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Memories of Stanley Cup Final Past: "I Love Shin Pads"

One can argue that nobody took on the role of being an absolute pest for the Hawks better than Andrew Shaw.

The Blackhawks have had some great instigators over the years. Adam Burish is always the first to come to mind. Dave Bolland loved getting under opponents' skin as well. Recently before being traded, Ryan Hartman was growing into that role. However, one can argue that nobody took on the role of being an absolute pest for the Hawks better than Andrew Shaw.

Apr 19, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw (65) and St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (27) fight after game four of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at United Center.  The Blues won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Credit: David Banks/USA TODAY Sports

He was never the biggest guy on the ice, far from it in fact, but Shaw was always in the middle of things. He went to the front of the net and took a beating. His mouth was always running. He feared no-one. Guys like this are nice to have and even nicer when they're scoring goals on the brink of midnight in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Game 1 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final went into triple overtime as the Bruins and Blackhawks battled it out at the United Center. Corey Crawford and Tuukka Rask were battling it out to see who could make the most spectacular, game saving stops as both teams peppered puck after puck at the two net-minders.

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Finally, with 7:52 left on the game clock and 11:59 on the Central Standard clock, Shaw got to the front of the net and scored the biggest goal of his career. Take a watch and listen.

I watched this game from section 321 at the United Center and I remember thinking "Absolutely no *expletive* way Michal Rozsival just won this game." Well, I was right. He didn't even get the primary assist, as it took a double deflection to finally beat Tuukka Rask that night.

Two of the scrappiest guys the Hawks have had over the last decade, Bolland and Shaw, combined for one phenomenal scrappy goal. After scoring the goal off his leg and being embraced by his teammates, Shaw yelled to the UC rafters "I love shin pads!" We all loved shin pads that night.

Featured Photo: Jeff Haynes/Reuters