March 3, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) celebrates his goal with left wing Brandon Saad (20) during the third period against the Detroit Red Wings at the Joe Louis Arena. Chicago won 2-1 in a shoot out. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
All cliches aside, it’s true.
Brandon Saad will elevate his game to the next level, during the 2014-2015 NHL regular season.
What do I mean when I use the universally vague sports(and life in general) cliche of taking the “next step”?
I mean that Saad will round his game into a form that we can expect from here on out. By that I mean, he will compliment his stingy defensive game off with the offensive production that most NHL teams would love to have on their top-line. We’ve seen flashes of Saad’s offensive potential, but he hasn’t totally put it all together, quite yet.
This is partly due to him not being totally developed, as an NHL forward, just yet. However, the 2014 playoffs sort of say otherwise. Saad’s overpowering playoff performances suggest that he is ready to go being a sort of a mini Hossa-lite, into being the obvious choice to take over Marian Hossa’s role on the Hawks roster. Also, it’s not just his own personal development that will launch Saad into the next stage of his career.
Saad will regularly be playing with the likes of Patrick Kane and Brad Richards. Kane and Saad already showed that they have tremendous chemistry, as their line, with Michal Handzus at center, was overpowering, during the 2014 post-season. With Handzus out, who was a bit of a handcuff, for the speedy/skilled Saad and Kane, and the addition of the veteran high-scoring center, Richards, things can only get better, this season.
Yes, Joel Quenneville will have his lineup blender up and running once again, this season, but there aren’t really any lines where Saad won’t be able to excel and take charge. Also, barring any unforeseen changes to the roster, Saad will share most of his ice-time with Kane, who makes everyone around him better hockey players.
It is a little scary when thinking of what Saad has yet to accomplish, at the NHL level, and the first glimpse of what’s next, will be this season.
Can the season just start already?