His impact on his team is well-documented, and the difference when Savard is not on the ice is also well-known, much to the dismay of Bruins fans.
Despite having zero points and six shots in his three games since returning to action, Savard has been the much-needed centerman and quarterback on the power play that the Bruins were missing. His 15-plus minutes of ice time is fine for now, (Savard's ice time increased to 16:44 for Tuesday night's overtime contest) and Savard should be in midseason form by the middle of December.
In the meantime, the B's will enjoy the benefits of having their playmaker back on the ice.
"It's been a fabulous couple days for me, that's for sure,'' Savard said on Monday. "Right from Thursday on, it's been great. I'm excited to get back out in front of the crowd again and hopefully contribute. That's what I want to do. I'm feeling slowly better each day. I didn't have as good a game in Toronto as I did at home, when I felt the skating was much better. But it's going to come."
After missing the first 25 games of the season, Savard admits he will need time to get back in stride with his teammates. Even his chemistry with his linemates — rookie Tyler Seguin and Michael Ryder — has been a tad askew. But as long as the Bruins keep playing the way they are playing, then Savard will have the time he needs to jell properly, without the added pressure of trying to save the franchise.
That's been the Bruins' saving grace all season long — just look at Seguin. I'm sure if you ask the 18-year-old youngster, he'd much prefer his situation to that of counterpart Taylor Hall. The difference is that Seguin isn't being relied upon to dig the organization out of the dark tundra of the Wild Wild West.
The Bruins have the luxury of allowing their young and injured players to take their time getting acclimated to the lineup.
For Savard, it's paid off. In the overtime period of Tuesday night's game against Buffalo, Savard blocked a shot by Luke Adam with Buffalo pressuring Tim Thomas. With Savard then in control of the puck, Adam took a double minor penalty for a high stick on Savard, and away the Bruins' power play unit went. An absolute bomb by Dennis Seidenberg was deflected in by Mark Recchi and made the victory official for the Bruins, as they skated to a 3-2 overtime win.
With the victory, the B's improved to 11-0-1 when scoring first, emphasizing Claude Julien's philosophy for this team to play a full 60 minutes of hockey from the opening faceoff.
Not a bad way to kick start a three-game homestand — and even better for the guys easing their way into the NHL grind.
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