Grading David Savard's season

David Savard was sort of the anchor of the Canadiens blueline, when a big defensive play was needed, he was always game to provide it.
Philadelphia Flyers v Montreal Canadiens
Philadelphia Flyers v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

David Savard may be the least intriguing player on the Montreal Canadiens, but his meat and potatoes style endears him to the coaching staff and his teammates equally.

Savard's role since joining the Canadiens has been as a constant on the penalty kill and to ease the young guys into the NHL. While he isn't as fleet of feet as he once was, his positioning and smart defensive stick and gap control, often keep him on the right side of the opposition. This is especially important because it allows his defence partners to be a little more adventurous and comfortable in slowly adapting to their new roles.

An example of this is Kaiden Guhle, who Savard often lined up with during the 2022-23 season, which allowed Guhle to find his footing in the league. This allowed Guhle to explore his puck-carrying game and work on his decision-making on offence. All of which allowed him to thrive on the number-one defence pairing with Mike Matheson in 2023-24.

Savard filled a big hole left behind by the departures/injuries of Shea Weber, Ben Chiarot and Joel Edmundson. His Stanley Cup ring and experience during the long and gruelling NHL playoffs made him an ideal fit for the Habs. While they have yet to experience much success during his time with the team, he has been a steady presence and whether he is with the team when they reach contender status or not, many of the defenders have learned aplenty from him.

He isn't relied upon for points, but he did manage to score six goals and 18 assists through 60 games. Savard's 24 points were good for the third-best point production of his career. And it is easy to look at plus/minus and think that a player is a liability, but his -1 differential isn't exactly that bad for a team with a very young defence corps.

The 33-year-old may have already played his best hockey, which is unfortunate because he has been a helpful player and may not be around when the team qualifies for the playoffs again. But for his efforts in the meantime, I would grade his season as an A. You can't ask for much more offensively and he gives it his all every shift, leaving it all on the ice.