WILMINGTON, Mass. — Center Marc Savard is one of the top playmakers in the NHL, and he sits sixth in the league with his 54 assists.
But after Tuesday’s practice, head coach Claude Julien had some mixed comments about his veteran point machine.
“He’s a guy that turns the puck over with some forced plays at times. His competitive level is always there. He competes hard. The one thing he can certainly help this team with right now is (cutting down) those kind of turnovers that end up hurting us,” Julien told the assembled media.
Today after the Bruins practiced for a second straight day at Ristuccia Arena, Savard had not read his coach’s comments, which also included an example of the errant Savard pass that turned into Pittsburgh’s empty-netter Sunday. But based on how the comments were relayed to him, Savard had this to say:
“I can probably protect the puck more and stuff. I haven’t read it so I’d like to read it. But there’s times the last couple of weeks, I’ve had a couple go into our net — one against Philly and then the empty-netter. I can protect the puck a bit more and make some better plays,” he said.
Savard is a high-risk, high-reward sort of player. And that’s how he’s surged to the top of the Bruins’ scoring chart again this season with 76 points. So it’s a delicate balance he strikes in terms of making sure he’s playing at his best but at the same not costing his team.
“I’m always going to be a guy trying to make plays,” said Savard, who’s still an impressive plus-25 on the year. “I’ve got to pick and choose and make some better ones.”