Bruins’ offense thrives with Savard’s presence
It was just one month ago when Bruins’ All Star center Savard was watching his teammates’ struggles from his living room on his HD screen TV, and from the ninth-floor press box. Sidelined for three weeks with a partial MCL tear in his right knee, Savard missed a total of eight games, as the Bruins went on to gain just three points over that span with a 1-6-1 record.
Two injuries this season [foot, knee] have limited Savvy to 34 games played and 9-19-28 totals to show for it. His point-per-game pace is definitely off for now, but not by much. However, it’s what he brings to the team when he’s on the ice that merits acknowledgment. The Bruins have reaped the benefits of Savard’s offensive contributions, as they have posted a winning record of 11-5-4 this season in which Savard records at least one point.
And when No.91 is left off the boxscore: 4-8-2 record.
Savard is nearly a point-per-game career player. In 775 career NHL games, Savvy has racked-up 204-487–691 totals, with over 40-percent of those points coming while playing in a Black-and-Gold sweater. Now back in the lineup for his sixth games since the MCL injury, the 32-year-old has picked his game back up to a point-per-game average with 0-6-6 totals in five of those six, and has 17 shots on goal his last five. On Saturday, Savard captured his sixth multi-point – assisting opn both Bruins’ goals during a 3-2 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks
Special teams, especially on the power play, is where the Bruins missed Savard’s presence the most. The Ottawa native has 5-9-14 totals on the power play this year, and is the true catalyst on the B’s with the man advantage. While Savard was on the IR with a broken foot and missed 15 games, the Bruins went an anemic five for 42 [11.9%] on the power play from Oct. 21 – Nov. 20.
With his most recent absence, from Jan. 9-24, the Bruins had just one power play goal in the eight games without Savard on 14 opportunities. They are now six for 25 [24%] in their last six games with Savard in the lineup.
Paired with Marco Sturm and Michael Ryder at the beginning of the season, Savard has also centered big forwards from Blake Wheeler and Milan Lucic, to fourth liners Byron Bitz and Steve Begin. Most recently, Savard has been in the middle of Daniel Paille and Miroslav Satan. But regardless of his linemates, the team as a whole reaps the benefits while Savard continues to be the pinnacle of the Bruins’ offense.