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Coach Q is liking how Shaw is centering the second line

Avalanche Blackhawks Hockey

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya celebrates his goal with teammates from left, Niklas Hjalmarsson (4) Brandon Saad, Andrew Shaw, and Patrick Kane behind Shaw, during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)


Could Andrew Shaw be the Chicago Blackhawks’ long-sought answer at second-line center?

It’s probably too soon for a definitive yes or no, but coach Joel Quenneville sure likes what he’s seen recently from the combination of Shaw between Brandon Saad and Patrick Kane.

“That line, in two games (it’s) been together, has looked good. Going forward, that may be a nice fit,” Quenneville said, per CSN Chicago. "(Shaw’s) around the puck. Offensively he’s got some real good instincts and he’s in the hard areas. Growing into that responsibility is how you play defensively. And he’s got a couple of wingers who can do a lot of stuff.”

“Obviously I want it to be a long-term thing,” Shaw said. “It’s a privilege playing with Kane and Saad. I’ll just keep competing for them and hopefully we keep having success.”

On a side note -- and we touched on this in our latest PHT Extra -- the fact Shaw and Saad are up on the second line together is a real credit to the Blackhawks’ amateur scouting and player development. Both players were selected in 2011; Saad in the second round, Shaw in the fifth. Their combined cap hit this season? Less than $1.5 million.

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