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Sharp doesn't care what line he's on
By Tim Sassone | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 5/20/2009 12:18 AM

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DETROIT - Fourth line or first line. It doesn't matter to Patrick Sharp.

Starting in the Vancouver series, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville has used Sharp on the fourth line with Adam Burish and Ben Eager, moving Troy Brouwer to the top line to supply a little size for Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

The trio of Burish, Sharp and Eager have developed nice chemistry and were the Hawks' best line in their Game 1 loss to the Red Wings.

"It's three guys that seem to skate pretty well," Sharp said. "We like to keep it simple and we're all on the same page, knowing where that puck is going. We had a decent game in Game 1, but it wasn't good enough because we lost the game."

Sharp still gets the occasional shift with Toews and Kane when Quenneville needs a jolt of offense.

"Joel likes to mix things up and he does during games, so whether I'm with Patrick or Jonathan or Benny and Burr, I have to be ready every shift," Sharp said. "That's not just myself. It seems everyone is getting jumbled around a bit."

Sharp's minutes are down playing on the fourth line, but that's fine with him.

"Things are happening so fast in the playoffs and it's such an intense game, you just sit there on the bench and wait for your name to get called," Sharp said. "It's really tough to notice your minutes change."

He's been there: As a forward who has been on the other side of a defensive shutdown, Red Wings center Henrik Zetterberg didn't understand all the fuss about Patrick Kane not having a shot on goal in Game 1.

"I didn't think Kane played as bad as everyone says," Zetterberg said. "I thought he was dangerous a few times. He can create something out of nothing."

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock considers Kane perhaps the most dangerous of the Hawks' offensive threats.

"He can stickhandle in a phone booth," Babcock said.

Datsyuk's drought: Pavel Datsyuk, a finalist for the Hart Trophy as MVP, hasn't scored a goal in 11 games for Detroit.

"Pav's a team player and he does so many other things great," teammate Kris Draper said of last season's Selke Trophy winner as the NHL's top defensive forward.

"It's too bad you guys are talking about his goals, but he wins faceoffs, blocks shots, takes the puck away. This is a team, and we don't rely on one guy."

"I feel I'm doing my job," Datsyuk said. "I'm in front of the net and I feel snakebit. Someday, I will score."

Take what's there: The Red Wings say there is no so-called "book" on Hawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin even if it appeared they tried to shoot high in Game 1.

Dan Cleary beat Khabibulin over the glove in the first period and later Mikael Samuelsson scored on a high shot.

"You just shoot where you think you see a spot," Cleary said. "We weren't trying to exploit his glove. I think he has a good glove."