May 28, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Brandon Saad (20) tries to skate around Los Angeles Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell (33) during the second period in game five of the Western Conference Final of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
The Blackhawks staved off elimination with a victory in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final. Everyone was gushing over the play of the Patrick Kane, Andrew Shaw, and Brandon Saad line. That line was the difference in the Blackhawks victory over the La Kings. Between Shaw, Kane, and Saad they recorded 7 points on that line. Kane dazzled with his stick handling, Shaw went to the front of the net and played physical, and Saad was an OVERALL BEAST.
Saad provided that line balance. Saad has been compared to a younger Marian Hossa. Saad has become a solid two way play player and will only continue to get better. He also can make up for some of Kane’s defensive shortcomings on the ice. In Game 5 when the Blackhawks needed its stars to step up. A budding star Saad stepped up in a big way. Saad had speed into the Kings Zone and showed great chemistry with Kane and Shaw. On the final sequence of the game, Saad drew the defense in with the puck then hit Michael Handzus with a great pass. Handzus buried the pass for the game winner. The scary thing is Saad will only continue to get better.
People seem to forget that Saad is still a really young player. This is his first full NHL season and second playoff run with the Blackhawks. Last playoffs Saad struggled as the season wore on. He had one goal and five assists during the championship run. His lone goal came in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Saad seemed to have found his game at the right time for the Blackhawks. Saad has five goals and eight assists in these playoffs and one goal and two assists in Game 5.
Expect Coach Quenneville to keep Kane, Shaw, and Saad together. If that line plays at the same level they did in Game 5, expect the Kings to kneel before Saad and the Blackhawks in Game 6.
The Chicago Blackhawks take on the LA Kings in Game 6 at 8:00pm on Friday. The series stands at 3-2 in favor of the LA Kings. The Blackhawks hope to force a Game 7 on Sunday June 1st back in Chicago.
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