The Columbus Blue Jackets boast one of the best defensive pairings on the planet in Seth Jones and Zach Werenski. The club has taken steps to bolster the rest of the d-corps, and the emergence of David Savard and Jack Johnson as a reliable pair last year helped further that goal. Savard, the younger and steadier of those two players, didn’t have the season he’s had in years past, but how was 2017-18?
First: Savard played 81 games for the first time since 2014-15, no small feat for an NHL defenseman, especially one that blocked a career-high 143 shots like Savard did. His four goals and 12 assists, though, added up to his lowest point total since 2013-14. He saw his ice time drop as he and Johnson struggled to recapture the magic, leading to Tortorella breaking up the pair around Christmas. Savard was a healthy scratch on November 17 and was moved to the third pairing with Scott Harrington once Torts had seen enough of the Savard-Johnson show.
A while later came the trade deadline and a sudden turnaround for the big Canadian. The arrival of Ian Cole worked wonders for Savard as the pair clicked and turned into an important second pairing for the Blue Jackets. In the 20 games after the deadline, Savard picked up five assists and was a +9, a number that includes a -4 stinker against Vancouver on March 31.
Savard and Cole generated some of the best shot rates for the CBJ during the playoffs, but Savard saw more and more of the bench after the first three games (despite posting the third-best CF% on the team in the series). His advanced stats placed him in the middle of the pack for CBJ defensemen and he’s signed for three more years at an average $4.25 million cap hit playing on the right side. If the Jackets keep Cole, you can bet they’ll try to keep the momentum going with that pairing next season.
You be the judge: how was Savard’s 2017-18?
David Savard 2017-18 Stats
Games played: 81
Time on ice: 19:23
Penalty Minutes: 32
Corsi For: 49.47%
October 14, the fifth game of the season, Savard scored a goal and picked up the primary assist on Josh Anderson’s game-winner to put away the Minnesota Wild, 5-4. Savard also tied for the team-lead in shots (four). He would only score three more goals on the season with the next one coming more than three months later…against Minnesota.
Getting healthy scratched, the only game Savard missed in the 2017-18 season. Or that aforementioned -4 in an overtime loss at Vancouver.
How Would You Grade David Savard’s 2017-18 Season?
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