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  • Mason Shaw Is Making Everyone Romantic About Hockey Again

    Image courtesy of Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
    Luke Sims


    How can you not be romantic about hockey?

    To score a goal on the one-year anniversary of suffering a brutal injury is only something they write into the script of Mighty Ducks movies. 

    Shaw delivered a marquee moment again for the Minnesota Wild. Shaw’s first goal of the season came at a big moment in a game that the Wild needed to win to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. 

    You probably already know Shaw's story of perseverance and determination. Shaw is playing in the NHL again after rehabbing his fourth ACL tear. While Shaw only has two points and one goal through 13 NHL games, his impact goes beyond the scoresheet. 

    The former fourth-round pick has mostly been a depth player but has played his role well. Shaw is an energetic guy who plays with heart and drive. He also has a positive presence in the locker room. Any team would love to have Mason Shaw on their roster. 

    Shaw provides energy on and off the ice. Look at this moment in last year’s playoffs when Shaw almost got the roof of the Xcel Energy Center to explode with his “Let’s Play Hockey” call.

    Shaw spent time rehabbing with the Iowa Wild and dominated the AHL. He had seven points in nine games and earned a call-up to the NHL. 

    Then, at the trade deadline, the Wild moved three bottom-six pieces – Brandon Duhaime, Connor Dewar, and Patrick Maroon – opening up three spots in the lineup. A roster spot was available, and Shaw is making the most of his opportunity again. 

    Shaw has never been an offensive powerhouse. Last season, the Alberta native scored 17 points in 59 games while primarily playing a fourth-line role. This season has been no exception. 

    Shaw has been playing on the fourth line with Vinni Lettieri and Jake Lucchini. These guys don’t see a lot of ice time, but they make it count when they do, especially Shaw. Almost every analytical category indicates that Shaw is making an impact. 

    Shaw’s GF% (goals for %) is solid 56.6%, fourth among Wild forwards. Shaw is on the ice for a lot more of Minnesota’s goals than they let in. Joel Eriksson Ek, Matt Boldy, and Kirill Kaprizov are the only skaters ahead of him in that category, and they often play on the top line. 

    Shaw produces Minnesota’s sixth-highest GF/60 (Goals For per 60) on the team in nearly half the minutes the players in front of him get. Shaw’s 2.33 GF/60 is much better than that of Marcus Foligno, Marcus Johansson, and Freddy Gaudreau. 

    However, Shaw’s possession statistics look bad. His 44.67% Corsi is definitively negative. However, it may be because of the lack of support from his linemates and John Hynes's tendency to deploy his fourth line in defensive situations. 

    There’s a reason Hynes deploys Shaw in defensive situations, though. He has shown that he’s a capable defender despite his size (5’8”, 183 lbs.). Shaw is second on the Wild in GA/60 (Goals Against per 60), allowing the second-lowest GA/60 at 1.73. 

    Shaw will be a restricted free agent after this season concludes, meaning that the Wild can match any offers other teams make on him. Shaw will not command a tremendous salary, but with his play, he could get looks from other teams in free agency. I’d expect the Wild to try to sign Shaw to a team-friendly one- or two-year deal. 

    Mason Shaw has made a significant impact on the Wildt. On and off the ice, this Wild team is better now and in the future with Shaw in the fold. The Wild must keep this warrior in the State of Hockey. 

    All stats and data via Evolving Hockey, HockeyDB, and Natural Stat Trick unless otherwise noted.


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    I think Shaw's one of those guys who will stick with the team until there comes a time there are just too many other options in play.  They stuck by him when his injuries bit him, and he's always seemed to be the right guy in the right spot.  I still remember when Evason or Guerin (I forget which) said last season, "He earned his place to stay."  He may move on someday, but there's something infectious about knowing a guy won't let his body, his size, or his skillset be the end of him.  The team sees this, and I think he's as good as gold as long as the Wild need him to be.

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    Shaw has changed his game a little this season. 

    1. He looks a bit slower than previously, but an ACL injury recovery period if your name isn't Adrian Peterson is usually a 2 year endeavor. 1 year to get back going, 1 year to get back to normal. 
    2. Shaw doesn't really stop, and I think that's because he doesn't trust his knees. Instead, Shaw finishes checks to stop. 
    3. Shaw's edges aren't great for a short guy, but, again, I don't think he trusts his knees to make those cuts. It would be nice if he could.
    4. Shaw is short shifting himself. I don't know if it's just getting back or if he just hasn't gotten his game wind back. 

    But, next season, I think he and Dino could make a very good PK pair. Much like Shaw and Dewar did last season, I think Dino and Shaw could really put pressure on the opponent's PP. 

    Let's face it though, upside has very little for Shaw, he's a 4th liner. But he could probably play on anyone's 4th line. The guy is tough and I suspect a little more north of 183. If there's shenanigans while he's on the ice, he's the 1st one to drop, and he'll get you if you forget he's left handed! Shaw's thick for his height, so he's not small. And, he hits with leverage. 

    He's earned his place on this roster and still has it. Glue guys are inexpensive and interchangeable. But he's more than that, heart and soul guys are not, you keep those guys you've brought up because he bleeds green. For Shaw, he doesn't ask for much, just opportunity. Sometimes the person is more important to keep than the talent.

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    On 4/7/2024 at 11:39 AM, mnfaninnc said:
    4.  don't know if it's just getting back or if he just hasn't gotten his game wind back. 

    He seems like he's pretty winded when you see him on the bench after shifts.  I think his stamina is still working it's way back.  It seems like he's mostly operating under sheer will.  Shaw played a lot of PK unser Evason, but Hynes has stayed away from that possibly with lack of stamina in mind.  

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