Andrew Shaw will join the Blackhawks at practice tomorrow, and coach Joel Quenneville said the team will assess that before seeing when he can return to the lineup.
Shaw skated on his own on Monday, the third consecutive day he’s skated since suffering a right-leg injury in Game 1 against the Minnesota Wild. Quenneville said Shaw has “made real good progress the last few days and he felt pretty good today.”
As for if he’ll play on Wednesday in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final, Quenneville said, “we’ll see.”
The Blackhawks weathered Shaw’s loss through that Wild series and the start of this one against the Los Angeles Kings. They struggled those first few Minnesota games in finding the right third- and fourth-line combinations without him. They’ve found the right formula lately; Brandon Bollig, Marcus Kruger and Ben Smith were on the fourth line again and Peter Regin has been a solid find on the third line, most recently with Brandon Saad and Kris Versteeg.
Still, there’s no doubt the Blackhawks will welcome back Shaw when he’s ready.
“He brings a real nice element to our team, scores big goals for us and has that tenacity. He’s good in the puck areas, he has some skill and he’s a real competitive guy,” said Quenneville, who added everyone had to bring Shaw’s elements in his absence.
“To get through Minnesota was a tough test for us, and yesterday’s game was as well. Getting through it without him is something we know that element, we have to absorb it, because he brings an intangible to our team you can use through games. It’ll be fun to get him back into our line up and we look forward to it.”