Sunday, March 18, 2012
Shaw keeps playing bigger than his size
By Jesse Rogers
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.”
The Blackhawks' Andrew Shaw celebrates his first-period goal against the Capitals on Sunday.
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.”
“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.
The Hawks won 65 percent of their faceoffs. No player who took more than one was below 58 percent. Jamal Mayers led by winning 80 percent of his draws.
Bryan Bickell notched the first three-point game of his career with a goal and two assists.
After the game, Quenneville said that Jonathan Toews won’t practice on Monday as he recovers from a concussion, but the Hawks “anticipate him here [on the ice] hopefully early this week.”
Linesman Dan Schachte retired after working Sunday’s game, his 2,009th NHL contest, the most by an American official in league history and sixth most overall. Schachte, a Madison, Wis. native, made his NHL debut on Oct. 6, 1982 at Chicago Stadium.
“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.