May 30, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks players Brandon Saad (20) and Andrew Shaw (65) celebrate after a goal by right wing Patrick Kane (not pictured) during the third period against the Los Angeles Kings in game six of the Western Conference Final of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center. The Chicago Blackhawks won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
The trio managed to score 4 goals and 8 assists while on the ice in the 3 games that they were assigned to play together on the same line. With the unlikeliness of soon-to-be free agent Michal Handzus returning next season after a disappointing season and a 2.5 million salary hit, there will be a need for Andrew Shaw to step up his game. He will need to become more defensively sound in front of the net and there is also some room for him to still learn on the dot. The best teachers one could have are in the Captain of this team and Coach Q. When Andrew Shaw was asked about what part of his game he needs to elevate the most in order to be a permanent fixture with Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad he responded, “Defensively I think. You know I got to be strong defensively, you know supporting the puck all over the ice. You know the more we spend in their zone the more offensive chances we are going to have. It’s those shift when you get stuck in the defensive zone where you didn’t do anything the entire shift, I think if I work on that then hopefully that line can get even better.” With Brandon Saad’s play style being compared to Marian Hossa he is on the right track but he also has room for improvement defensively at the young age of 21. If he can tune his game up like he did during the playoffs this line could be a force for years to come. Quote courtesy of http://video.blackhawks.nhl.com/
With the focus needing to shift towards defense in the off-season after the woes vs the Los Angeles Kings, a consistent line of chemistry coming from Saad, Shaw, and Kane could be the one thing that gets them over the hill and back to the chance to play for the Lord Stanley’s Cup. They all seem to want to play together and Coach Q liked what he saw from them in their 3 games of action so keep an eye on the future development of the Brandon Saad, Andrew Shaw, and Patrick Kane line. It might one day be as great as the Bickell, Toews, and Kane line we still talk about from their run for the cup in 2013.