Carcillo's injury provides big opportunity for Saad

Carcillo's injury provides big opportunity for Saad
January 20, 2013, 8:23 pm
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GLENDALE, Ariz. Daniel Carcillo will miss about a month with what looks to be a right knee injury, and Brandon Saad will likely start in Carcillos place on the top line when the Chicago Blackhawks face the Phoenix Coyotes tonight.

Carcillo will not need surgery for his injury, coach Joel Quenneville said after Sunday mornings skate. It was a tough blow for Carcillo, whose right knee got pinned between the boards and Los Angeles defenseman Drew Doughty late in Saturdays 5-2 victory over the Kings.

I thought that was the likelihood of what was going to happen, Quenneville said about the length of time Carcillo will miss. Quenneville was impressed with Carcillos game with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa on Saturday.

Its very unfortunate, Quenneville said. He finally gets back in and has 10 great minutes of ice time. I thought he looked very good on that line and it was a dangerous line for us. But you keep your spirits up, work through it and get excited to come back again.

Carcillos been down this injury road a few times now. He had season-ending reconstructive surgery on his left knee last January and suffered two right-knee injuries when he played for the Coyotes several years ago.

He knows the process of working in that rehab area and the commitment needed to get his game back to where it is, Quenneville said. Itll be a process but we look forward to getting him back.

Meanwhile, its an opportunity for Saad. The 20-year-old will make is 2013 debut tonight, and it sounds like hell just take Carcillos place with top liners Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa.

Saad is a young kid, has some ability. He sees plays and makes plays, Quenneville said. Danny has a little more versatility, that tough element. Guys are aware when hes around. But I thought Hoss and Johnny had strong games, and that lines (players) complimented one another. They got off to a good start, and hopefully (Saad) will just fit right in.

Saad said hell draw on previous experience, including his brief time here during the playoffs against Phoenix.

(The experience) is huge for me, he said. I played in Phoenix, too, so Im familiar with them a little bit. Its huge for my confidence and being comfortable out there.

Andrew Shaw, who played with Saad in Rockford, too, said Saad should contribute.

Hes unbelievable. He just has to do what he does, do what got him here, Shaw said. Hes a great offensive player and uses his speed well. He just has to take pucks to the net and play with confidence. Its a different, faster, higher-paced game up here. We all worked on it over the summer and got better.