It seems like just yesterday that Brandon Saad was denied the Calder Memorial Trophy, the NHL’s rookie of the year award, disappointing Chicago Blackhawks fans everywhere. That being said, Saad has taken the next step and has shown signs of an even stronger breakout year this season despite facing adversity.
Saad, now 21, was placed at the center position to begin training camp, a move that didn’t work as expected resulting in the experiment being canceled. That being said, Saad’s progress was not deterred and he got off to an amazing start, moving himself up to the second line.
However, as the season has trudged onwards, Saad stopped filling the score sheet. Saad has only scored two points in his last five games, both the goal and assist coming in a 5-1 win against the Minnesota Wild. That being said, his +/- rating over the last five games remains even.
Saad has only fired three shots on net in his last five games aside from his two-point performance and may not yet be suited for the top-six. Saad’s performance has certainly been better than last year’s, and the Pittsburgh native has shown flashes of absolute greatness.
The next three games will be pivotal as to what direction Saad’s season will go as the quality of opponents is poor at best and some slight line changes may drop Saad out of the top-six. None of the next three opponents have a winning record, and that may prove to be the thing Saad’s season needed.
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