The Blackhawks dressing room has been quiet lately.
"It felt kind of nice for once," captain Jonathan Toews said with a smile.
That all changed on Tuesday, when the Stanley Cup Champs got shifty and "chirpy" Andrew Shaw back at practice. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound forward has been bouncing off the walls since leaving Game 1 of the Minnesota series with a lower body injury thought to be his knee.
"Horrible," Shaw said of being out the past six games. "It sucks to sit back and watch."
Shaw has 4 points (2 goals and 2 assists) this post season for a +/- of 0. But it's his knack for agitating big men, or just fighting for position in front of goalies like Jonathan Quick, that have made his shin pads as famous as the 22-year-old, third-year player himself.
"I think the shin pads are excited to get back out there as well," he said.
Shaw's feistiness comes from being an 8th-round draft choice, twice before passed up in the entry draft. He doesn't "sit" well.
"My girlfriend is probably upset about the past two weeks," Shaw joked, admitting to having no one else to talk to but her. "I probably put her through hell."
Shaw skated on Tuesday with a white, "non-contact" jersey, but Head Coach Joel Quenneville apparently isn't ready to insert Shaw or his shin pads back into the lineup for Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals with the Kings just yet.
"We'll see on that," Quenneville offered. "I thought he was OK. Hadn't skated in awhile, we're not sure yet on tomorrow."