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04-17-2012, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by PhoPhan View Post
I will not concede he embellished. If he did, he continued the embellishment through the rest of the game and into yesterday. That seems excessive, and I don't buy it. Read through this thread: those who watched Smith in person say it was very clear that he wasn't himself, and as someone who watched on TV, I thought it was quite odd that he wasn't playing the puck with his usual verve. It was the first time all season that he looked rattled. That he made plenty of big saves the rest of the game speaks more to his spirit than his health.

As for Shaw, what should he have done? He shouldn't have been in that position in the first place. How often do opposing players run goalies behind the net? It doesn't happen often, even though even conservative goalies go back there a lot, because most players will stop and try to either play the pass or pokecheck the puck free, or at worst they'll squeeze past between the goalie and the net (and there was room for Shaw to do that, had he chosen).

I don't know if Shaw acted out of malice or negligence (though I have a guess, given the flopfest he put on in game one), but neither is particularly flattering.
I would suggest that Shaw acted out of neither but I will concede that he could have read the play better. Smith handles the puck around opposite side Shaw is coming in from. Bolland (#36) reads this and immediately goes cross ice because Shaw is the forechecker. Bolland knows already that Shaw's responsibility is to force the tender to make that rim up the weak side. This is obviously a set play for Chicago. Shaw took a very direct angle to the puck which is not un-common. Why? It provides Smith less time and space to make the play on the puck. Element of surprise. Even if he reverses the puck the defence is still penned in deep. That's the only way the play will work. If Shaw took a shallower angle, Smith would easily read that, reverse the puck sooner and you'd be out of your end. It's a tough call, split second decision but there's no way he thrust up, elbowed or intended for that contact. Was it un-necessary, well I go back to previous comments I made. That's debateable.

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