Having grown up in Pittsburgh, Brandon Saad used to be a big Penguins fan.
That’s changed now that Saad plays for the Blackhawks, but the rookie left winger still noticed what his former favorite team has done in the last week to load up for another Stanley Cup run by acquiring Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray in three separate deals.
“I don’t pay too much attention to it, but when you have the NHL channel on it’s always on there,” Saad said. “It’s cool what they’ve done, but it’s a business and I’m in Chicago now. Growing up I think most guys are fans of the hometown teams. They’re doing well, but at the same time it’s all about here.”
The Penguins have won 14 games in a row, making them the NHL’s new media darlings.
“We had our streak there, but it’s nice now to be under the radar,” Saad said. “There are other great teams out there with their streaks and the media is always going to hype them.”
Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said he will worry about the Penguins at the appropriate time.
“Even though we haven’t seen them, no one is going to have to play those teams until the Stanley Cup Finals so it’s not like you’re as concerned about it,” Toews said. “All the trades that happen, you’re very aware of what’s going on.”
The Penguins have actually helped the Hawks by taking Iginla, Morrow and Murray out of the Western Conference.
“As long as they get knocked out of the playoffs in the first round, they can take all the players they want,” Toews said.
Memories of Selanne:
When Teemu Selanne broke into the NHL with Winnipeg 21 years ago, Jonathan Toews was a kid and a Jets fan.
Now he is playing against the great Finn, but Friday’s game at the United Center was possibly the last time they’ll skate on the same ice.
“I have all the respect in the world for him,” Toews said of the 42-year-old Selanne. “It’s crazy to think a guy like that is still playing. I compare him to Jaromir Jagr as one of those guys when I first started playing hockey at 6, 7, 8 years old, they were coming into their NHL careers. Here I am; I get the chance to play against all-time greats like that.
“To see what (Selanne) is doing at his age is unheard of. He’s a guy you have a lot of respect for and years down the road you can look back at and be proud to say you had the chance to play against him.”
Toews was asked if he could see himself playing as long as Selanne.
“I’d like to think I could, but you never know what it’s like until you get there, I guess, so who knows?” Toews said.
Injured winger Patrick Sharp would like to play either Sunday against Detroit or Monday against Nashville.
“I’m close,” said Sharp, who has been sidelined since March 6 with a sprained left shoulder. “We have (two games coming up) and I’d like to play in one of (them), but it’s really day to day.”
In the last four games, all losses, the Ducks had allowed 9 goals in the first period prior to facing the Hawks on Friday.
“When you have a team that has played a lot of games and you get behind consistently 2-0 in the first period, you’re not going to come back all the time,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said.
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