When Andrew Shaw first arrived in Montreal, fans were expecting the edgy pest that made Chicago Blackhawks fans fall in love with him. However, a dangerous pre-season hit and fight earned him a suspension until the regular season. When Shaw returned to the lineup, he had lost the edge that makes him such an effective player. It is only recently that he has seemingly found himself.
For much of the season, Shaw had been just okay. He hadn’t been a liability but not the player he was in Chicago. It prompted some valid questions such as “Did the suspension make him second guess how he should play?” Or “Did playing with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane make him look better than he actually is?” It isn’t unusual to see suspended players come back and hesitate with how much edge they should play with and there are plenty of players who have ridden the coattails of others better than them.
In Your Face, In the Game
In the case of Shaw, it seems like he just needed some time to get back on track. He has just eight points in 21 games but considering he has never cracked 40 points so far in his NHL career, Shaw wasn’t brought in to be a big point producer. He was acquired to be a handful for opposing teams by creating havoc in front of the net and throwing other players off their games. However, Shaw did find some offense in the game against Detroit with a three-point game.
However, his best game was against his old team in Chicago. Shaw didn’t put up any points but he was a pest all night crashing the crease, getting in the faces of his old teammates and being a threat all night long. It is when Shaw is playing on the edge that he is at his best. He scores most of his goals when he is around the net. It’s this kind of effort that made him a big part in last two Stanley Cup Championships for Chicago.
Gotta give it to Andrew Shaw. He was robbed of two sure goals, had six shots, 10 attempts and nine hits in his return to Chicago.
— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) November 14, 2016
Better Late Than Never
It seems like the real Andrew Shaw has arrived in Montreal and the Habs need him to be the edgy pest he was in Chicago, especially in the playoffs. Ironically, that game against Chicago was seemingly the turning point for Shaw as he is playing with that edge again. Players like him bring a lot of value, even if it doesn’t show up on the score sheet. General manager Marc Bergevin wanted to make his team harder to play against and Shaw at his best certainly fits the bill.
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Ryerson University. I am a freelance journalist and a Montreal Canadiens writer for The Hockey Writers. I previously wrote for Simcoe.com and Last Word on Sports as well as interned at TSN.