Brandon Saad isn’t going anywhere right now.
Certainly not off the Blackhawks’ top line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa, and definitely not back to Rockford despite the fact he is still without a point on the season in five games.
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville likes what he has seen of the 20-year-old left winger and what he brings to the top line.
“He’s just not getting chances, he’s getting A-grade quality chances around the net,” Quenneville said. “I’m not going to put a name or number on what he has to score or how long he’s going to be there, but to me he hasn’t done anything wrong.
“Sometimes you measure how you’re playing in production maybe playing with those guys, but he’s playing the team game the way we want him to play. He’s playing the right way so we don’t want to put too many expectations on him to stay. Keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll find a way to make it work.”
Saad is trying not to think about his scoreless stretch.
“It’s obviously something you want to get, but the team is winning so that’s been good,” Saad said. “I think I’ve been playing well so just keep working hard and sticking with the little and it’ll come. Playing with those two guys the chances are definitely going to come so I need to bury a few.
“I’m feeling more comfortable every game. We’re getting a little more chemistry and things like that. They’re telling me to keep it simple and play my game.”
Hossa has no problem with having Saad learn as he goes along.
“He’s skating really well and doing an excellent job,” Hossa said. “He’s such a young guy who is really strong on his skates and strong in the corners. I think the more he plays, he’s going to feel more comfortable and have more confidence. He’s winning the battles and that’s huge for our line.”
Already off to a franchise best 6-0 start, now the Hawks will look to keep the momentum going on a six-game, two-week road trip that starts Wednesday at Minnesota.
It’s a trip that should reveal even more about this team.
“For sure, it’s going to be a huge test,” Marian Hossa said. “So far we’re pleased with the way we’ve started. The first six games, we’ve tried not to make a big deal out of it because it’s the beginning of the season, but we know how important these six games are going to be. It’s going to be a real test, and when we come back home we’re going to know where we are.”
Rozsival day to day:
Defenseman Michal Rozsival is expected back on the ice in Minnesota for the morning skate after missing the last two games with what’s believed to be a knee injury.
“Rozy is doing all right,” Joel Quenneville said Tuesday. “He’s day-to-day (with a) lower body (injury). We expect him on the ice tomorrow, so he’s all right.”
The Hawks are already down two players in left wing Daniel Carcillo (knee) and defenseman Steve Montador (concussion).Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.