Andrew Shaw isn’t off to the greatest start as the Blackhawks’ third line center points-wise, but that’s apparently not a problem with general manager Stan Bowman.
“If anything, he’s been effective,” Bowman said. “Looking at the way that he plays, he’s got that ability with his speed, he’s always around the puck. The way that he plays with his disruptive style, maybe we haven’t noticed it that much because he’s been focused on being a reliable player.
“But he hasn’t been on the ice for many goals against. He certainly has kind of proved to Joel (Quenneville) that he can handle that role as a center. I think he certainly can continue on that way.”
Shaw will be back on the third line again Tuesday night when the Hawks play at San Jose with Dave Bolland expected to return from what he called a deep bruise on his right leg.
Bolland, who has been centering the second line for Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp, missed Saturday’s game at Calgary but returned to practice on Monday.
Shaw had been centering the second line in Bolland’s absence and assisted on Kane’s goal at Calgary.
Shaw has a goal and 2 assists in nine games and is plus-2. He scored his only goal last week at Minnesota.
“That was his best game,” Bowman said.
Shaw has won 48.2 percent of his faceoffs, which is second on the team only to Jonathan Toews (61.2 percent) among centers who have taken 30 or more. Bolland is at 41.4 while Marcus Kruger has won 43.9 percent of his draws.
Shaw and the Hawks are looking for their eighth win of the season at San Jose. They still haven’t lost in regulation.
“It’s a good start for us, especially with all these road games,” Kane told reporters. “You’d think we would probably have a worse record. Hopefully we can continue it on this trip. We’ve got three games left and hopefully we can stay strong and continue this when we’re at home.
“I think we’re feeling pretty confident in here and the best part about it is we know we can play better.”
Corey Crawford will be back in net even though Ray Emery stole 2 points with his spectacular 45-save performance at Calgary.
Quenneville hinted strongly that Emery would get the start Thursday at Phoenix.
The Hawks have been off for the last two days, kicking back in San Jose. They needed the rest from the way they looked in Calgary.
“We’ve been busy,” Quenneville said. “Five of the last six have been overtime, nine games in 15 days — we’ve been traveling all over the place so our minds weren’t very alert, particularly in the third period.”
The Sharks played Monday night at Anaheim. They were off to a 7-0-1 start that includes a 5-0-1 record at home. The Hawks must contain the Sharks’ big line of Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski, who had combined for 40 points going into Monday’s game.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.