CHICAGO — So what is Andrew Shaw really like? That question was on people’s minds Thursday after his winning goal in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final elevated him to folk hero status.
Shaw is prospering just two years after being selected in the fifth round of the draft.
He may not be known for his offense (he had but 15 points in the regular season), but that perception may be changing as he has five goals and four assists in the playoffs.
Shaw’s reputation is hardly that of the shy, retiring type. That was in focus Wednesday night as he was one of three Blackhawks with nine hits.
He wasn’t shy about engaging the Bruins, including Zdeno Chara, who is almost a foot taller than the 5-foot-10-inch Shaw.
Shaw’s actions didn’t endear him to Bruins coach Claude Julien, who said after Wednesday’s game that the forward “embellishes.” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville steered clear of that Thursday by saying, “I’m not going there.”
Regardless of how Shaw’s play is characterized, his high-energy personality is just as evident off the ice, according to his teammates.
“He’s a handful in the dressing room,” Brent Seabrook noted. “He likes to have fun and get guys going jumping around the room. He is pretty much the same as he is on the ice, just without skates on.”
Forward Patrick Kane, who sits next to Shaw in the dressing room, added, “There are times I almost have to tell him to shut up.”
Kane and his teammates will endure Shaw’s exuberance as long as he keeps producing. Kane said Wednesday’s winning goal, which deflected off Shaw’s leg, was hardly an anomaly.
“He probably scores more goals off his shin pads than he does with his stick, but I am sure he will take them any way he can get them,” Kane said.
He was a horse
Lost in all the talk of Shaw’s goal, and the play of goalie Corey Crawford, was the play of forward Marian Hossa, who had an assist and 10 shots on goal.
“Hossa was really strong, good [Wednesday] night,” Quenneville said. “I thought he had the puck a lot. Defensively you can always rely on him with his backside pressure, speed, and quickness.’’
Hossa is hoping to get his second Stanley Cup championship in his fourth appearance. However, Hossa wasn’t able to enjoy the victory with a good night’s sleep because some carpentry was being practiced.
“I went to sleep at 3 in the morning, but I woke up early because my neighbor decided he was going to drill in the morning,” he said. “That wasn’t very pleasant.”
For the third straight series, Chicago is facing a goalie with a very good reputation. In the second round it was Detroit’s Jimmy Howard, in the Western Conference finals against Los Angeles they faced Jonathan Quick, and now it is Tuukka Rask. Quenneville emphasized the need for net traffic to score.
“If they get to see [the puck], it’s going to be almost impossible to beat these guys,” he said. “Sometimes you can maybe beat them with one-timers, but I think traffic is the key. Loose pucks and getting to the net is critical [for] scoring goals against these top guys.”
To keep energy levels high in Wednesday’s 112-minute-plus affair, the Blackhawks were eating, hydrating, and changing out of wet equipment during the intermissions. “Seems like we had more trainers than players in the dressing room at that time,” Hossa said . . . Like the Bruins, the Blackhawks did not practice Thursday . . . With their win, the Blackhawks put themselves in the driver’s seat — at least historically. The winner of Game 1 has won the Final series in 56 of 73 seasons since the best-of-seven format was introduced in 1939.