It was two weeks ago that the Blackhawks came to Brandon Saad with the news he had been waiting to hear: Get your own place to live.
While it might have been a forgone conclusion to some that Saad would be staying, it still was welcome news for the 20-year-old rookie who had been living in a hotel.
"It's been unbelievable," Saad said. "I always wanted to be here, and with the success we're having it's been a great year."
It only adds to Saad's experience as a rookie in the NHL that he has been playing on a line with two of the biggest stars in the NHL in Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa.
"I've learned a ton," Saad said. "They're great players that came into the league young just like I've done and tried to do. They've been a big help with on-ice game and off the ice.
"It's been a great learning experience for me."
If Ray Emery starts Tuesday night against the Flames as expected, he will be looking to pick up where he left off Feb. 2, when he played a special game in Calgary.
Emery made 45 saves in a 3-2 victory that coach Joel Quenneville still marvels at.
"It was probably the first game where we got dominated the way we did," Quenneville said. "But the response that we got in the net, it was a special performance and one we'll always remember.
"To that point we had a lot of things going our way and that kind of sustained what we had going. The performance he had in that third period was all-world, from start to finish a spectacular performance."
Emery downplayed his game that night.
"Playoffs are important and a game in the first week of the season isn't that big," Emery said. "You want to win every game, but I don't look back too much."
With the trade deadline approaching this always is a tough time of the year on players, especially for a contending team such as the Hawks.
Do they add a piece or stand pat? That is the question general manager Stan Bowman must ask and answer before April 3.
"We haven't reached that point yet, but I'm sure when it gets down to the last week or couple days you'll start thinking about it a little more," Patrick Kane said.
"You see the trades starting to happen now, so it's inevitable that players will be moving. Hopefully we can make some additions to our team that make us even better, or if not we've had a pretty good season so far with the group we've had. We'll see what happens."
This and that:
Andrew Shaw wasn't in the morning skate Monday, but he was in the lineup for the game against Los Angeles.
Shaw had been fighting the flu.
"He didn't skate this morning, but we gave him some rest and he's good to go," Joel Quenneville said.
Marian Hossa didn't play Monday and is doubtful for Tuesday's game against Calgary. Quenneville maintains the shoulder injury suffered by Hossa last week at Colorado isn't serious.
"Hopefully by the weekend he'll be playing," Quenneville said. "He hasn't been in the ice the last couple days, but he is progressing."
Daniel Carcillo was a healthy scratch.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.