Andrew Shaw appeared to suffer a big injury in the Chicago Blackhawks‘ 5-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Friday night. Shaw was hit by Clayton Stoner just over 10 minutes into the first period and he missed the rest of the game. Shaw is currently listed as day-to-day and the injury is unspecified. However, it’s possible Shaw could miss some time. Would this be a big dent for the Hawks?
Not necessarily. Shaw certainly has his skills — he gets to the front of the net, brings some vital energy and is a pest (and unlike Brad Marchand, actually has skill) — but he’s not a major offensive or defensive cog like Jonathan Toews or Marian Hossa.
Besides, Shaw doesn’t score that often. When he does score, it’s usually because he’s in the right place at the right time, getting a vital goal after deflecting the puck. But then again, Shaw does tend to commit dumb penalties and being without him might reduce those.
But the Hawks have players who can fill in for Shaw. Peter Regin was brought in to be a centerman and can play solid offense and defense. His exclusion from the lineup has been frankly confusing, so if Shaw is to miss any time, now would be Regin’s time.
Another option is Jeremy Morin. Morin is another name being tossed around by frustrated fans who want so see some lineup changes. Given that Morin can hit hard and score goals, his presence would certainly be more than enough to fill in for Shaw’s feisty nature. And neither of them tend to make the dumb penalties that Shaw commits.
If Andrew Shaw is out for any amount of time, there’s not doubt that it could cause problems. But, given that the Hawks have enough firepower and guys who can step in when needed, Shaw’s absence might not be such a big deal (but don’t tell that to his fangirls).