CHICAGO – Patrick Kane sits next to Andrew Shaw in the Chicago Blackhawks’ locker room. Even he wants him to stop talking every once in a while.
“There’s times where I almost got to tell him to shut up because he just asks questions and doesn’t stop talking when you’re next to him there in between periods,” Kane said Thursday. “He’s really excited to be here.”
That excitement hit another level after Shaw had the winning goal of the third overtime of Chicago’s 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals on Wednesday night. Dave Bolland’s tip went off Shaw’s right leg and past Tuukka Rask for the timely score.
Shaw was wearing a microphone for NBC Sports, and the ensuing celebration likely will live on among Blackhawks fans for many years to come. “Bolly, I love you,” Shaw yelled, and then: “I love shinpads.”
“He’s a handful in the dressing room, too,” defenceman Brent Seabrook said. “Yeah, he’s a high-energy guy. He likes to have fun, get guys going, jumping around the room, bouncing around. Yeah, he’s pretty much the same as he is on the ice, just without skates on. He brings excitement to the dressing room and is big for us.”
Shaw, who was not made available to the media Thursday, has a reputation as an agitator around the league. But he can score, too, with five goals and four assists in this year’s playoffs.
“He does a lot of good things for us, whether it’s hits, being an agitator, even scoring goals,” Kane said. “He probably scores more goals off his shin pads than he does his sticks. I’m sure he’ll take them, and we will, any way we can get them.”
NO LESSON NECESSARY: Andrew Ference didn’t need a history lesson. He was well aware the Boston Bruins were part of the longest Stanley Cup finals game.
That was a triple-overtime marathon against Edmonton that went an extra 55:13 before the Oilers’ Petr Klima scored in Game 1 in 1990.
Ference grew up in Edmonton, and guess who his neighbour was? Klima, of course.
“Actually, it was one of my first summer jobs,” Ference said. “When he went home for summer vacation, I had to mow the lawn and my dad’s tennis partner even for a while, so I remember that one well. I don’t tell too many people in Boston that. It was a memorable goal, real memorable.”
Now 34, Ference remembers Klima taking him to practice as a youngster.
“I have like 100 sticks in my house,” he said. “I still have (Mark) Messier’s and (Esa) Tikkanen’s. He’s a cool dude.”
FIRST FAN: The Blackhawks have a fan at the White House.
President Barack Obama, who has a home in Chicago and roots for several of the teams in the area, wished the Blackhawks luck on Twitter before Game 1. He also posted that he hoped to welcome them back to the White House again as Stanley Cup champions.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama was watching Game 1 as the Marine One helicopter brought him back to the White House from a trip to Miami.
“It was on the screen as we were flying back,” Carney told reporters at his daily briefing Thursday. “I know he’s pleased by the result.”
Carney said he didn’t know if the president watched the entire triple-overtime thriller.
RATINGS SUCCESS: Chicago’s 4-3 triple-overtime win over Boston attracted the most TV viewers for an opening game of the Stanley Cup finals in 16 years.
NBC’s broadcast averaged 6.358 million viewers, the most to watch a Game 1 of the NHL’s title series since Detroit and Philadelphia drew 9,000 more on Fox in 1997.
It marked an increase of 119 per cent compared to the Stanley Cup finals series opener last year with the Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils.
NBC is averaging more than 3 million viewers during the playoffs, an increase of 38 per cent compared to last year. NBC and the NBC Sports Network are combining to average 1.191 million viewers for each game, an increase of seven per cent versus last year.
AP White House reporter Darlene Superville in Washington and AP Sports Writer Andrew Seligman contributed to this report.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap