Andrew Shaw was getting very creative on his goal scoring lately. Off his shins, off his stick, it didnt matter; Shaw wouldve knocked the puck off any part of him to ensure success.
I dont think Ive scored off my head, Shaw said recently. But Ill work on it.
When Shaw returned for his second stint with the Blackhawks, the coaches told him what they wanted: energy, fire, determination and, if he potted a goal or two, it was a bonus. The good news for Shaw this time around is, hes still putting up numbers and he hasnt lost his edge in the process.
Shaw had a five-game point streak before he was held off the score sheet against New Jersey on Tuesday night. No, Shaw isnt supposed to be a tried-and-true goal scorer. But since he isnt afraid to get to the net and use himself as a human deflector something the Blackhawks havent had enough of these past two seasons and hes getting rewarded for it.
Hes a little guy but hes got a big heart, Marian Hossa said. He leaves everything on the ice. Hes always around the net and good things happen when he goes to those areas. He doesnt mind the dirty work and good things happen for him.
His commitment to that has earned him more ice time and more responsibilities. It also earned him a shootout chance against the venerable Martin Brodeur on Tuesday. Shaw beat the Devils goaltender, but instead hit post. Nevertheless, Shaws obviously earning respect from teammates and coaches.
I just think hes got that ingredient that you like as a competitor. He finds ways to get the job done and welcomes the challenges, coach Joel Quenneville said. Whether you use the term fearless or gutsy, you can add some more terms to that. You appreciate the way he competes for himself and his teammates.
Defenseman Duncan Keith said I think whats underrated with him is his speed. Hes not the smoothest skater but he gets to places and gets to the right areas.
Shaw got a second chance with the Blackhawks and hes taking advantage of it. Hes dealt with the pressure of a late-season playoff push. He got a taste of what the playoffs can be like in a heated game against Vancouver last week. Its heady stuff, and Shaws handled it just fine.
The kids got energy, Corey Crawford said. What can I say? Hes playing hard and has some skill, too. Were definitely glad hes in the lineup.