Andrew Shaw: The Blackhawks' Toughest

Andrew Shaw: The Blackhawks' Toughest

We chose the name Chicago Tough because it's silly.

As the thought process goes, isn't Cleveland tough?   Detroit tough?  Buffalo tough?  Pittsburgh tough?  Philly tough?  New York?

Doesn't any semi-large American city with industrial workers have a base of people that bust their ass to put food on the table?

Our inner-meatball enjoys the term; marinating in some sort of civic superiority complex.  We'd like to think Chicago is tougher: our work, our commute, our lives, our food.

It's a joke.  Of course it's not tougher here.  It can be tough anywhere.

Then, something comes along once in awhile that fills your inner-meatball.  A person: short, unskilled, thin, non-descript.  He bangs by the net with the toughest in the league.  He throws his body around with reckless abandon. He takes sticks to the chin, gets slashed on the wrists, and still cleans up the dirty puck for a goal.

This thing, this Andrew Shaw, showed up last night to provide some civic bravado.  He would also begin to redefine what we view as 'tough'.

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It seems so long ago...and I'm talking just about the first period.

Game 6's first period was an absolute sh--show.  The Blackhawks were turning the puck over in their own zone, getting outworked on the boards, and even taking stupid penalties.

The Blackhawks, with an increasingly thin roster, were getting outworked...and by a wide margin.

Midway through the first, Shawn Thornton was skating past the Blackhawks' blue line.  Andrew Shaw, trying to stop the landslide of Bruins dominance for the majority of the game, skated in front of the play...Thornton released a quick shot towards the net...a shot that went only three feet...a shot that landed squarely on the mug of Andrew Shaw.

Shaw lay motionless. He would slowly come to his senses, and then be helped off the ice.

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So.  You say you're tough, eh?  Our version of tough is going to work with a sore throat and not saying anything.  Our version of tough is staying up with a sick child until 3 a.m. and still making it to work the next day.

Andrew Shaw's version of toughness is slightly different.

His version of toughness involves nearly getting blinded by a 90 mph shot, getting knocked out, being lucky to not be in a hospital....and still returning to a hockey game.

By the way, I'm sure it was quite valiant how you sat through that conference call with a Halls lozenge soothing your throat....you're so tough!

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The picture above is everything that we wish to be.  It's everything we want this city to be.  It's what we want our athletes to be.

And it's just amazing, simply amazing, that one man, in one moment, can encompass so much pride with just one image.

This image shows a man with cuts through his cheek, cuts next to his eye, a bulging cheek bone, and slight bits of blood oozing from his mouth.

We say that the site is a joke.  We say that Chicago Tough is a joke.

But, for one night...this guy...this guy up top here...yeah...that's toughness.

Andrew Shaw.  Blackhawks Tough.

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