Carcillo's injury provides big opportunity for Saad

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Carcillo's injury provides big opportunity for Saad

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.

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Five Things from Blackhawks-Avalanche: Great night for the rookies

Five Things from Blackhawks-Avalanche: Great night for the rookies

DENVER – Well, that was a wild one, wasn’t it?

We’ll spare you the gory-to-glorious details (most of which are in the game story, anyway). So instead, let’s just get to the Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ 6-4 victory over Colorado.

1. Great night for the rookies. The Blackhawks’ newest players were their most prolific players on Tuesday night. Vinnie Hinostroza had two goals. Tanner Kero did too, and added an assist. Nick Schmaltz had a goal and an assist. All of these experiences are great learning curves for the Blackhawks’ youth, and coach Joel Quenneville likes how they’re progressing, not just with scoring but with their overall games. “That’s the part that’ll make them better players and us a better team is playing the right way defensively, being responsible, putting the puck in good areas and going hard to the net.”

2. Top line still too quiet. Line changes were made but the results remained the same, especially for the Blackhawks’ top trio. Ryan Hartman and Richard Panik were up there with Jonathan Toews in this one, but still nada. The three had a combined three shots for the game. Many of you have asked if Toews is still dealing with that back injury. On Tuesday morning he said, “no, it’s been really good, actually.” Still, there’s something up with a top line that, regardless of combination, just can’t get anything going.

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3. Terrible second period. The Blackhawks came out of the first in great shape and with a 2-1 lead. But things got messy in the second period. Be it the inability to clear or get the puck deep in the Avs’ zone, the Blackhawks made mistakes. The Avs capitalized, scoring three goals in the second including two in a 63-second span. Outside of Tanner Kero’s goal, the Blackhawks had a forgettable second period. The Avalanche outscored them 3-1 and outshot them 8-4 in the second.

4. Faceoffs lost. The Blackhawks did not do well in this department, winning just 23 percent of their faceoffs. It didn’t cost them the game but they certainly need better nights than they got on Tuesday.

5. Corey Crawford gets through it. Crawford was stellar prior to his appendectomy but hasn’t been at that level since. Quenneville said he considered pulling Crawford during this one but decided to keep him in. Quenneville’s still happy with his goaltending – again, the Blackhawks aren’t where they are right now without it this season. But he said Crawford could be better than he was on Tuesday.