Blackhawks: Saad Staying Home, College Prospect Updates

Brandon Saad will not travel with the Blackhawks to Philadelphia for Tuesday night’s game. He is suffering from an upper-body injury; his final shift came with just under eight minutes left in the second period on Sunday.

Saad vs DET

College Updates

Notre Dame knocked #2 Boston College out of the Hockey East playoffs with a 4-2 win on Sunday. Defenseman Stephen Johns scored the first goal of the game for the Fighting Irish, and forward Vince Hinostroza contributed another assist for the winners. Forward Kevin Hayes scored on of BC’s goals and assisted on the other, while Chris Calnan did not register a point.

Vermont fell to UMass-Lowell 2-1 to end their postseason. Defenseman Michael Paliotta was credited with three shots on net and was minus-one in the loss.

Defenseman Nick Mattson scored the first goal of the game for North Dakota, who knocked off Colorado College to advance in the NCHC playoffs.

Miami (OH) stunned #4 St. Cloud State, scoring a game-winning goal with less than four seconds left in regulation. Forward Anthony Louis scored the game-tying goal in the third period and assisted on the game-winner.

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41 Responses to Blackhawks: Saad Staying Home, College Prospect Updates

  1. ebonyraptor says:

    I watched the highlights of the BC v ND games and Hayes, Johns, and Hinostroza all played prominent roles – with some good plays and bad, but more good. For the three games:

    Johns had 3 goals and 1 assist
    Hinostroza had 1 goal and 3 assists
    Hayes had 2 goals and 3 assists

    The thing most impressed me was Hayes passing – very nice hands for a big guy. Johns’ skating has improved and one of his goals was an end to end rush. And Hinostroza showed some nice dangle on his goal.

    To see the highlights – go to http://www.hockeyeastonline.com.

  2. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Worried about Saad. The fact that no timetable was offered up is not good. I saw the play directly last night. Sh!t.

  3. Sr. Brad says:

    ER I was able to watch a chunk of that game yesterday and it was great to watch Johns taking on BC’s top line…lots of great battles…it was a very intense game that I thought BC would win, but ND is a very well coached team…Johns was a STUD…Hayes was very, very good in defeat…I will be very excited to actually here that both have signed on the dotted line with CHI…great futures.

  4. Sr. Brad says:

    Rufus, who did you say hit him again? I saw the Kronwall hit, and it looked like Saad struggled to get to the bench after that one…but I think you said this morning you saw something else hit him too…

  5. ebonyraptor says:

    Rufus – I’m with ya. When they showed the replay it looked like Saad was dazed. I thought “oh oh” right when I saw that but was relieved to see him stay in the game. I know he had some shifts in the second period so he must have tried to play through it and finally had to shut it down. That f ‘ ing Kronwall! I wouldn’t shed a tear if someone lines him up good one day and puts him in a quiet room for a month or two.

    Keeping fingers crossed. If he is concussed, even when he is cleared to play – sometimes players are never the same again or it takes a long time for them to play with the abandon necessary. Look at Tarasenko as an example – while he was hit directly in the head and had a severe concussion, he didn’t start playing the same way again for a long time after he was back on the ice. It was like he was playing scared or too cautious and consequently he wasn’t nearly as good. But he looks like he’s back to normal this season – well until the hand injury.

  6. morrison says:

    Yea, if Kornhead would just try to hit Rozy in the head, he then would eat a stick.

  7. morrison says:

    When did Dunks come across and check a guy a little high. Was that not long after this hit on Saad.

  8. morrison says:

    Johns & Hayes have to finish their homework to graduate before they head to Rockford. Could they take their final exams before the other students.

  9. JS says:

    ER- Tarasenko was hit so hard he thought he was back in Russia.

    Definitely expect it to be concussion related which means they’ll probably hold him out for a few games just to be safe. So the Hawks will officially have 0 depth scoring for Wednesday.

  10. Negzz says:

    The Saad hit- that wasn’t the hit where Kronwall kind of backed into him near the boards was it? Didn’t look too bad to me at the time but maybe that wasn’t the hit? I’ll try and re-watch the DVR to see what I missed..

  11. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Saad was stunned after that play. It would not surprise me to see this be a head injury. Which if that’s the case I hope he can get back by the playoffs.

  12. ebonyraptor says:

    Negzz – yes that was the one. Saad had the deer in the headlights look immediately after Kronwall hit him, and the first thought that came to mind when I saw that look on his face was “oh oh … that could be bad”.

  13. Mike says:

    Don’t worry about Saad missing games against the Flyers and Blues. Morin……….I mean Brookbank will fill in nicely.

    I am gonna tell you that the more I watch Leddy the more I am impressed with him and the Hawks would do well to keep him. I know there are naysayers about him even to the point where someone said he was “overrated”. How do you overrate one of the best 5th Dman in the league. Leddy is not a big guy but he is willing to go to the corners. I would also say he has an underrated slap shot. Leddy skates well and will lower the number of mistakes he makes as time goes on. He has also proved durable and has played in every game.

    Look at Leddy’s partners, he has had 4 or 5 this year. But just looking Brookbank and Rosy combined you have this stat line
    73 games (Brookbank has played forward) 2 goals, 10 assists and a +9. Probably not too bad for a 6th Dman. Leddy has 7 goals, 19 assists and is a +15. I know, stats aren’t everything but they do mean something.

    Lastly, some might say that Leddy at $2.7mm is overpaid for a 3d pair Dman, and actually I would not argue with you. He is overpaid a bit. BUT when the Hawks carry Rosy and Brookbank (one sitting in the PB) as they have done many many times this year our other 3d pairing Dman carries a whopping $3.45mm cap hit!!!!!! And we can’t afford a 2C

  14. JS says:

    Leddy is really good and not even close to peaking (which I think typically happens around 25-26, for defensemen it’s probably even later than that). I’d like to see him go harder to the net when he cannonballs up the ice, but I can also understand why he doesn’t really want to go into that area. This years playoffs should be a good indicator of how far Q thinks he has come.

  15. Mike says:

    JS, no question about that. If Q benches Leddy for long stretches or scratches him again we will know for sure. Or will we have a Rosy/Rundblad or a Rosy/Brookbank 3d pair? I know Q likes physical Dmen but it is hard to minimize what Leddy has done this year given the revolving door he copes with game in and game out.

  16. Sr. Brad says:

    Thanks for that info Rufus/ER…Saad is such a strong/tough kid, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back sooner than later…Saad is a +29 this season, and last year, as a rookie, he was a +17…the year before in Saginaw, he was a +35…

    Great comments Mike…and I agree 100%…first, I would love to see Morin here for the period that Brandon is away, but that would mean cutting BB and you know Q is not going to want to do that…second, Leddy’s salary is very fair for both sides…he’s a very good young DMan who is only going to get better…he is a +15 this year, and he was last season as well…that’s +30 over the past year and a half…damn good.

    Everyone seems to forget how young Leddy was when we acquired him…he skipped a lot of college hockey in favour of the NHL and thus lost “time” to build up his frame…yes, he was a “deer in headlights” during the playoffs last year, but we should be able to give him that and know that it won’t happen again…if you look at Leddy this year, you can see the extra 10 pounds of muscle that is on his frame…and as he gets even stronger (say next year he should be around 195/200 lbs) he will be immovable off the puck as he’s only 6′ tall…

    There is no way the Hawks move Leddy…he’s the long term on our defence…its someone like Oduya who gets moved…Seabrook and Keith are under long contracts so they are here for a while, so is Hammer, and so will Leddy…that’s 2 mobile DMen and 2 Stay-at-home DMen…leaving the bottom 3 open to develop over the next 2 years…you have Clendening who the Hawks took BEFORE Saad at the beginning of the 2nd round (knowing full well that they shouldn’t pass on Saad), Stephen Johns who is emerging as a top DMan during the final half of his senior College season, Klas Dahlbeck in Rocford who has had an incredible season (more stay at home, but moves the puck), and Carl Dahlstrom, our 2nd round pick this year…he is already NHL size/strength, and a top European scout called him the most NHL ready European DMan…and he just had a great season in Sweden. Plus we still have Rozy under contract for one more season…so next year Hammer can take on Clendening…and Leddy can take on the rotation of Rozy and say Dahlbeck, or even Johns…

    The Hawk D core is looking great!

  17. Sr. Brad says:

    I forgot Rundblad, but we will see what happens next Training camp…

  18. JS says:

    I actually think Saad will play tomorrow. Rumor on the street is that they are holding him out for precautionary reasons but he wants to play. I’m sure they’ll give him some more tests tomorrow and if he’s good to go he’s good to go.

    Thinking about Hammer… while I think he’s more “stay at home” than “PMD”, he still does a really good job moving the puck (when you consider off wing and such).

    Leddy is already significantly stronger this year than he was last year. I think the guy could really benefit from a bit of a mean streak. Both Kane and Toews said he’s pretty much the nicest person in the world… someone sleeping with his girlfriend should do the trick. This is probably the dumbest thing I’ve said in a while… but I’d like to see him play angry and learn how much crap he can get away with before getting called.

  19. AJ says:

    Yes play angry. Because taking stupid penalties is exactly what he needs to be doing.

    He needs to learn how to skate the puck forward a-la Brian Campbell and do fun things in the offensive zone and frustrate the heck out of forecheckers. That really is not the system that the Hawks play however and they don’t seem too keen on tailoring their game plan to fit their players. The Hawks are more tape to tape outlet pass to streaking forward when exiting the zone. RARELY do you see anyone carry it up. Even Campbell was getting that coached out of his game. His PPG dropped every year but his +/- went up by a crap ton.

    While it is always great to have that kind of talent, he may not fit perfectly into Q’s system (which is really important if you have followed the Hawks since his reign started) and that could be justification enough for him to be moved if there is a good return on the table. I’d rather not see him traded but that kind of is what it is.

  20. JS says:

    Yes. I definitely said he should take stupid penalties and not the complete opposite of that.

    Nick Leddy – 8 PIM
    Duncan Keith – 22 PIM
    Brent Seabrook – 16 PIM
    Hjalmarsson – 32 PIM
    Oduya – 34 PIM
    Rozsival – 30 PIM

    If you watch Duncan Keith, he is constantly hacking and whacking at people and a lot of times this gives him the opening to move them off the puck. He makes the other team uncomfortable and rarely, if ever, gets called for it (unless he slashes someone in the face, that is). Keith plays with an edge, I think it would benefit Leddy to do the same.

  21. AJ says:

    Yes considering, historically speaking, when he takes a “stupid” penalty he sits on the bench and gets minutes taken away… Seems like a good idea for him to experiment. Definitely key to him getting more ice time under Q. Super duper smart.

    I forgot how much everyone is so beneath your level of hockey IQ it is a wonder we all haven’t started worshiping you as a hawkey deity yet.

  22. JS says:

    When is the last time Leddy took a stupid penalty and rode the pine because of it? Two or three years ago? Again, not telling him to take more penalties, not sure why you think I’m saying that.

  23. Sr. Brad says:

    I agree…if Leddy played with more “angst” he would be that much better…but a lot of that comes from knowing you can back that up…Keith didn’t play with the edge he has now until he turned that chicken wing physique upside down…

    Like Kruger, like Leddy, like TT…getting stronger is very key to their success…Saad exudes confidence now, because he knows how strong he is in comparison to others. Ben Smith took those years out of the NHL to transform his physique, he is built like a tank and it helps him a lot…even Kane, has been that much better that last 2 years since his first muscles started to appear in his arms…

  24. JS says:

    AJ- Leddy has taken 16 regular season penalties in 244 games played. Quick math tells me that’s one minor penalty every 15.25 games (I’M SO SMART-BOW TO ME). Something tells me there isn’t a long history of Q benching Leddy because of bad penalties.

  25. AJ says:

    Probably because he has sat after every time he has taken one which is why he doesn’t take many. And pretty much every young player with the exception of Andrew Shaw, rides the pine when they take a penalty. This isn’t anything new. See Bickell, Stalberg, Kruger, Frolik and telling Bollig to dial it back — There is a reason they have been top 5 in the league in least amount of penalty minutes since Q arrived with the exception of one year.

    But seriously he should just start arbitrarily start slashing and holding people to see what he is able to get away with, which is exactly what you said to do.

    Keith has done some dirty stuff his whole career like skating 200ft to drill some guy that irritated him. Nothing new there.

  26. Mike says:

    I think a consistent partner would also help Leddy’s game. Successful defense is built around chemistry and confidence in your partner. That’s why Q does not throw his 3 D pairings into a blender like her does with his forward lines. Again, I will say Leddy has done an admiral job (OK I will say it…great job) considering he does not have the luxury of a constant partner.

  27. JS says:

    Bickell took a really dumb penalty the other night and didn’t miss a shift.

    Leddy took 2 minor penalties in his first season of 46 games. I guess he’s a quick learner.

    I am aware that Q benches people for stupidity, but I’m not telling Leddy to take stupid penalties.

    Yes, I think if Leddy was harder on the puck carrier in the defensive zone, it would improve his game. There is nothing arbitrary about it. Have you watched top defenders in this league? Do you see what Weber, Chara, Subban, Kronwall, Doughty, Keith, Suter, etc. get away with on a regular basis? Now, do they get away with it because they are Norris winners, or did they win the Norris because they know how to get away with it?

  28. AJ says:

    Weird that you listed all Norris trophy winners and veterans who get away with stuff so obviously yes there is leeway for guys who are in the elite category. Sweet news flash.

    “play angry and learn how much crap he can get away with before getting called” definitely constitutes taking a penalty because it assumes breaking some sort of rule as a penalty will eventually be called. The Hawks coaching staff seems to be intolerant to that type of behavior so it seems silly to assume that is the direction he will or should take.

    Pretty sure Hammer did a good job figuring things out playing calmly, coolly and not getting “angry” or whatever you were insinuating.

  29. JS says:

    Easy to forget that Subban and Doughty are only a year older than Leddy. And again, are these guys elite because they know where the line is or do the officials let them cross the line because they are elite.

    The “before getting called” bit constitues doing what you can without taking a penalty.

    I guess asking for one of the Hawks defenders to emulate their best defender is definitely crossing the line.

  30. AJ says:

    Weird how you change your stance from playing “angry” to being strategic like former Norris trophy winners when someone calls you out.

  31. JS says:

    The first person I said he should play “angry” like is Duncan Keith, the last person I said he should play “angry” like is Duncan Keith… but alright. I guess I changed my stance?

  32. AJ says:

    When Keith plays “angry” he elbows people in the dome. Otherwise he cheats, like most defenders in the NHL do. And he wasn’t mentioned in the original post at all. Now saying you want him to use his stick and body better is completely different than saying he should play “angry” which implies undisciplined action and stupidity.

    Maybe you just mistyped that part or weren’t paying clear enough attention regarding what you wanted to say.

  33. John Wangsauce says:

    What a boring argument…

    Have there been any updates on when TT will be getting here?

  34. JS says:

    You assumed I was implying that he should take stupid and undisciplined penalties? I know I come up with dumb ideas, but really?

    Top defenders in the league, for the most part, play with a mean streak. They play “angry”. Shouldn’t have to put up 30 new posts to explain a simple idea, especially when I said repeatedly it had nothing to do with taking more penalties.

  35. JS says:

    John- I think he was on Flight 370. RIP TT

    But on a serious note, we keep hearing that he’s coming, but there haven’t been any set dates. They still need to buy him out from a year with Jokerit and then make some roster moves to clear cap space.

  36. Tim G says:

    Its a fine line between being reckless and being advantageous. The guys JS listed know how to get as close to that line while knowing which side of that line to stay on, and the Refs probably do swing that line in their favor a little bit.

    I think the point JS was trying to make, was that Leddy needs to learn to play closer to that line (which in turn will elevate him as he develops). I agree 100% with that point if he ever wants to be a top 2 guy.

    Now that said, Refs dont swing that line for a 5th Dman. So he will need to careful. If Duncs does something and leddy does the same thing leddy might get 2 minutes… so its just a matter of doing what is needed. I firmly he leddy in chicago for a long time. put him with a guy like Johns and that has Duncs/Seabs-Lite written all over it.

    Does anyone disapprove of a 2/4, 8/Johns, Fournier/Clendening lineup in 2016-2017? (Yes, I’m aware that means not resigning Seabs 7 will be 31/32 come that season and if Johns is everything we hope he is, then I could be ok not resigning a 5+Mil 30+ year old Dman)

  37. Sr. Brad says:

    I think we were talking about this last year Tim, and really the Hawks are on pace in a couple more years of having half the Defence replaced, and perhaps in 4 years time, short of Hammer and Leddy, the rest of the D replaced…they have to, you can’t just keep paying your core more and more $$$ as they climb up the age ladder, because it will give you less and less to sign the rest of the team…so no one should see this as a bad thing…

  38. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    JS, if I ever come across you in person then look forward to me punching you in the throat for the HIGHLY INAPPROPRIATE comment about the lost Malayasian flight. People horrificly died or were murdered you fucking clueless moron. To include several children.

  39. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane will most definitely spend the entirety of their NHL careers in the Indianhead sweater. Rocky Wirtz will see to that. He learned many lessons – both good and bad – from his grandfather and old man. Keith, Toews and Kane will go into the Hall of Fame, have statues placed out on Madison street and see their respective numbers retired and raised into the rafter at the UC. Even if it means they skate on one leg while being grossly overpaid at the end of their time in this league.

  40. wall says:

    JS- your “Bickell is playing better than last year” was dumber than “Leddy needs to play angry” and see what he can get away with… lol

    Like someone said… Stars can get away w/ that crap 5th D-man- not so much!!!

  41. JS says:

    Wall- Bickell has better possession numbers and he’s third on the team in G/60! Just saying!!

    Rufus- You’re right. That was an incredibly wrong thing for me to say and I do deserve a punch in the throat. I guess when you see what’s going on around the world you become numb to people dying. Bad things happen to good people every day. The Blackhawks jersey sure is beautiful, but us white folk killed many a Native American and now we act like we are honoring them.

    Anyway, I’ll let you punch me in the throat if I ever see you.

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