Andrew Shaw

Andrew Shaw trying to find balance between toeing the line and not crossing it for Blackhawks

Andrew Shaw trying to find balance between toeing the line and not crossing it for Blackhawks

The Blackhawks brought Andrew Shaw back to Chicago because they lacked some bite to their game. He's already meeting expectations in the physicality department, leading the team with 23 hits.

But the other part of his game the Blackhawks have to live with is the amount of penalties he takes. Through six games this season, Shaw has taken at least one penalty in five of them and is tied for third among all NHL skaters with six minors. The only two skaters above him are guys who have played in two and four more games, respectively.

Because he plays on the edge, Shaw will occasionally cross it and he's trying to find that balance between toeing the line and not stepping over it.

"I find if I'm not playing on the edge, I'm not playing great," Shaw said. "I need to play physical. Even in preseason, I was just finishing checks — clean, shoulder-to-shoulder — and was getting penalty after penalty. Hockey still is a physical game. There's still hitting; it's still legal. So I'm going to go out there and play hard, make it hard on my opponents, make it hard on them physically, do what I do. Not going to change who I am now. I'm an old dog."

Shaw's reputation may also contribute to the matter. He's racked up more than 600 penalty minutes in his NHL career, including postseason, and the officials might be keeping a closer eye on him when he's on the ice.

"It's something he's got to be aware of, but I also think he's got a bullseye on him," coach Jeremy Colliton said. "If I go back through all the penalties he's taken, he probably earned a couple and he probably earned them five years ago. That's something he's got to deal with. We want him to play hard. I think we can handle the ones where he's running people over. We'll kill those off. Obviously the stick penalties and stuff we don't want. But he's playing hard for the team. That's a good thing."

Said Shaw: "The referees, no matter the history of the player, should call the game as it is. If there's a penalty, call a penalty. If there's not a penalty, you let it go. I mean, yeah, I might have been too vocal in my younger days. But the past three years I've been trying to clean it up a little bit. I just take my penalties when I get 'em. But I must have dug myself a really deep hole. Just trying to climb out of it since."

Still, Shaw knows he has to be smarter about the timing of his penalties and where they're happening. The ones that occur in the offensive zone are the penalties that must be eradicated from his game. The ones he earns from battling between the whistles and sticking up for his teammates, the Blackhawks can live with those.

"Obviously I don't want to take penalties, I don't want to put my team down," Shaw said. "I also don't agree with all of the ones I got. I think I got the short end of the stick on a lot of them. Bite my tongue, go to the box. Our PK's been working hard and competing and killing some penalties. Hopefully they start going my way, I guess."

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.

What kind of role will Andrew Shaw have with Blackhawks?

What kind of role will Andrew Shaw have with Blackhawks?

Andrew Shaw is back in Chicago, but things are different from the last time he was here.

His teammates have changed, the practice facility is new and the state of the team recently went through a retooling period. Perhaps most notably, the entire coaching staff has been overhauled and is now led by 34-year-old Jeremy Colliton.

It’s a different system than Joel Quenneville’s and Shaw is trying to get caught up to speed as quickly as possible.

"Watching a lot of tape," Shaw said. "Want to make sure come season time there's no thinking, it's just doing. Just repetition is going to get over that and watching video and really focusing on every drill and every video session as well."

What Shaw’s role will be with the Blackhawks this season remains to be seen, but the early answer is: it could be anything and everything. 

Last season in Montreal he had his best offensive output playing on the wing — right to be exact. But in the first three days of training camp, including the team scrimmage game on Sunday at the United Center, Shaw was centering a line with Patrick Kane.

Colliton is simply experimenting with the idea to see what kind of options he may have during the season, not necessarily how he wants to start on Opening Night.

"It's an option," Colliton said. "We just wanted to try it. He'll probably play wing, too. You'll see him in exhibition, we'll move him around. There's a bunch of guys who we're just looking to see if we can find some chemistry and where they're comfortable and where they can help us and maybe multiple positions, multiple roles, where guys can be valuable. I think that's important as a coaching staff, we want to find that out as early as we can."

Shaw is a player who can and probably will play on all four lines this season. He’s also someone who can play any of the three forwards positions. That’s what makes him a valuable cog in the system because he can be moved around basically anywhere.

"I think that’s part of what we try to build is to have, whether he’s top six or could be on the fourth line, he’s still going to contribute," Colliton said. "We want to have that sort of personality through our lineup. We have a bunch of guys who can move up and down. That’s probably, obviously the lines [Jonathan] Toews and [Patrick] Kane are on, they’re going to be dangerous and are always going to be thought of as Top 6, but we want to keep teams honest no matter who’s on the ice."  

Asked what role he expects to play this season, all Shaw would say is he plans on playing the same way no matter where he's placed in the lineup on a nightly basis.

"Same thing," Shaw said. "Go to the net, go to the dirty areas, get pucks, skate hard, play physical. Same thing. Same thing I've been doing no matter where I play. It's what makes me successful, it's what I'm good at, it's what's going to keep me in the league."

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.

Five takeaways from day 1 of Blackhawks training camp

Five takeaways from day 1 of Blackhawks training camp

The Blackhawks opened up training camp at Fifth Third Arena on Friday morning. Here are five takeaways from the first day of action:

1) Dach is docked

Training Camp opened with the news that Kirby Dach is in the concussion protocol.  Dach was injured after taking a hit in the Traverse City tournament finale on Tuesday. It’s impossible to predict a timetable for concussion recovery, but if he is out for an extended period, his chances of making the team would go down dramatically.

2) de Haan long shot to start season 

Defenseman Calvin de Haan is expected to be out two to three weeks (groin strain/shoulder surgery recovery). That timeline suggests de Haan would miss all of training camp and would likely not be available for the opener in Prague.

3) Shaw next to Kane?

The offseason changes have certainly impacted the locker room. Andrew Shaw’s locker is once again next to Patrick Kane’s stall. This will produce plenty of chirping and media congestion that rivals the Edens at rush hour. The two were also together on the same line on Friday. Kane said: “I've always really liked playing with Shawzy. He works hard, gets pucks back. Plays a pretty simple game, gets to the net, creates a lot of space out there. Good first day.”

4) Captain Motivated 

Jonathan Toews has already produced a resume that will land him in the Hall of Fame someday. He enters his 13th season in the NHL after putting up career-best offensive numbers a year ago. So, what did Toews think about being snubbed by NHL Network's list of the current Top 20 Centers in the game and does he use it as motivation? 

“Honestly, kind of, yeah,” said the Blackhawks captain. “If I saw my name at the top of the list, I wouldn’t really key on it too much. But the fact that it’s been a few years since our team has had playoff success, you kind of start losing a little bit of that focus and attention again. It’s not what’s important, but there’s no doubt in the back of your mind you want to prove yourself as one of the best players in the league and on your team. So when you see that, I think it definitely sinks in a little bit, for sure.”

5) Most competitive camp in the last decade?

Over the last decade, the Blackhawks have produced three cups, plenty of salary cap headaches and very few roster spots that are up for grabs at the start of a season. That is not the case for this training camp. Two years of failing to make the playoffs and a bevy of offseason moves has set the table for the most competitive camp in recent memory, especially at forward.

“We have a lot of depth, a lot of players. You can make an argument that 9 or 10 guys could be on the team,” GM Stan Bowman said. “Now, that's not going to be the case. There's going to be some good players that don't start the season here. But that's not to say that they won't be here two weeks later." He added that there is a “group of players we know they're going to be here all season but there's other players that are constantly trying to prove that they are the guy and I think that competition is going to help our team.”

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.