Blackhawks' physical win boosts Andrew Shaw's game

Blackhawks' physical win boosts Andrew Shaw's game
March 19, 2014, 11:00 pm
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Nina Falcone

Andrew Shaw has no doubts that in the case of a seven-game playoff series, the Blackhawks could catch up to and defeat the league-leading Blues.

"I think we could," he said following Chicago's 4-0 shutout victory. "Statistically, we can, we've got the team to do it. Once we get hot, I don't think there's anyone that can stop us."

That confidence proved to be true on Wednesday, as the Blackhawks took the ice against a Blues team they had yet to defeat earlier in the regular season. 

[MORE: Blackhawks blank Blues, lose Patrick Kane to injury]

The defending champions looked more like their old selves again, bringing a fast, physical game on both ends of the ice following a "frustrating" loss to the Philadelphia Flyers just one day prior.

"I thought we played the right way from start to finish," head coach Joel Quenneville said after the Blackhawks' shutout resulted in his 700th career win. "It was arguably one of our best games all year, very complete in all areas and contributions from across the board. Power play getting two big goals. It was an excellent contribution from everybody."

Wednesday night provided the competition and physicality that's suited the Blackhawks well in the past.

It was the kind of matchup that best feeds Shaw's game.

"It was pretty physical, body's a little sore after that one," he said. "When the game gets physical, I try to step up my physical game as well. It's something I got away from as of late. A game like this hopefully can spark that again."

[RELATED: Quenneville: Kane to miss three weeks with injury]

It was a strong night for Shaw, who — aside from one early-game penalty — gave the Blackhawks exactly what they look for out of him. The speed was there. The hits were there. A drive to the net that led to a goal was there.

The game gave him and his teammates the confidence they were searching for, and Shaw said he sure wouldn't mind seeing St. Louis again in the postseason. 

"It would be exciting, it would be fun," he said of the potential playoff matchup. "They're a great team, you gotta give them a lot of credit. They've been hot lately and we needed this game to get our confidence going again."

Now the Central Division race continues to heat up for the Blackhawks, who, with Wednesday's win, reclaim sole ownership of second place over the Colorado Avalanche.

Things hadn't always been going smoothly for the Blackhawks as of late, but they're confident that a win like Wednesday's is what they need to jump-start the remainder of their season.

"It just shows the character our team has," Shaw said of the Blackhawks' ability to step up against big teams. "We love the game, we love to play, you hate losing games. I know after last night a lot of guys were down and we brought that momentum and anger into tonight's game. It worked well for us."