Blackhawks Prospects Brandon Pirri, Brandon Saad Impressive Again

There are a few players on the Blackhawks roster still fighting for a spot in Chicago for the season’s beginning, and on Friday night the separation became clear in a few roster battles.

Brandon Pirri continued his impressive preseason with two goals. He split shifts between two lines during the game; at times he was between Brandon Saad and Marian Hossa, and at other times he was with Bryan Bickell and Rostislav Olesz.

On the power play, the line of Saad-Pirri-Hossa was impressive every time they were on the ice together. Both youngsters did a nice job of attacking the puck and creating pressure, and this line was the best as sustaining pressure during the game.

Pirri has outplayed Marcus Kruger in what might now turn into a battle for one of the center spots on the roster when the season begins. Kruger has been very vanilla this preseason, not doing much to get noticed; Pirri now has four goals.

The biggest roster battle of the month was between the pipes, and Friday night was Ray Emery’s chance to win a position on the team. Alexander Salak has played well in his opportunities, so the pressure was on Emery to perform well tonight.

He failed.

Emery needs a decision on whether or not he gets a contract with the Blackhawks within the next 24 hours, and it appears he played just well enough to give the backup spot in Chicago to Salak.

While Viktor Stalberg and Ben Smith are question marks, Saad and Pirri played well enough to make the Hawks coaches and management think long and hard about sending either one anywhere before Sunday.

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5 Responses to Blackhawks Prospects Brandon Pirri, Brandon Saad Impressive Again

  1. wall says:

    saad and pirri have to stay. I know the Hawks want some “GRIT” but these guys are far more skilled and skate better than Mayers and Carcillo… I agree Salak looks better than Emery, also Olesz looks o.k.-maybe even good at times. Kane needs to go back with #19… Kane and Hossa are trying to be too cute… let Hossa set up the younger players.

  2. wall says:

    also, I was at the open practice last week… Stalberg was very improved, skating, shooting, I.Q. wise. Hopefully he can comeback 100%. And Morin is one of the best pure shooters on team. What info do you have on them as far as injury status? I hope Montador can skate better than he has so far. O’Donell is not impressive.

  3. Dwebert4 says:

    @wall

    No, no, no.

    This team didn’t want more grit, it NEEDED more grit. The hawks were a top 5 team offensively last year, they don’t need more speed/skill, especially not at the expense of size/toughness. The two guys they missed most last year were Ladd and Buff. Why? Because they were tough SOB’s to play against. That’s what they were missing last year, and that’s why Mayers and Carcillo are needed and not just a luxury.

    As far as Kane at center…why would you say he needs to go back with Toews when he’s looked so good at center? Granted it’s only been two games and we need to see more, but so far, so good. If he can turn into a legit 2nd center, that would be huge for this team in the future.

  4. Brad Stevenson says:

    I think both Brandon’s make the team after last night’s game, at least to start the season…Saad plays like a smart veteran, and Pirri looks like a skilled playmaker…Pirri could of had 5 goals last night…it took 3 very nice saves by Pens goalie Johnson to keep Pirri from a monster stat night…

    If some of these FAs would start to wake up and play, this could be a monster team this season…BTW, Burnette finally looked good last night, and Olesz looks pretty good…

  5. wall says:

    Dwebert4,
    I agree, they need more grit… and Ladd and Buff are tough, but you forgot to include they are very, very skilled, and Ladd has a very high hockey I.Q.!!! NO COMPARISON! So you can’t compare the grit of Carcillo and Mayers to those two. To me the combination of speed and I.Q. with solid goaltending wins. The Hawks had speed last year, lost because the I.Q. was down (injuries too) and penalty kill without Ladd and Madden was weaker.

    Re: Kane- he has looked good, but I just think he just fits better with #19. Hossa quarterbacks and passes like a center IMO. I would love to see the Hawks do what Tab has mentioned and grab Paul Gausted at center… You know Bolland is injury prone. Paul can play checking role, PK kill, is physical, and skilled.

    Lastly, I think the Hawks are really going to miss Campbell’s speed and ability to move the puck (this is going to hurt the offensive #’s). I really hope I am wrong but so far O’Donnell and Montador don’t look capable. The league is getting faster and younger… the emphasis on illegal hits will only make it faster! Let the young guys play, get more NHL training and next year we have some money to add another big weapon!!

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