Andrew Shaw was in front of the net again, deflecting a shot again, this time off the shaft of his stick. Again, he didnt mind how the goal came.
Ill take it, he said. And considering the points he and fellow checking liners Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland have put up lately, so will the Blackhawks.
The checking lines mantra is always the same: defense comes first. But lately, theyve also been coming with plenty of offense. Bickell, Bolland and Shaw have combined for 13 points in the Blackhawks last three games. And Bolland or Shaw has also scored the opening goal in the last three contests. Getting that type of offense from the line thats also shutting down the oppositions top trio? Thats not so bad.
When they score early and they get that assignment, winning that battle youre happy with that type of an exchange, coach Joel Quenneville said. When they score it really helps you in a lot of ways. Its like getting a shorthanded goal.
The checking lines recent success is a culmination of three individual players games clicking at the right time. Bolland usually hits his ready-for-the-playoffs stride around this time of year, and hes doing it again now. Bickell, who struggled through a good part of the season, had a goal and two assists on Sunday for his first multi-point game since Dec. 21. Hes also riding a three-game point streak. And Shaw, who has three goals in his last two games, is bringing the right balance of offense and agitation.
When youre playing good defense, good offensive chances will come, said Shaw, who now has 10 goals in 29 games this season. Were trying to play solid defensively and we know they dont like to play in their own end.
The Blackhawks usually get the great defensive outings from their checking line. Now theyre getting the best of it on both ends of the ice.
CSN's Chuck Garfien and Bill Melton talk about what's next for the White Sox, presented by Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana Honda dealers.
The White Sox are struggling lately as the team has lost six consecutive games and 14 of their last 18.
It doesn't get much easier for the South Siders as they stay on the road to face the New York Mets and Detroit Tigers this week.
After once leading the American League Central and looking like a complete team, the bullpen is struggling and the team is in a freefall.
Can the team fix things to stay in the division race?
Find out what Garfien and Melton had to say in the video above.
The White Sox take on the New York Mets on Monday, and you can catch all the action on Comcast SportsNet. Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 11:30 a.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.
Monday’s starting pitching matchup: Jose Quintana vs. Matt Harvey
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Austin Jackson exited Sunday’s game after battling turf toe on his left foot, according to a club official.
When he’ll return to the White Sox lineup isn’t yet certain. The injury comes at a time when Jackson is red hot at the plate and continuing to make big plays in the outfield.
Jackson, who finished 1-for-3 Sunday with a sac fly and two RBIs, has produced a .464/.500/.607 slash line in his last eight games.
The center fielder has been so good at the plate that White Sox manager Robin Ventura has batted him in the second spot in the lineup two days in a row. With Melky Cabrera needed for the middle of the lineup, Jackson has been Ventura’s best option. He entered Sunday with a team-high .697 OPS hitting second.
“I like Melky there, too,” Ventura said. “But (Jackson’s) at-bats have been better. Walking, fouling pitches off, getting on, he’s looked good up there.”
Jackson also turned in a sterling defensive play in the first inning as he made an over-the-shoulder catch to rob Kendrys Morales of extra bases. Jackson then fired a perfect strike to Tyler Saladino, whose relay to first doubled off Eric Hosmer.
Outfielder Adam Eaton has credited much of Jackson’s communication and defensive skills to his own improvement in right field.