He Got Game: Shaw’s Header Shows Soccer Potential

Late-game tension. Poise under pressure. Right-place-at-the-right-time positioning and the technical ability to snap home a crucial header.

Yes, Jason Johnson’s 94th-minute equalizer against Columbus Crew SC had all of that. But so too did the effort of Andrew Shaw earlier this week as he attempted to put his Chicago Blackhawks in the win column in Game 2 of the NHL’s Western Conference final vs. the Anaheim Ducks.

With the game already in its second overtime period, Shaw saw a chance to end it when a deflected puck was sent airborne in front of the net. Rather than wait for it to find his stick, Shaw -- who is already notorious for his soccer-like "Sewerball" skills -- went after it with his head and with all the gusto of a target No. 9 striker.

The goal would be disallowed by the officiating crew, allowing the game to enter a third OT where Marcus Kruger would play the hero for the Blackhawks. Still, the Chicago Fire and soccer fans everywhere were impressed by Shaw’s creativity in front of the goal -- and curious about his potential to similarly finish in the penalty area.

We can't say for certain that the members of the Men In Red took any direct inspiration from Shaw's headsmarts, but both David Accam and Jason Johnson tallied off headers in the Fire's dramatic draw on Friday night. 

Regardless, should Shaw ever feel the urge to test his mettle on the soccer pitch, he now has the gear and a standing invitation from the Chicago Fire to give it a go: