No. 2: Brandon Saad looked like the real Brandon Saad.
Last night was easily the best Saad has been all season. Every single time he hit the ice, he made a noticeable impact.
Saad scored to put Chicago up 1-0 just under seven minutes into the game by taking a nice pass from Chris Kunitz and beating two Canucks defenders and eventually Jacob Markström through the five-hole.
Saad had multiple chances to score throughout the game but experienced those familiar bad bounces that seem to be part of who Brandon Saad is at this point. He hit the post more than once, including this one in which his shot off the post was waived off because of a kick.
No. 3: Although the Chicago Blackhawks needed someone to step up, Patrick Kane is still indispensable.
Like we covered, Brandon Saad stepped up big-time in Patrick Kane’s absence (illness) last night. Additionally, it was the best effort I’ve seen from Kunitz as well. Toews got on the scoresheet, Luke Johnson recorded his first NHL point and Alexandre Fortin showcased a strong effort on both sides of the ice.
Regardless, no one could fill the void left by Kane.
"“You can’t replace him, but at the same time, you have to be sharper with [your] details because you are missing one of the best players in the world,”said Saad on Kane. “Definitely it hurts, but that’s still no excuse to play that poorly with the puck.”"
While it was good to see other Chicago Blackhawks putting in work, they sorely missed Kane’s presence in the third period. Down a goal late in the third, the ‘Hawks desperately needed someone to step up and make a play.
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Instead, a bad Nick Schmaltz turnover led to a goal going the other way. As a result of poor puck control and bad turnovers the Blackhawks saw a very winnable game slip away from them.
Hopefully, that fate can be avoided tonight when they face off against the Edmonton Oilers.