Don’t confuse rookie Andrew Shaw with Daniel Carcillo
By Adam L. Jahns email@example.com January 13, 2012 11:12PM
The Hawks figure to give 20-year-old Andrew Shaw (on the ice) a long look. “I like his thought process in games,” coach Joel Quenneville says. | Jonathan Daniel~Getty Images
at Red Wings
The facts: 11:30 a.m., Ch. 5, 720-AM.
Updated: February 15, 2012 8:09AM
When Blackhawks rookie Andrew Shaw was younger, he and his two brothers would take to the snow and get after one another.
“One is two years older and one is a year younger, so we’re all pretty close,” Shaw said. “We always rough-housed as kids. We always used to in the winter just go out and wrestle in the snow just for fun.”
It’s stories like that, his knack for fighting in the Ontario Hockey League and his average stature that have garnered plenty of comparisons to seasoned agitator Daniel Carcillo.
It could be said that Shaw was added by the Blackhawks when they lost Carcillo to a seven-game suspension and the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee (he will have surgery Tuesday). But the Hawks are seeing there’s a lot more to the 20-year-old they drafted in the fifth round in 2011, and Shaw figures to stay for an extended period.
The strong play of Shaw and Jimmy Hayes has been a boost for the Hawks. Both were kept on the roster Friday as Ben Smith was sent to Rockford with center Marcus Kruger (concussion) returning Saturday against the Detroit Red Wings.
“[Shaw and Carcillo are] maybe two different kind of players,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “I don’t think we’re introducing [Shaw] here as like a tough guy. We’re using him in a pretty efficient and effective role for us. Not that Danny wasn’t — Danny was getting the same opportunity here — but maybe when Danny started, I don’t think that was the same opportunity for him.”
Carcillo’s path to the NHL involved using his fists. When he made his debut in 2006-07 with the Phoenix Coyotes, Carcillo got into four fights, but he also had 13 in the American Hockey League that year. In his second NHL season, Carcillo solidified his reputation, getting into 19 fights and amassing 324 penalty minutes.
The Hawks aren’t expecting the same out of Shaw. They don’t mind if he fights or talks trash, but they expect him to kill penalties and be a sound two-way center. Shaw’s ability to handle the middle on the third line allowed Quenneville to play center Dave Bolland with Marian Hossa while Kruger recovered.
While the Hawks used Carcillo in top-six roles, he wasn’t given the same responsibilities.
Shaw has avoided penalty trouble, getting only five minutes for fighting the Philadelphia Flyers’ Zac Rinaldo in his first game. In five games, Shaw has two goals, eight shots, 13 hits, six blocks and a 48.6 faceoff percentage. He is averaging almost 14 minutes per game, including 1:02 on the penalty kill.
Shaw also is proving to be a smart player, as well as an edgy one.
“We knew we had a real competitive kid,” Quenneville said. “But I like his thought process in games. He keeps himself in plays. He’s been very useful in a short amount of time.”
In many ways, Shaw, who fought Carcillo in training camp, is still a wide-eyed rookie.
“Some of [the Hawks] are my favorite hockey players,” Shaw said. “Like Jonathan Toews, watching him in the world juniors, I was a lot younger but I thought he was one of the best players in the world, and Patrick Kane, watching him when he was with the [London] Knights [in the OHL].
“It’s unbelievable we get dressed in the same room.”