One of the many disappointments this season plaguing the Chicago Blackhawks, is Brandon Saad’s poor performance when he’s been needed most. He was in part of a crucial trade that was to benefit the team, but it has ultimately brought them down.
We all thought the trade was bullet proof–trading Artemi Panarin for Saad to reestablish a secure first line and pair Jonathan Toews up with a reliable source to bring his performance levels back to elite status. It all seemed ethical, until the season started.
What we’ve seen now is an unusual decline in performance in Saad, as well as a lackluster goal scoring attitude on the team. Saad currently has 15 goals and 14 assists for a combined total of 29 points in 68 games. In his previous year with the Columbus Blue Jackets, he scored 24 goals and 29 assists in 82 games. In comparison, that’s beyond disappointing, but there is hope for a bright future.
Da Windy City
Saad has continuously been mentioned as a, “mini Marian Hossa”. His two-way talents on the ice make him a breakthrough player. It’s what gives him an extra boost among goal scorers when he’s on the ice, as he can play a 200 foot game as well as light the lamp. Marian Hossa was able to do just that, as he was also a key piece to the team’s core during their ‘Cup runs.
Hossa’s Struggle and Resurgence
Now, Hossa wasn’t a perfect player, thats for sure. He had his fair share of scoring troubles in his career, such as during the 2015-16′ season, where he scored a modest 13 goals and 20 assists in 64 games. The world questioned his age and declining numbers, but it was more of just an inner struggle.
Hossa ended up making a comeback the following year, scoring 26 goals and and 19 assists in 68 games for the ‘Hawks. It was a masterful resurgence by the veteran, which made anything seem possible.
Now, this comes to question one thing–can Saad make a comeback and reassure his name on the roster and make up for a trade that belittled the team during the 2017-18’ season?
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There’s a high certainty that this can happen. Saad is only 25 years old. He’s not even reaching his prime yet and has a bright future ahead of him. Hossa was 38 when he made his comeback. You look at Saad’s ability, his versatility, and surrounding teammates. One streak of confidence, at least for a few weeks, can lift him up and secure a resurgence that will indefinitely lift this team and bring them back to the heights they were used to.
Confidence is complicated in hockey. However, if the stars align, we might see one of the biggest comebacks of Saad’s career.