We won’t know until Monday, or more likely Tuesday, the severity of the left knee injury Patrick Sharp suffered in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Phoenix.
An injury to their leading goal scorer is exactly what the Hawks didn’t need at this point, especially with Dave Bolland and Brian Campbell on the shelf.
The Hawks moved into fifth place in the Western Conference with Sunday’s big win.
Can they stay there and make the playoffs if Sharp’s injury is serious?
Can the Hawks make a serious run at a second straight Stanley Cup without Sharp?
Teams can overcome short-term injuries. In the Hawks’ case, Troy Brouwer or Viktor Stalberg likely would get an opportunity to step into Sharp’s spot on the first liner with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.
The Hawks might need to go 5-5 in their last 10 games to make the playoffs. They can do that without Sharp.
But in the playoffs, when goals are at a premium, missing Sharp would be pretty difficult to overcome. Remember the 11 clutch goals he scored in the playoffs last spring.
Let’s not jump to conclusions here. Maybe Sharp will be OK in a few days. Maybe Bolland will be back sooner than later.
But Hawks coach Joel Quenneville normally tells reporters after an injury such as Sharp's occurs if it’s not serious. All Quenneville said Sunday was that Sharp would have his injury looked at again on Monday.