should be en route to the NHL All-Star Game next month.
To find out his secret, and for lots more on hockey, check out my latest NHL Report, exclusively at www.metronews.ca.
•Speaking of records, the Minesota Timberwolves are on pace to become the worst team in NBA history. The Philadelphia 76ers own that dubious distinction — 9-73 record in 1972-73 … Ex-Raptor Charles Oakley, unable at 43 to convert his comeback dream into reality, still craves the spotlight and has actually filmed a pilot for a cooking show. Oakley, incidentally, was arrested in Atlanta this week for drunk driving.
•And, hey, so how about MLB showing some goodwill and some good sense and forgiving Pete Rose? How about announcing his reinstatement this week? ’Tis the season to be jolly, after all. Give the guy a break because, seriously, he’s not as bad a dude as many already in baseball’s Hall and many more who will be inducted.
Here’s hoping Rose has happy holidays and a nice new year. Oh, and ditto for you.
See you in 2008.
In three-plus decades as a columnist and broadcaster, Marty York has built a network of solid contacts and a renowned reputation for his hard-hitting, groundbreaking style. The tradition continues in Metro Sports.