Blackhawks Pregame Notebook: Shaw Back, Mayers Frustrated
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Sports Fan Insider
By Adam Hoge-
UNITED CENTER (CBS) When the Blackhawks take the ice Monday night in Game 6 against the Coyotes, they will most likely have forward Andrew Shaw back with them.
Shaw is eligible to play tonight after serving a three-game suspension for colliding into Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith in Game 2. Head coach Joel Quenneville was mum on who would play tonight, but it would be a surprise if Shaw did not make it into the lineup.
Shaw told reporters that Joel Quenneville gave him this message during the morning skate: “Glad you’re back. Just bring the energy you always bring.”
Now that the rookie forward has a suspension on his record, some might think he will be more cautious on the ice, but he said that’s not the case.
“I’m obviously going to play the same way,” Shaw said. “Maybe just stay out of it a little bit after the whistles or before the whistles. Just play between the whistles. Still have that gritty play.”
As for any possible retaliation from the Coyotes?
“Not worried at all,” he said.
Mayers On Scratches
Blackhawks winger Jamal Mayers isn’t used to being scratched, so it comes as no surprise that he is frustrated with sitting on the sidelines the last two games.
“Yeah no question,” Mayers said. “Obviously, mostly I’m mad at myself for somehow allowing that to happen. It’s that time of year. (The playoffs are) the reason why I signed here so it certainly is disappointing.”
So will the scratches impact whether or not he returns to Chicago next season?
“I don’t make those decisions,” he said. “I think obviously I’m supportive of the group and I’m excited the way we won the last game. I’m focused on that. It’s not about me, it’s about the team. I know that we move on and keep playing and I’ll stay ready and most importantly I’ll support my teammates.”
Quenneville didn’t say whether or not Mayers would be back in the lineup Monday night, but the winger knows what he has to do to play.
“Just got to play better, obviously. When I get back in, hopefully get in, skate, use my speed, win faceoffs, kill penalties. That’s what I plan to do,” he said.
Home Woes Vs Phoenix
The Coyotes have won all four games they’ve played at the United Center this season and the Blackhawks will have to change that tonight or their season will be over.
“I think we gotta play like it’s a road game tonight,” Patrick Kane said. “I think we kind of played like we wanted to the last game. Had a lot of speed, had a lot of pace and it resulted in a win for us.”
Kane continues to be amazed that every game has gone to overtime and said they basically have to assume it’s a four-period game now.
Hanzal Could Return
Coyotes center Martin Hanzal could play tonight for the first time since Game 2 when he suffered a lower body injury.
Hanzal skated Monday morning and said he’s a gametime decision. Head coach Dave Tippett refused to comment on who would play tonight. In past games, Tippett has ruled Hanzal out after the morning skate.
For more Blackhawks coverage before, during and after tonight’s Game 6, follow Adam on Twitter (@AdamHogeCBS).