Shaw, Hayes keep impressing for Blackhawks
The postgame choreography in the Blackhawks' locker room has started to change a little over the past few weeks.
As usual, captain Jonathan Toews draws the biggest group of reporters, as he again did Wednesday night after scoring 2 goals to power the Hawks past the struggling Buffalo Sabres 6-2 at the United Center.
But there are a couple of fresh faces starting to attract big crowds these days -- and rightly so.
Since being called up from Rockford weeks ago, rookies Andrew Shaw and Jimmy Hayes have done nothing but impress. And their performances Wednesday were no different.
There was Shaw pestering Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth out front before eventually knocking in the rebound of a Duncan Keith shot to tie the game early on.
There was Hayes taking a perfect pass from Andrew Brunette for an insurance goal late in the second period, and then dropping a sweet pass to set up Dave Bolland's 14th of the season in the third.
So far these kids have been way more than just all right.
"They've been a huge part of our team," Keith said.
"It's awesome. They're playing great hockey," said Toews, who registered his fifth multigoal game of the year.
"They've been real good. Tonight was just one more real solid game from both of them," coach Joel Quenneville said. "Shawsie continues to be effective in a lot of ways, and Hayesie finished off one of the nicest passes we've seen this year, from Brunette, and then makes a real nice play to Bolly as well."
If you think all the glowing reviews are going to start going to the kids' heads, think again.
"We don't want to get sent back down," Shaw said. "We're just trying to prove ourselves and show that we belong. The goals and assists are just a bonus."
Added Hayes: "It's not like a competition, but sometimes I feel if one of us scores, the other one does, too. It's great that we're breaking in together and great that we're having some success."
Shaw nearly added an assist to his ledger in the final minute of the second period when he caught a pass from Marian Hossa, appeared to drop it onto his stick and send it across the crease to Marcus Kruger for the prettiest of goals … but in the end it was disallowed on what was ruled a hand pass.
"I grabbed it with my hand and on the way down it didn't even touch the ice," Shaw said. "I whacked it and got a piece of it and it went backdoor (to Kruger)."
Hayes' goal was his fourth in 10 games, while Shaw netted his fourth straight and his fifth in just eight games.
"He's done it in (four) straight," Hayes said. "I'm going to have to keep up with him."