25 Chicago Blackhawks In 25 Days: Day 20 Brandon Saad
By Jimmy Lynch
The Chicago Blackhawks only have 20 days until the season will begin. For today’s player spotlight you might be able to guess who will come in at number 20.
Player Spotlight: Brandon Saad
Brandon Saad is a very versatile player. He can beat you on the rush, and then turn around and beat you defensively. He can outmuscle you in the corners and deke around to score a goal. In my opinion, Brandon Saad is the closest thing you will get to Marian Hossa in the NHL today.
Hossa was a player that would make a difference game in and game out. He might not show up on the scoring sheet, but he was still making a difference. Saad is the same way.
Brandon Saad rejoining the Blackhawks garnered different reactions from fans. Many were upset at the trading away of Artemi Panarin, while others were happy to see Saad rejoin the team. I think we all failed in comparing Saad to Panarin. They are not the same player, by no means.
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People have spoken of expectations for Saad going into the year, and even what he needs to change going into the new season.
Instead, let’s look at what Saad can bring to the table for the Chicago Blackhawks in 2019-20.
Brandon Saad spent most of his time on the Blackhawks’ 3rd line last year. He was often playing against other teams’ top lines while on the third line, and even bounced around in the lineup.
Saad hit a low point last year when he found himself on the fourth line, back when Joel Quenneville was still with the team.
Although the year was plagued with inconsistencies for Saad, he did manage to put up 47 points in 80 games.
Fans and analysts alike spoke of Saad’s regression when he rejoined the team. However, when you dig deeper and look at the role the Blackhawks are asking him to play, it makes sense why Saad isn’t putting up 60 or 70 points per season.
Brandon Saad is playing most of his ice time in the defensive zone and trying to get the puck out of the zone. He is not getting a considerable amount of opportunities to score goals.
Just look at where he started during the faceoffs last year. Saad had the highest percentage of defensive zone draws in his career last year and still tallied 47 points.
Hopefully, he can continue to lead the Blackhawks two-way forwards next year. While also scoring goals like this.
With only 20 days until the season begins, I will leave you with a question. Who do you think will take the biggest step forward this season? Feel free to respond in the comments. Just 20 more days until puck drop!