Chicago Blackhawk fans desperately hoping for a win, and counting on the return of center Andrew Shaw to contribute, had another disappointing night at the Staples Center. Shaw has played the last two games in the NHL Western Conference Finals against the Kings since a hit from Clayton Stoner knocked him out in the opening game against the Minnesota Wild on May 2nd. Shaw had two goals and four points in seven playoff games prior to his lower body injury.
Shaw’s stats came up zero his first game back after 19 shifts and 12:28 minutes TOI. The Blackhawk’s have missed the colorful presence and entertaining persona of Shawsy. In Game 4 last night, Andrew Shaw ended up with 21 shifts and 17:25 minutes TOI, with one shot on goal, and four minutes in penalties. His two penalties, both in the second period, were exactly what give Shaw his reputation of undisciplined and having to be controlled. The first penalty, cross-checking in the offensive zone, has been dubbed the dumbest and silliest move in the game. The second, however, was another classic Shawsy. Preventing a goal, which was top priority at this point with the 4-1 lead the Kings had, Andrew Shaw caught and held the stick of King’s defenseman Drew Doughty. This resulted in a holding penalty for Chicago until Doughty took a couple of good punches to the back of Shaw’s head sending both to the box. Considering the scoring potential of Doughty, this was necessary naughtiness to which Shaw is no stranger.
Andrew Shaw will be playing in Game 5 back in Chicago Saturday providing spark to the offense and getting under the skin of Kings. The question is, will it be too little, too late for the Blackhawks?