CHICAGO -- Practice was optional for the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday at United Center, which meant only a handful of options for TV crews and writers looking for players to interview.
Blackhawks rookie Andrew Shaw was one of those available afterward and he chatted about a number of different subjects, ranging from his own improbable path to the NHL to playing against 6-foot-9 Zdeno Chara in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final to a photo of he and Patrick Kane celebrating Chicago's double-overtime victory Saturday in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final against the Los Angeles Kings.
Shaw: "I was just screaming in his ear. He probably deserved a kiss, but I didn't give him one." (Photo: Getty Images)
The picture, which shows Kane sliding on his knees with arms extended and Shaw hugging him from behind, is making its way around the Internet via social media.
Here are a few of the more notable snippets from Shaw's media session Monday:
*In regard to the photo of he and Kane, did he give Kane a kiss on the cheek?
"Actually, it looked more like the [movie] 'Titanic' scene where Jack was hanging onto her at the end of 'Titanic,'" Shaw said. "I got a couple pictures over Twitter about that. I was just screaming in his ear. He probably deserved a kiss, but I didn't give him one."
*Will battling in front of the net against Chara be similar to locking up with 6-7 Nashville Predators defenseman Hal Gill for 5-10, 180-pound Shaw?
"He's a little faster than Hal Gill too," Shaw said. "He's got a great stick. We've got to work him. It's going to be a battle down there. We've got to play physical on him. He's a big guy. He's strong. It's going to be a heck of a battle there in front of the net with him."
*How do you win the battle with Chara?
"We've just got to compete and do as best we can," Shaw said. "Maybe he won't see me if I'm standing in front of him. He might have a blind spot there. He's a big boy and I look forward to battling with him."
*What are his thoughts on being compared to Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand, another agitator who can score?
"Clearly he's a great player," Shaw said. "He does what he needs to do and he's great at it. He'll get under the skin. He'll score goals. He'll skate. He'll hit. He'll try to draw penalties. He'll do it all. I'd like to be like that. He's been in the League a lot longer (three-plus seasons) … I've got a lot more to learn is what I'm trying to say. I'm not to that point yet, but hopefully at some point in my career I will be."
*What did losing in the Western Conference Quarterfinals to the Phoenix Coyotes a year ago teach him, in his first NHL postseason?
"Last year it was a lot of hurt," Shaw said. "There was a sour taste in my mouth. These three series [this year] have shown our team has the character and the want for the Cup. I won the OHL [championship], and it is nothing compared to this, but it was a long road for that too. It just shows that you've got to compete and battle to the best of your abilities."