- Scott Powers, ESPN Staff Writer
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Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said scratching Saad was a coach's decision, and he needed more from his second-year forward. Queneville said he expected Saad would be back in the lineup against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday.
Saad has 19 goals, 26 assists and a plus-23 rating in 75 games this season. He has zero goals, one assist and a minus-six rating in the last seven games since returning from an upper-body injury. He missed three games due to the injury.
Quenneville thought the injury may have affected Saad's consistency.
"I know guys who are scorers and productive and are used to getting that feel-good [feeling] when you're getting something to measure your play with," Quenneville said after his team's 4-2 win over the Blues. "I think playing the right way is something we reinforce. I don't think he ever got one of those shifts or games where he was just rolling and comfortable with the puck and playing with the pace we're accustomed to seeing.
"We expect him to be a big piece of our team here. We need him to be back playing, and we expect him to be back in the next game and playing his game."
“[Saad] has had some real good stretches over the last year or so,” Quenneville said on Friday. “I think right now he’s been OK. ... When a couple key guys are out, it’d be nice to see him grab some of the quality ice and lead in that area.”