Blackhawks

Blackhawks 2019-20 season in review: Andrew Shaw

Blackhawks 2019-20 season in review: Andrew Shaw

The NHL put its 2019-20 season on pause March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but remains hopeful to award the Stanley Cup at some point. Although it's unclear if or when it could return, NBC Sports Chicago will recap the season of each Blackhawks player to date in our "season in review" series. Our final profile is Andrew Shaw.

After spending his first five seasons in Chicago, Andrew Shaw was due for a pay raise in 2016. He had played a large role in helping the Blackhawks win two Stanley Cups in 2013 and 2015 and took a two-year bridge deal going into the 2014-15 season.

But the Blackhawks couldn’t give it to him because they were handcuffed financially and traded the scrappy forward to the Montreal Canadiens for a pair of second-round draft picks. One of those picks was used on Alex DeBrincat, which made the trade worth it.

But ever since Shaw’s departure, the Blackhawks had missed his presence — both on and off the ice. And that was the primary reason why the Blackhawks last summer reacquired Shaw, who set a career high in assists (28) and points (47) during the 2018-19 campaign with Montreal.

"He does go to the net and he does score a lot of his goals from in tight and he gets a lot of shots from around the net and that's where you need to be if you want to score in today's game," GM Stan Bowman said the day of the trade. "I think it's something we probably weren't as strong as last year as we had hoped."

Shaw's start to the season was great. He scored twice in the home opener, which reminded Chicago why he was so beloved. But from then on, Shaw had only one point over his next 11 games and wasn't making an impact in the other areas as much as the Blackhawks would have hoped.

The lowest point of his season came on Nov. 30 when he suffered a concussion, which was a concerning development for a player that has a history of head injuries. He wasn't officially shut down for the season until the end of February.

“He adds an element to our team, both on and off the ice, that we wanted to add," head coach Jeremy Colliton said the day Shaw was officially ruled out for the season. "A lot of personality in the dressing room, holds guys accountable, pushes them, makes them uncomfortable, drags them into the fight, helps to prepare them to play.

"And on the ice, obviously, he plays all situations. He can get your team going on a Tuesday night in November. He can get the group engaged and obviously we miss that. The type of player he is and the type of personality he is and the respect he has amongst the group is big.”

Shaw is still working out and staying in shape during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a source told NBC Sports Chicago in March he was feeling much better. But, given his injury history, his future in the NHL remains unclear and is a question the Blackhawks and Shaw must address before the start of the 2020-21 season, whenever that may be.

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: Where Blackhawks’ chances stand without Corey Crawford

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Where Blackhawks’ chances stand without Corey Crawford

JJ Stankevitz, Charlie Roumeliotis and Russ Dorsey join Kap on a Tuesday edition of STL.

0:00 - Corey Crawford has been “unfit to play” so far at Blackhawks camp. Can the Blackhawks win a series if he can’t play? Plus, was the criticism about Jonathan Toews’ COVID-19 comments warranted?

4:30 - Testing delays continue to plague MLB’s restart. What are the chances every baseball team plays every game in 2020?

11:00 - NFL training camps are set to begin this weekend. Will the league start the season on time?

15:00 - ESPN’s Bill Barnell says the Bears have the 28th-best skill players group in the 32-team NFL. Is he right?

20:00 - The NBA extends the quarantine of a player for getting a food delivery. Is this a sign that the league’s strict bubble will work?

Listen here or below.

Sports Talk Live Podcast

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How Blackhawks embracing underdog status could work against Oilers

How Blackhawks embracing underdog status could work against Oilers

Ahead of the NHL pause on March 12 — due to the COVID-19 pandemic — the Blackhawks had almost zero chance to be in the playoffs.

They sat at No. 12 in the Western Conference, six points out of a wild card spot with four teams to jump in 12 remaining regular season games.

Now that they'll be facing the Edmonton Oilers in a little over two weeks for a chance to make a run at the Stanley Cup again, they're going to embrace the challenge.

"It’s going to be a tough series against Edmonton," Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith said following the Hawks' first day of training camp leading up to the postseason on Monday. "They have two of the best players in the world - if not THE two best to players in the world in (Connor) McDavid and (Leon) Draisaitl. But it’s not just those two guys. There (are) other players on their team that are dangerous. They were ahead of us in the standings, so we know we’ve got our work cut out for us. But we’re excited to have this opportunity and show that we belong and we could make some noise as an underdog."

As an underdog, most of the pressure is off Chicago and on Edmonton. The West's No. 5 team at the time of the pause is not only the favorite to beat a team that wouldn't have normally been in the postseason in the Blackhawks, but they have the added expectation of winning as the home ice club with the series being played in Edmonton. 

In March, the Hawks realistically may have either been dwelling on why they came up short again or which golf courses they should hit up. Now, they're thinking about how they have nothing to lose in a postseason they're not supposed to be in, taking on a team they're not supposed to beat. 

"I think we match up pretty well," Hawks forward Brandon Saad said after Day 2 of camp on Tuesday. "It’s something we haven’t touched upon too much here at camp. It’s more about getting ready and focusing on what we can bring to the table. But I think everyone’s looked pretty good in camp for the most part with staying in shape and trying to take advantage of getting the touches and reps in. But they have a good team and I know it’s going to be a challenge for us. But I think for us, we’re confident as a group regardless of who we’re playing. Just focus on what we can do to have success."

After Day 2's practice, Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton said the team will begin strategizing for the matchup shortly.

The Hawks finish up their Phase 3 training camp on Sunday, July 26 before traveling to Edmonton to take on the Oilers.

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