Goalie dreams drive Savard to block shots

The Columbus Dispatch - - Nhl - By Steve Gorten sgorten@dis­patch.com @sgorten

MON­TREAL — Grow­ing up about an hour’s drive from the Bell Cen­tre, Blue Jack­ets de­fense­man David Savard wanted to be a goalie like his idol, Cana­di­ens Hall of Famer Patrick Roy.

“His fight to win is some­thing pretty special,” Savard said.

Savard never wound up try­ing goalie, largely be­cause his fa­ther told him he’d be more in­volved in play as a skater.

“Maybe that’s why I like block­ing shots and do­ing those things in front of the net,” said Savard, who started Tues­day’s game with 31 blocked shots. “I usu­ally have a pretty good re­la­tion­ship with our goalies. It’s a hard po­si­tion.”

Savard said he has en­joyed block­ing shots since youth hockey, when he would add pad­ding for ex­tra pro­tec­tion.

Savard, a na­tive of Saint-Hy­acinthe, Que­bec, who now lives in Que­bec City in the off­sea­son, said his fa­ther would take him and his older broth­ers to one or two Cana­di­ens games each sea­son.

“That build­ing’s al­ways rock­ing,” said Savard, who set a Que­bec Ma­jor Ju­nior Hockey League record for as­sists (64) by a de­fense­man. “I’ve been here a few times now (as a Blue Jacket), but it’s al­ways a special place, and it’s fun to have your fam­ily come down.”

As ex­cited as Savard was to play against the Habs, his long­time girl­friend will be equally ex­cited when he shaves his bushy beard.

“She said she was go­ing to put in a lot of money to make sure it goes away,” he said.

Savard has let his usual light scruff grow into a scrag­gly beard the past five months to raise money for the Movem­ber Foun­da­tion, which ad­dresses the big­gest health is­sues that men face. If fans do­nated $2,000 by Nov. 15, he would shave. As of Tues­day night, the to­tal was more than $2,800.

“It’s been a lit­tle ugly,” said Savard, who added that the last time he had zero fa­cial hair was when the Jack­ets drafted him in 2009. “But it’s for a great cause.”

Lineup changes

Jor­dan Schroeder, re­called Mon­day from mi­nor-league Cleve­land, made his Jack­ets de­but Tues­day night. He played cen­ter, as did Pierre-Luc Dubois, who moved from wing be­cause of Alexan­der Wennberg’s ab­sence and started on a line be­tween Boone Jen­ner and Cam Atkinson.

Coach John Tor­torella quipped that Wennberg, who didn’t travel with the team, is “day to day with a body in­jury … full body … like a wine.”

Wing Sonny Mi­lano re­turned to the lineup af­ter be­ing a healthy scratch the past two games, and Gabriel Carls­son sat out as Tor­torella chose to use 12 for­wards and six de­fense­men.

[PAUL CHIASSON/THE CANA­DIAN PRESS]

Josh An­der­son of the Blue Jack­ets checks Bran­don David­son of the Cana­di­ens into the boards dur­ing the first pe­riod.

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