Loss of Andrew Shaw is a tax in crease for Blackhawks
BY MARK LAZERUS Staff Reporter May 12, 2014 8:25PM
Updated: May 13, 2014 12:28AM
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Bryan Bickell was parked in front of the net but was too close to Patrick Kane to line anything up, so he did the first thing that came to mind.
“Um, not move?” Bickell said when asked what he tried to do on what proved to be the game-tying deflection in the second period of Game 5 on Sunday. “It was a tough angle from so close, it’s hard to reach for a tip. I was just standing still, and it hit me. I’m glad it went in.”
It was an Andrew Shaw special — outmuscle a defenseman on the doorstep, stand your ground and see what happens. It’s not easy against the Minnesota Wild, who push everything to the sides and make it nearly impossible to get to the front of the net. And it’s really not easy without Shaw, who’s been sidelined with an apparent leg injury since early in Game 1.
Bickell has done a decent job in Shaw’s place in front of the net on the power play, but the fact is, there aren’t a lot of Shaws in the Hawks’ lineup.
“I don’t think there are too many Shaws around the league,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “He’s a unique player.”
A frustrated one, too. Shaw didn’t make the trip to St. Paul on Monday and will miss Game 6. He has yet to start skating. He’s been listed as “day-to-day” since Clayton Stoner drilled him along the boards, but Quenneville offered a rare glimpse at the game coaches play.
“We said day-to-day at the beginning of the series, but now he’s a lot closer to day-to-day,” he said with a laugh.
As much as the Hawks miss Shaw, Shaw misses it even more.
“He texted me a couple of times and asked, ‘How did you do it?’ ” Bickell said, referring to the knee injury that held him out for 14 games in the fall. “It’s just a battle. It’s a lot mental. … I’ve been down that road. It’s a tough bounce. But he’s truly missed.”
Quenneville has said repeatedly that Shaw’s absence is a chance for other players to get more ice time. But nobody’s been able to provide the physical play and energy that Shaw brings.
“[He brings] that feistiness, that competitiveness,” Quenne-ville said. “And you lose a little bit of that [without him]. I think we’ve all got to make up for that, knowing that’s what it’s going to take for us to be successful — that battle, and that will in the tight areas.”