Brandon Saad’s great work throughout Chicago’s training camp is earning him notice from Joel Quenneville in a big way. The Blackhawks made their latest round of roster cuts in camp and Saad’s name wasn’t on the list of five players sent out of camp. Fellow impressive youngster Brandon Pirri was sent down to the AHL as was last year’s surprise upstart Marcus Kruger.
The big story here is with Saad. He was Chicago’s second round pick in 2011 and while he was projected to be a first round talent, he fell back to 43rd overall and into Chicago’s lap. Saad’s slip down the draft board isn’t lost on him and he’s been out to prove himself all throughout training camp. Mission accomplished as he’s going to start the year with Chicago and at least get nine games to show whether or not he belongs.
The chances for Saad to stick around longer than nine games are likely pretty thin as Viktor Stalberg and Patrick Sharp are questionable to play in the first game of the year. While Sharp is much closer to coming back than Stalberg, Ben Smith is feeling much better since getting knocked out by Detroit’s Brendan Smith. Saad’s window to show off is likely thin, but if he breaks out in a big way he could force Chicago’s hand in keeping him around for the season.
Flames keep showing life, Stars stumble once again
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.