There are talented players that go their entire careers without advancing as far as 20-year-old Brandon Saad has, so he knows he has to savor these moments.
“It’s my first season. So to be able to play at this stage (is unbelievable),” the Chicago Blackhawks forward told CSN Chicago. “A lot of the guys said ‘just take advantage of it because you never know when it’s gonna come around again.'”
Saad had a strong rookie season with 10 goals and 27 points in 46 games, but he has just four assists in the 2013 playoffs.
“Hopefully I’m saving them for this round,” he said. “You never know, but just come out flying, playing my game and I’ll create chances.”
He’s projected to start Game 1 on the third line with Dave Bolland and Andrew Shaw. The Boston Bruins are expected to pair their strongest defenders against the Blackhawks’ top two lines. Boston held the Pittsburgh Penguins to just two goals in four playoff games, which highlights just how effective the Bruins’ shutdown defense can be.
One way for the Blackhawks to overcome that would be to get some good scoring chances out of that third line.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.