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Blackhawks Tue Jan 07 2014

Red Hot Sharp Earns Spot on Team Canada

Thumbnail image for GB blackhawks icon.png Patrick Sharp always claimed that his recent hot play was to better the Blackhawks and was not an audition for Team Canada for the 2014 Winter Olympics. He felt his selection was out of his hands and that whatever happened, so be it.

Over the last two weeks, Sharp has lit up almost every goalie in the NHL, clawing his way to second in goals scored with 25, only six behind leader Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals. He's scored two hat tricks in the span of five games and is sporting a plus-22 at the halfway point of the season. Team Canada general manager Steve Yzerman would have to be insane not to select the hottest player on the planet in favor of someone else.

Sharp's name eventually was announced, along with fellow teammates in Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith (Brent Seabrook and Corey Crawford will sit this one out), and eventually the rest of Team Canada rounded out in what should be an offensive threat that wipes through Sochi. Beware, other nations:

Roberto Luongo
Carey Price
Mike Smith

Jay Bouwmeester
Drew Doughty
Dan Hamuis
Duncan Keith
Alex Pietrangelo
PK Subban
Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Shea Weber

Jamie Benn
Patrice Bergeron
Jeff Carter
Sidney Crosby
Matt Duchene
Ryan Getzlaf
Chris Kunitz
Patrick Marleau
Rick Nash
Corey Perry
Patrick Sharp
Steven Stamkos
John Tavares
Jonathan Toews

RELATED: Team Canada Names Women's Team for Sochi Games

Sharp very much deserved the selection and should thrive with such talent alongside him on the ice. He and his two Blackhawks' teammates will face off against their other Blackhawks' teammates over in Sochi.

Patrick Kane already was named to Team USA after the New Year's Day Winter Classic finished, and now it has been announced that Marian Hossa and Michal Handzus will play for Team Slovakia. Niklas Hjalmarsson, Johnny Oduya and Marcus Kruger have been named to Team Sweden and Michael Rozsival will represent the Czech Republic -- that's 10 players from the Blackhawks, matching only the St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings for most of any team.

Sharp and the rest of his Olympic cohorts still have 15 more games left before making the trek overseas to represent their respective countries. The Winter Games will provide a thrill for those who made it, plenty of rest for those who did not, and great viewing for the rest of us at home watching -- even if we're all cringing at the first sight of a blowout or hard check into the boards.

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