Shaw may have been on to something. Amidst a 7-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche, Shaw somehow found a way to be one of four Blackhawks with a minus rating in the game.
Friday marked the first time in 16 games Shaw finished with a minus rating. The last time also happened to come against the Avalanche, back on Nov. 19. During his streak, he had six games of a plus rating, nine of an even rating and an overall plus-7 rating.
Shaw credited his and his line’s defensive play for that streak.
“I think our line has been real responsible defensively,” Shaw said after Friday’s morning skate. “That’s something I take pride in. No one likes to get scored on. When you’re out there, you try to do the opposite and score on them. Just play solid D and those opportunities offensively have been coming for us.”
Shaw has been on the ice for just 13 goals in 5-on-5 situations this season and is among the team’s leaders in that category. He also leads the team (minimum 20 games) with a 60.3 Corsi percentage.
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville acknowledged Shaw’s defensive ability, but he also thought Shaw’s offensive game wasn’t getting enough respect. Quenneville believes Shaw’s numbers are so impressive because of his line’s possession time. Shaw has played with Bryan Bickell and Brandon Saad on the third line as of late.
“Shawzy gives you energy, and that line has been effective in ways,” Quenneville said. “I think offensively you get a contribution and they spend a lot of time in the offensive zone. I just think game in and game out Shawzy gives you everything he has. Offensively, I think he’s a little bit under the radar and seems to have the puck a little more. They’ve been very consistent game in and game out. You know what to expect.”
Shaw has even been consistent in his offensive numbers. He’s has 10 goals and 10 assists this season and is eighth on the team with 20 points.
One area Shaw has done a better job with lately is cutting down his penalties. He compiled 13 penalty minutes, which included four minors, during the first six games of December. He’s had zero penalties over the last four games.
Shaw said Friday he was rewarded for his good behavior throughout 2013 by getting some quality gifts from Santa Claus.
“I was pretty good this year, so he was pretty nice to me,” Shaw said. “I’ve never been that kind of guy to make anyone mad or hate me. I’ve always been that good, cheerful kid. I’ve never had a lump of coal, that’s for sure.
“[Santa] knows [hockey’s] just a job. I got to do what I got to do to keep in the league. He understands that.”