Blackhawks

Andrew Shaw promoted to Blackhawks' top line once more

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Andrew Shaw promoted to Blackhawks' top line once more

The frustration the Blackhawks felt following Sunday night’s game was evident.

They played more of a perimeter game, one in which they either couldn’t or wouldn’t get enough traffic to get those necessary, hard-nosed goals. So with a loss, and one in which they didn’t have the necessary effort in that department, came changes.

So why not put the guy who’s usually planted in front of the net on the top line?

Andrew Shaw was promoted to the top line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa as the Blackhawks prepared for their game against the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night. The Blackhawks were nearly shut out for the second consecutive game on Sunday — only a Brent Seabrook goal with three seconds remaining in the game prevented it. Afterward, Hossa and others talked about playing too much on the “outside,” not making life tough enough on the Carolina Hurricanes and goaltender Eddie Lack.

So up goes Shaw, down goes Teuvo Teravainen. But as with most of the Blackhawks’ line formations, they’re always subject to change.

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“It could be short term,” coach Joel Quenneville told the media about the changes. “Teuvo’s been in and out of there, but Shawzy’s been playing well. We’ll see, but I think it’s more so reward. Shawzy deserves a chance to play up there.”

For Shaw, it’s another great chance.

“Playing with those two guys, they’re going to have the puck a lot,” Shaw told the media. “Create some space, get to the net and find some dirty goals.”

This is Shaw’s third stint (at least) with the top line this season. Teravainen will probably still be the long-term solution. But right now the Blackhawks need to stoke their offense again and get more bodies to the net again. Shaw’s one who usually does that.

“(He brings) energy, he’s going to the net, he’s doing those little things that need to be done,” Toews said of Shaw. “He’s playing with a ton of confidence right now, so he’s making great plays, scoring goals. It’s fun to see Shawzy play that way because he’s pretty much doing it all.”

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Why are the Blackhawks so inconsistent?

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USA Today

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Why are the Blackhawks so inconsistent?

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Charlie Roumeliotis and Nick Gismondi discuss the coaches getting involved in practice (0:40), the latest roster moves (2:45), Dennis Gilbert standing up for Alex DeBrincat (7:15), Robin Lehner's shootout struggles (13:45), the Blackhawks' inconsistency woes (17:45), performance vs. results (23:50) and the importance of the next eight games (27:35).

Listen to the full episode here or in the embedded player below:

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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Dennis Gilbert defends decision to stand up for Blackhawks teammate Alex DeBrincat

Dennis Gilbert defends decision to stand up for Blackhawks teammate Alex DeBrincat

The Blackhawks racked up a season-high 27 penalty minutes in Sunday's 4-3 shootout loss to the Arizona Coyotes, 17 of which came from Dennis Gilbert alone. And it all came on one sequence.

After watching Coyotes defenseman Jason Demers deliver a hit from behind on Alex DeBrincat that went unpenalized, Gilbert skated half the length of the ice to confront Demers and initiated a fight with the 11-year NHL veteran. The scrap didn't last long, but Gilbert was assessed a two-minute penalty for instigating, five for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct.

DeBrincat said after the game he appreciated Gilbert sticking up for him and so did the Blackhawks bench, most of whom gave Gilbert fist bumps and head taps as he was escorted out. But it came at a time when the Blackhawks were leading 3-2 near the midway mark of the second period and, unfortunately for Gilbert and the team, the Coyotes capitalized on the power play to even things up at 3-3 and it turned out to be the last goal scored in regulation.

"I thought it was a dirty hit," Gilbert said. "His numbers were showing and he decided to follow through and make the hit still. So it's tough, having to get an extra penalty for it. It's no fun and watching them score on the power play, they tie the game up and we end up not getting the win, which is unfortunate. But if you let that stuff happen to players on your team, especially your best players, it's going to keep happening.

"I'm not a fighter by any means; it kind of happens that coincidentally it's two games in a row. But I'm going to stand up for myself and for my teammates. ... I'm not going to sit back and let somebody get taken advantage of, whether it's on the ice or walking down the streets in Chicago."

A lot has been made about whether it was the wrong place and wrong time for Gilbert to stand up for his teammate. But the Blackhawks — both players and coaches — acknowledged it's a penalty they don't mind trying to kill off because the intention sent a powerful message throughout the locker room.

The Blackhawks were eight seconds away from killing off the penalty and this wouldn't be a discussion if they did. Still, Gilbert said he would do it again if he had to because he believes it's the right thing to do.

"I think it's kind of an instincutal thing," Gilbert said. "As a defenseman on a defenseman, it can be hard to orchestrate that. I don't like staged fights. It was an in-the-moment thing. I saw what I thought was a dirty hit and it wasn't penalized, so you've got to address it. Like I said, it's tough being shorthanded, but I think that it's important, especially on your better players, to make sure that guys know if you're going to hit them or take a shot at them, you're going to have to pay a price."

Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit mysportschicago.com.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.