Still trying to get his game back, Savard turnover costly

Still trying to get his game back, Savard turnover costly
December 12, 2010, 4:14 am
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By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- Marc Savard always has his equipment off by the time the media gets postgame locker-room access.

That wasn't the case on Saturday night.

Savard sat in his stall with his lower body still fully equipped. His night wasn't all that bad, until about 12 seconds left in overtime.

That's when Savard's turnover in the Philadelphia zone resulted in a Mike Richards goal with three seconds left in the extra period, giving the Flyers a 2-1 overtime win at the TD Garden.

"He was doing well there for most of the game, and it's unfortunate," said Bruins coach Claude Julien after the loss. "I don't know if he thought he had somebody behind there supporting, but it turned out to be a bad pass.

"This was a game of inches, and the smallest mistake would end up costing you. And I thought we made that mistake in the second period, on an odd-man rush a couple times . . . Right at the end, another ill-advised play, and it ended up in our net."

Instead of eating the puck in Philadelphia's corner, and going to a shootout, Savard made a no-look pass to the blue line, but because of the four-on-four overtime, nobody was there, and Richards picked up the loose puck, and skated down the right wing on a 2-on-1.

Richards faked a pass, inside the hash marks, and beat Tim Thomas with a quick snap shot for the win.

"I just threw it back to the point, and obviously it was my fault there," said Savard after the game. "Johnny Boychuk had gone down to the net, and I just thought Dennis Seidenberg was back there and was in the middle more, so I just made a bad play, that's all."

Savard isn't known for his bad plays. He's one of the league's top playmakers, when he's healthy.

Saturday night marked his fifth game of the season, after missing the first two months while dealing with post-concussion syndrome.

Nobody ever said that returning from post-concussion syndrome was an easy transition. Just ask Patrice Bergeron.

It's going to take time for Savard to get his timing and vision back to normal. When that happens, Savard won't make as many mistakes as he's made in his first five games this season.

And Saturday night was as bad as you get.

Savard finished the game with no points, and was a minus-two. He now only has one assist and is a minus-three in five games this year. That assist came on Thursday, after he knocked a faceoff into the slot, where Milan Lucic quickly snapped it home.

It wasn't a typical Savard-esque dish. But his decision making has been improving. His passes have been getting better. His timing is coming back to form.

And then Saturday night happens.

"I felt like I'm building on stuff, and then that happens, so it's tough," said Savard. "You've got to be strong. Obviously I've been through a lot, so I'll come out of it.

"My line created a lot of things, but unfortunately, I come out of it a minus-two," added Savard. "The game's weird sometimes, but I'm strong, I'll get through it."

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard