Preps Talk

Blackhawks breakdown: Andrew Shaw

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Blackhawks breakdown: Andrew Shaw

Andrew Shaw's short rookie season saw him score 12 goals with 11 assists (23 points) in 37 games. He delivered 82 hits, accumulated 50 penalty minutes, blocked 21 shots and finished minus-1 while playing a little over 15 minutes per game. In three playoff games, he was unable to record a point while shelling out seven hits and going minus-1.

Boden's take: There were unpleasant surprises from some underachievers this past season. The most pleasant surprise came absolutely out of nowhere. You know the route Shaw took by now. The small package has a huge fire burning inside him and he provided a huge shot in the arm twice to this club -- and they really needed it. I'd shudder to think how much more of a struggle the season would have been if Shaw hadn't been such a gift. But the 5-foot-10, 180-pound, 21-year-old gave this team something it sorely needed.

Myers' take: And now we come to the little engine that could - and did. Shaw came up in January and made an immediate impact with a fight and a goal against the Philadelphia Flyers. He was sent down for a bit and recalled under the condition that he got back to being an aggressive forward first and a scoring one second. Shaw was strong in his second stint, bringing both that edge and offense to a Blackhawks team that needed it down the stretch. The team missed his presence when he was slapped with a three-game suspension for hitting goaltender Mike Smith in Game 2 of the playoffs. But the guy built a mini cult following here in Chicago, and players loved him for the spark and snark he brought to the lineup.

2012-13 Expectations

Boden: This will be one of the more interesting individual seasons to watch. Is there the proverbial "sophomore slump" looming? How close will he come to providing the kind of pace, production-wise, that he had this season (23 points in 37 games)? Will Joel Quenneville need to elevate him to provide some spark on the top two lines?

If he is just as effective over a full season management might need to think of bumping up his 565,000 salary next summer, heading into the final year of his entry-level deal. Like Daniel Carcillo, finding the right balance between hard, edgy play and suspensions will be something to keep an eye on.

Myers: When Shaw came back from suspension he said he was going to keep playing with that edge that brought him more success than slaps last season. Thats good; and his work last season should put him ahead of the curve when he enters training camp in September. Shaw has a great fearlessness that the Blackhawks need moving forward, and if he plays this fall like he did last spring, hell be in great shape.

How do you feel about this evaluation? As always, be sure to chime in with your thoughts by commenting below and check out highlights of Shaw above.

Up next: Michael Frolik

High School Lites Football Roundup Week 9

High School Lites Football Roundup Week 9

High School Lites is back with an exciting Week 9 full of thrilling matchups. NBC Sports Chicago has the highlights of some of the top matchups from Friday's games.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @NBCSPREPS for all of the latest IHSA football scores and highlights.


DRIVE: Batavia (episode 9)

TEAM OF THE WEEK: Oak Forest football

VIEWERS' CHOICE GAMES OF THE WEEK: Fremd runs past Schaumburg

WINTRUST ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Notre Dame running back Ty Gavin

FRIDAY'S TOP 25 SCORES

(1) Lincoln-Way East 31, (16) Bolingbrook 0

(2) Batavia 24, Wheaton North 13

(3) Brother Rice 31, (17) Montini 0

(4) Marist 24, Benet 7

(6) Homewood-Flossmoor 56, Sandburg 0

(7) Cary-Grove 55, (15) Naperville Central 41

(9) Nazareth Academy 42, Marian Catholic 6

(10) Maine South 48, Niles West 6

(11) Oswego 22, Plainfield South 15

(12) Richards 41, Eisenhower 6

(13) Phillips 41, Raby 0

(14) Willowbrook 42, Downers South 20

(18) Oak Park-River Forest 48, Lyons 0

(19) Warren 43, Mundelein 7

(20) Glenbard West 35, Proviso West 6

(21) Hillcrest 43, Bremen 6

Joliet Catholic 33, (22) Notre Dame 17

(23) Hinsdale Central 21, Hinsdale South 12

(24) Rolling Meadows 34, Buffalo Grove 7

Wheaton Warrenville South 13, (25) St. Charles North 11

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

Payton 43, Kenwood 42

Coal City 43, Lisle 14

Huntley 55, Dundee-Crown 12

Perspectives 32, Solorio 16

SATURDAY'S TOP 25 GAMES

Fenwick vs. (5) Mount Carmel 

(8) Simeon vs. Curie

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Can the Bears pull off an upset at home against Tom Brady and the Patriots?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Can the Bears pull off an upset at home against Tom Brady and the Patriots?

Chris Emma, Matt Zahn and Gabe Ramirez join David Kaplan on the panel.

0:00- NBC Sports National NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh joins the panel to discuss the Bulls’ terrible defensive performance as well as Zach LaVine’s impressive season debut.

11:35- Khalil Mack is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Patriots. Can the Bears pull off the upset against Tom Brady?

23:50- NBC Sports Boston Patriots insider Tom E. Curran joins Kap to talk about how New England views the Bears and discuss how Matt Nagy’s team can exploit the Patriots’ weaknesses.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below.

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