There’s an old saying: “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” In 2011, the Chicago Blackhawks drafted a mutt in the fifth round of the NHL Draft. He was small, but he had more fight than the 138 players drafted ahead of him. In the ten years Andrew Shaw played in the NHL, he wore that on his sleeve.
Growing up, Shaw was always told he was too small. He couldn’t play in the NHL at that size. He surely couldn’t compete with guys who towered over him. Well, that’s the thing. Shaw didn’t just compete, he went to war. The smallest guy on the ice routinely fought his way to the front of the net. He’d get knocked down and immediately jump back up. You can’t beat the guy who never stops fighting.
Andrew Shaw found himself in a perfect city. Blue-collar Chicago immediately fell in love with their newest agitator. When Adam Burish left the team after the 2010 Stanley Cup championship, Chicago needed a new pest. Shaw was just as annoying to opponents and added a new level of skill.
Shaw almost instantly became a fan favorite. He then quickly became an important part of two championship teams. For a franchise that had experienced a nearly half-decade championship drought, that makes you a legend in Chicago. Andrew Shaw became just that. Let’s look at his most legendary moments.
12. Motor City Madness
The Blackhawks found themselves down 3-1 to the Red Wings in the second round of the 2013 playoffs. Saying Jimmy Howard was hot for Games 2, 3 and 4 would be quite the understatement.
How do you get a goalie off his game? Make him uncomfortable. That’s where Andrew Shaw came in. That’s where he always came in. Nobody wreaked havoc in front of opposing goalies better than #65.
11. Hat Trick Behind Former Enemy Lines
Even in Montreal… DE-TROIT SUCKS! It was the first and only hat trick of Shaw’s career. And it couldn’t have come against a better team.
10. The Ultimate Show-Man
One could say that any fan base other than Chicago didn’t deserve Andrew Shaw, but at least Montreal is a great hockey town. The little agitator gave them one hell of a show here.
How often do you see a guy stop mid-fight to wave the crowd on? That move really got the Bell Centre rockin’. The sheer disrespect to ignore the guy you’re fighting to get the crowd going was the ultimate Andrew Shaw move.
9. Pot vs. Kettle
When a hockey fan thinks of a small, pain-in-the-ass player, they are almost always going to think of Brad Marchand. Nobody outside of Boston likes that guy. Hell, his parents probably even root against him.
The second pain in the ass you think of his Andrew Shaw. When these two got together, the hockey world outside of Chicago and Boston were rooting for them both to kill one another. Shaw just never backed down. He never took anyone’s nonsense. He was the nonsense.
8. Going Down Swinging
Well, if you’re going to lose to your rival and fall into a hole in the series, go down swinging. Nobody had to tell Shaw twice.
That sequence showed us that the players in the red sweaters hated the Blues as much as the 22,000 fans donning red sweaters in the United Center stands. Andrew Shaw was searching for blood that night.
NBC learned a valuable lesson when the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2013. When Andrew Shaw gets the Cup, turn off all the microphones on the ice. Let Doc Emrick tell a story or something.
Shaw let F-bomb after F-bomb drop as he skated Lord Stanley around the ice. He made Crawford’s parade speech look like child’s play. He then went on WGN Radio and was asked by Judd Sirott what it felt like to be the ultimate — a Stanley Cup champion. Shaw responded, “Un-fucking-real.”
6. Good Morning, Goodnight, Roussel
Antoine Roussel is one tough customer. He’s an agitator himself and if you put him and Shaw on the ice at the same time you might have problems.
Shaw came away the victor of both fights after landing quite a few good hits on his opponent. Shaw was asked years later about these fights during the annual Blackhawks Convention by a child. He responded: “Which one? The first time or second time I beat him up?”
5. Coming in Hot
Well, that’s certainly one way to start a career. Shaw dropped the gloves on his second-ever NHL shift. Shocker. He then scored one of the prettier goals of his career a little later on. Shaw finished an assist short of the Gordie Howe hat trick in his NHL debut.
4. Back to Anaheim
When looking back on all three Stanley Cup runs the Blackhawks had in the 2010s, you could make the argument that the team who gave them the toughest challenge was the Anaheim Ducks in 2015. After winning Game 5 and taking a 3-2 series lead, Ducks center Ryan Kesler claimed that “no human can withstand that many hits.”
Kesler must have forgotten who the Blackhawks were. They may have gotten hit a lot, but they had more heart. Naturally, the guy with the most heart added a dagger goal to send it to Game 7 by outmuscling much bigger Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf. No human could slow down the Blackawks or Shaw.
3. It’s Only Blood
Heart is the theme of this article, because Andrew Shaw had plenty of it. That was in full effect during Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.
Shaw took a a puck to the face that required several stitches and left the winger with a black eye. However, Shaw missed naturally very little of the game, returned, and went on his profanity-filled skate around the ice with the Cup. Blood, sweat, and tears, because it’s the Cup.
2. The Greatest Goal that Never Was
Here is one moment that every Blackhawks fan remembers. It was one of the strangest things we’ve ever seen. And when it happened, if everyone is being honest, nobody had a clue if the goal would count or not.
This wasn’t ignorance, nobody had any clue if it was within the rules or not because nobody had ever seen it before. Of course as we learned, it did not count, but it gave everyone a good laugh in an ultra-intense moment. Luckily, Marcus Kruger won the game in triple overtime in what was and still is the longest game in Blackhawks’ history.
1. I Love Shin Pads
Game 2 of the 2015 WCF, where Shaw head-butted the puck into the net, may have been the longest game in Hawks history, but Game 1 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final felt like it. The Blackhawks and Bruins traded chance after chance for 110 minutes while Corey Crawford and Tuukka Rask stood on their heads.
Of course, it took a double deflection to end the game. Michal Rozsival sent a shot from the point, Dave Bolland redirected it and the puck went in off of Andrew Shaw’s shin pad. Shaw screamed “I love shin pads!” to the United Center rafters. Good things come to those who go to the net. Shaw made a career of it.
It was one hell of a career for 65 in red. A guy who was an afterthought made himself a two-time Stanley Cup champion and an icon in Chicago by always giving it 120%. Not too bad for a guy who was “too small.”
Most lists would give you a top-ten of a player’s career. But ten isn’t enough for Andrew Shaw, because he never just gave 100%. He gave more. He always gave Chicago everything he had, and for that, Chicago salutes you for everything you did, Andrew.