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posted: 6/10/2013 9:57 PM

Tall task for Shaw

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  • Patrick Shaw sends Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin into the Blackhawks bench during Game 5 of the Western Conference finals.

      Patrick Shaw sends Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin into the Blackhawks bench during Game 5 of the Western Conference finals.
    Associated Press

 
 

Andrew Shaw is almost a foot shorter than Zdeno Chara, but the Blackhawks' center is looking forward to mixing it up with the behemoth Boston defenseman in front of the net on the power play.

This is a guy, remember, who tried to fight Nashville 6-foot-7 defenseman Hal Gill this season.

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Chara is two inches taller than Gill at 6-9.

"He's a little faster than Hal Gill, too," Shaw, the 5-10, 180-pound dynamo, said Monday. "Maybe he won't see me if I'm standing in front of him. He might have a blind spot there. But he's a big boy and I look forward to battling with him.

"He's got a great stick, too. We've got to work him, expose him and get pucks behind him. He's a big guy, strong; it's going to be a heck of a battle there in front of the net with him. We just have to compete and do the best we can.

"If he's all over Johnny (Toews) or (Patrick) Kaner, they're going to compete and push back. They're the kind of guys who want to win that Cup just as much as anybody else."

Shaw is having the time of his life preparing for the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals that start Wednesday at the United Center.

Just two years ago Shaw was a third liner in juniors at Owen Sound. Now he's a third liner on a team with a chance to win the Stanley Cup after working his way up from being the 139th player drafted in 2011.

"Playing in junior on the third line there you never expect to be playing in the NHL for the Stanley Cup," Shaw said. "It's a dream come true. It's pretty surreal."

Kane jokingly calls Shaw the Hawks' 19th-round draft pick.

"It shows that hard work pays off," Shaw said. "I've worked for everything I got. It just shows if you push yourself to your limits you can achieve whatever you want. This is something I've wanted my entire life and I'm just glad to be here.

"It might never happen again in your career so you've got to take it all in as you go and just focus and battle and compete for that Cup."

Shaw sees a little of himself in Boston's chief pest Brad Marchant, who leads the Bruins with 16 penalty minutes in the playoffs.

"Clearly, he's a great player," Shaw said. "He does what he needs to do and he's great at it. He'll get under the skin, he'll score goals, he'll skate, he'll hit. He can do it all.

"I'd like to be like that. I've got a lot more to learn. I'm not to that point yet, but hopefully at some point in my career I will be."

Nick Leddy is one of Shaw's best friends and says his buddy doesn't get enough credit for what he means to the team.

"How much fun he has with the game, how much hard work and dedication can pay off for anybody," Leddy said. "He's a great player whether he likes to think so or not. I love watching him play. He does have quite a bit of skill, whether other people think so or not.

"He likes to get in guys' faces. Not being the biggest guy, he'll get in anyone's face. I give him all the props in the world."

It's all happening so quickly for Shaw, particularly the ticket requests from friends and family.

"You've got to stay composed and stay focused," Shaw said. "There are a lot of sideshows to everything. If there's family coming in you've got to do what you've got to do, but you have to still stay focused on the game."

The big payoff is the Stanley Cup.

"They've all told stories about how unbelievable it is to win the Cup," Shaw said of those teammates who were around in 2010. "It just makes you strive more to win it."

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