On Monday, the NHL named Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin the Rookie of the Month for March.
Brandon Saad’s production in 14 games might make this seem like an April Fool’s Day joke to many Blackhawks fans.
Saad finished March tied with five players for 22nd in the NHL with 15 points in the month. The five players he tied: Steven Stamkos, Anze Kopitar, Brad Marchand, Derek Stepan and Sergei Gonchar.
He also finished the month tied with five players for seventh in the NHL with 12 assists in the month. The five players that also had 12 assists: Phil Kessel, Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom, PA Parenteau and Slava Voynov.
Saad led all rookies in March in points, and was the only skater to average better than one point per game in the month.
Muzzin had a fantastic month, scoring more goals (four) and posting a better plus-minus (plus-ten) than Saad (three, plus-eight). Muzzin also had more powerplay assists (four) than Saad (three) in the month.
But Muzzin played in 17 games in March, three more than Saad.
Only one rookie forward in the entire league, Tampa center Alex Killorn (18:11), averaged more ice time per game than Saad (17:53). Muzzin averaged 20:45 per game in March, which ranked fourth among all NHL rookies.
Certainly both players were worthy of consideration, but Hawks fans have every reason to believe Saad deserved the honor.