Two games into life as the Blackhawks' No. 2 center, Andrew Shaw isn't taking anything for granted.
"I knew I had the capability of doing it, I'm just getting that chance and going with it," Shaw said after Thursday's practice at the United Center. "I can't take my foot off the gas. I have to keep going and keep pushing and keep impressing people."
Shaw is coach Joel Quenneville's latest attempt at finding a second-line center who can skate with Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad, and early indications are it could be a good fit.
"I want it to be a long-term thing," Shaw said. "Playing with a great player like Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad is a privilege. I just have to keep working and keep competing for them and hopefully keep having success with it."
With twice as many penalty minutes during his career as points, the scrappy Shaw isn't the prototypical center associated with playing on a team's top lines, but his ability to grind in corners and create space in front is a benefit to his linemates.
"(Shaw) always is hounding the puck and around the puck and getting to the net for rebounds and passes," Saad said. "It kind of jells well. Even though he's not the typical playmaking center, he still can make plays. It helps both of us with him working hard and getting to the net.
"A lot of guys get stereotyped with the way they are. Regardless of thinking that he works hard or is a grinder, he definitely still has some skill and you can see that from his game."
If it's a surprise to some that Shaw -- who said he's on a "real short leash" in the new role -- is adapting well, it's not to him.
"I've always impressed myself," Shaw said. "I've always exceeded my goals and I just keep moving forward and keep wanting more and more."
Working hard: Quenneville put the Hawks through their paces during Thursday's hour-long practice during which there was little standing around. The team worked on puck battles in corners during one-on-one and two-on-one drills.
"We changed it up a little bit," Quenneville said of the drills. "A little bit more intensity in practice. Get a little bit more pace in our game."
Sitting out: Veterans Marian Hossa and Brent Seabrook weren't on the ice for practice. Hossa had what Quenneville referred to as a "maintenance day" while Seabrook was sick. Both are expected to play against the Ducks on Friday night.
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