Shaw keeps playing bigger than his size
March, 18, 2012
By Jesse Rogers | ESPNChicago.com
CHICAGO -- Here’s a #ShawFact you may have forgotten. Not only was the Chicago Blackhawks rookie a fifth-round pick in 2011, he was passed over completely in two previous drafts in 2009 and 2010.
“That’s a 19th-rounder because he got passed up a couple times,” teammate Patrick Kane said after the Hawks’ 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals Sunday. “The things he does is a real key to the team. He’s smaller than me. The smallest guy in here and he’s running around all over [Alexander] Ovechkin … It’s fun to see a guy play like that.”
Shaw had two goals and an assist in the win. Oh, and he only had to check one of the greats in the game. Ovechkin scored once but Shaw wasn’t on the ice for it. Ovechkin was on the ice for all three points produced by the “smallest guy in here.”
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/Getty ImagesThe Blackhawks' Andrew Shaw celebrates his first-period goal against the Capitals on Sunday.
“I was in his ear all game,” Shaw said. “I kind of shut him up when I put my second one in.”
That’s not normal rookie talk, but Shaw is anything but normal and certainly isn’t playing like a rookie. His game was on full display on Sunday. He made a pretty toe-drag move to set up his first goal then won a board battle and came out in front of the Washington net as quick as a cat for his second tally. All this, while guarding Ovechkin.
“He started like that when he was here the first time,” Quenneville said. “You like the way he competes, he’s got some sandpaper to his game. He’s got some nice things offensively that he does and, playing against top guys, there’s got to be an awareness that you grow into, but I think there’s a learning curve that he’s adapting to.”
Shaw says he’s “never been a pretty-goal guy” but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. His first career goal came in Philadelphia with a nifty move and his toe-drag on Sunday was just as pretty.
“I pull them out once in a while,” he joked.
Shaw didn’t score on the move but was rewarded by doing the other thing he does well: go to the net. A Duncan Keith shot went in off of Shaw’s shin-guard.
“A goal’s a goal,” Shaw said. “They don’t ask how, just how many, right?”
That would be nine and counting.
“Every faceoff I was trying to get in his ear and stir a little pot. To be sure, I couldn’t understand him.” -- Shaw, on chirping with Ovechkin throughout the game.