Chicago Sun-Times

Blackhawks rookie Andrew Shaw on his three-game suspension for hitting Coyotes goalie Mike Smith

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Andrew Shaw made sure to get a good, lungs-burning skate in Wednesday at the United Center, while most of his teammates rested after their third overtime game in a row against the Phoenix Coyotes.

It's all he can do now. Well, that and hope the Hawks can even the series with a win in Game 4 Thursday, so he has a better chance to play this postseason after getting suspended three games.

"I was a little upset," Shaw said of getting suspended for his helmet-to-facemask collision with goalie Mike Smith in Game 2. "But that's the punishment. I can't do anything about it now. I just have to stay level-headed.

"I want another chance. It would be great to see the boys win."

Shaw had to wait for more than 24 hours for NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan to make his ruling as he waited to hear more on Smith's condition.

It's possible that Shaw may have been handed a longer suspension if Smith were not OK to play in Game 3 on Tuesday. Either way, considering some of the other suspensions delivered this postseason, it's apparent Shanahan wanted to make clear that goalies are off-limits during the playoffs.

"Goalies are really important players," Shaw said. "They looked at it and they reviewed it over and over again. They felt that's what the right punishment was.

"Concussions are big things these days, and I know Mike Smith had a concussion before. They're just trying to look out for the goalies."

Smith seemed to have embellished his condition when hit by Shaw, spinning to the ice, losing his gloves and holding his face as he lay on the ice for several moments. Shaw was assessed a five-minute major penalty and ejected.

Smith, on the other hand, never left the game and even said through the Coyotes staff members that he was "100 percent" after Game 2.

Does Shaw think Smith embellished after seeing it again?

"You never know," Shaw said. "You can't really tell. Getting hit as a goaltender you're not expecting it. I knew he was probably in some pain so that was probably his reaction to it."

Shaw said he saw Raffi Torres' leaping, shoulder-to-head hit on Marian Hossa in Game 3 on Tuesday. Torres is suspended indefinitely and likely facing a lengthy suspension despite inexplicably not being assessed a penalty during the game for it.

"I was upset," Shaw said. "I was actually kind of angry someone would kind of target someone like that. He probably didn't mean to do it, but it's always hard seeing a guy on the ground like that."

Does he think it's worse than his run-in with Smith?

"I'm not one to judge that," Shaw said. "They can come up with the punishment. It's totally different. Mine was on a goalie. His was on a star player. So we'll have to wait for what the league does."

Shaw said he won't change his style of play on the ice because of his suspension.

"Some guys may come after me or not, but I'm just going to stick to my game and focus on what I do best," Shaw said. "It's how I've always played. Those accidents happen once and a while. I'm not going to let it change my game."

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About the blogger

Adam L. Jahns is a native Chicagoan. Jahns has been with the Sun-Times since 2005, covering the Hawks since 2009. He's also helped cover the Bears, Cubs, Sox and high schools. Follow him on Twitter:@adamjahns



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Adam L. Jahns published on April 18, 2012 2:49 PM.

Raffi Torres suspended indefinitely for hit on Marian Hossa; hearing set for Friday was the previous entry in this blog.

Phoenix GM Don Maloney stands by Raffi Torres is the next entry in this blog.

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