In yesterday’s game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild, second-year player Brandon Saad scored his first two goals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which doesn’t seem all that big, until you consider that this is much better than last season, when he didn’t score his first goal until Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. While Saad hasn’t shown that he’s a playoff performer during his first two seasons in the league, if he can buck that trend and get going this season, it could be a key factor in the Hawks’ repeat plans.
While Saad isn’t going to be the star of this uber-deep Hawks team, if he can add another offensive presence to a team that already boasts offensive stars, then the Hawks could be the most dangerous team moving forward.
The problem with Saad is that if he can’t begin to prove himself in the playoffs shortly, fans may begin to turn on him. If he becomes a liability in the playoffs, like Kris Versteeg was before his benching, on a yearly-basis, the fans will grow tired of his downright bad play in the playoffs. Getting 20 goals in a regular season is good, but if you can’t score or even contribute during the playoffs for a team that contends every year, then how much good are you really doing for the organization?
I’m not saying by any stretch that the team should consider trading or even scratching Saad, because he does do a lot of good things while on the ice, but if he doesn’t begin to make solid offensive games like yesterday a common theme, rather than an pleasant surprise, he may be turned on by the raucous fans at the United Center.