Blackhawks Goalie Corey Crawford Wants to Brawl, Andrew Shaw Wants to Spit Slurs [Updates]

Corey Crawford got into a brawl, and Andrew Shaw embarrassed himself and the team.

by Sean Newell
Apr 20 2016, 2:10pm

"I don't remember too much,'' Crawford said. "I got hit in the head. I was pretty pissed about that.''

Indeed you were, Corey! With about eight minutes left in the second period at home against St. Louis, Crawford was involved in a collision with Robby Fabbri when the Blues centerman crashed into Crawford's head while driving to the crease. Jonathan Toews sort of helped him along into Crawford, but that didn't matter. While the rest of his teammates pushed the puck up ice, since play was still live, Crawford went after Fabbri.

Crawford immediately started shoving Fabbri and got his stick right up under his chin. Fabbri then got Crawford to the ground where he lost his helmet and took a couple shots. Referees eventually separated the two and calmed things down momentarily. Said St. Louis head coach Ken Hitchcock, "I haven't seen that in a long time."

While this was an otherwise harmless, kind of fun little moment—rarer even than a goalie-on-goalie fight—this game did get ugly at times. Andrew Shaw was all over the place last night, including spitting what sure looks like a homophobic slur after getting tagged with a penalty late in the third period.

The NHL is going investigate the matter and some form of discipline is likely. It's especially embarrassing for the league, which has done a lot to discourage this very kind of behavior with its "You Can Play" campaign, and the Blackhawks, who just filmed this video for it two weeks ago:

Shaw was repeatedly asked if he used a slur after the game, and repeatedly said he didn't know because "emotions are high."

"Like I just said, I can repeat myself for you. Emotions were high. I don't know what was said. Obviously, I was upset with the call. It was late in the game like that. I wasn't happy with the call."

Obviously, it's pretty hard to believe someone could not recall saying something like "fucking faggot...fuck you," even with the emotions involved. If the slur was directed at an official—from his post game quotes he seems to be most upset with the timing of the call—that might make things worse for him. That wasn't it for Shaw, however. Once his penalty time elapsed, he was back on the ice and involved in another mini-brawl after the game ended in a 4-3 win for the Blues.

Update 1:35 p.m.: Shaw has acknowledged what he said and issued an apology. The Blackhawks organization also released a statement:

Update: 4:25 p.m.: The NHL has suspended Andrew Shaw for one game and fined him $5,000 for "use of a homophobic slur" and "directing an inappropriate gesture" at a referee, respectively. As the statement makes clear, Shaw earned the suspension for his homophobic slur, so if they weren't already on notice from things like basic decency and the "You Can Play" campaign, players are now on notice that this won't be tolerated. Shaw's suspension will be for Game 4 on Thursday in St. Louis.