The Montreal Canadiens announced this evening that they have placed defenseman David Savard on IR retroactive to December 4th. No additional transaction was announced, however the team is carrying seven defensemen, having been without the veteran since December 3rd.
Savard has been dealing with an upper-body injury apparently suffered during that December 3rd contest, and was originally considered day-to-day. On Tuesday of this week though, the Canadiens updated Savard’s status as being out two-to-three weeks. Placing Savard on IR now isn’t necessarily a bad sign as far as his recovery is concerned and could be a matter of giving the Canadiens some roster flexibility heading into the looming Christmas roster freeze, and perhaps indicates the team knows he won’t be back at least until things open up again.
Though some might say the Canadiens are performing above expectations this year, the team likely doesn’t see it that way and continues to fight for a playoff spot in the crowded Eastern Conference, now sitting at 14-15-2 after tonight’s loss. The team would certainly need to step it up a little to get into a Wild Card position, though that’s not unreasonable. However, getting back Savard, who is second on the team in average time-on-ice, only behind Mike Matheson, who’s played just nine games this season, will be key. Savard’s shutdown defense will be necessary considering the team, and its fairly inexperienced blueline, has struggled with keeping the puck out of their own net, ranking 23rd in the league in goals against.