Savard Calls Big Nights From Horton, Lucic
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BOSTON (CBS) – Who says that being declared out for the season with post-concussion syndrome means that former Bruins star playmaking center Marc Savard still can’t record a few assists over the course of Boston’s title-defense season?
The perennial All-Star was active on Twitter Monday night prior to and during the Bruins’ 6-2 win over the New York Islanders at TD Garden. While Savard proved that grammar isn’t quite his style, he also proved prophetic.
Prior to the game, Savard predicted a big night for Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic, two players who under better circumstances probably would be Savard’s wing men for the Bruins right now.
Then, with the score 3-2 heading into the third period, Savard guessed Horton or Lucic would score a goal in the last session.
Well both players scored in the third period, which allowed Horton to cap a two-goal, one-assist night and Lucic to run his goal-scoring streak to four games (plus he recorded an assist).
Savard’s first-line center replacement David Krejci added a goal and two assists in what wound up being the type of night the Bruins used to enjoy often when Savard was healthy and at the top of his game.
Neither Horton nor Lucic has a Twitter account, but both found out through the Bruins’ media relations staff about Savard’s exploits.
“He had a feeling about us. So hopefully he has more of those feelings and he tweets about it,” said Lucic after the game.
“It’s definitely nice,” said Horton. “We miss him here. He’s a big part of being here. And hopefully he tweets some more about that.”
Obviously Savard’s magical powers couldn’t have had more than a smidge of an impact on the Bruins’ results against the Islanders.
That Horton, less than a week removed from admitting he was still not feeling confident while working his way back from last June’s season-ending concussion, finally put his immense body to use and played like the power forward that contributed 26 regular-season goals and numerous exuberant moments in the run to the Cup was a bigger reason for the huge night.
Horton scored both of his goals, including the goal that put Boston ahead for good at 2-1 with 6:22 left in the first period, off of rebounds. He assisted on Lucic’s goal by driving to the net with the puck on a 2-on-1 and then dishing off at the last moment.
Lucic says he’s witnessed the re-emergence of his regular first-line running mate.
“It’s tough to read him if he’s going through something tough because he’s always got a smile on his face. So you don’t really know how he’s really feeling deep down inside because he always looks like he’s happy and he’s doing well,” said Lucic.
“But you could tell he wasn’t really himself as he was last year. There’s always going to be that hesitation, no matter what, even if you’re feeling 100 percent, just to get yourself back in the groove of things. Just because you know it was a scary moment and a scary hit, what happened to him. And it does take some time.
“And as you saw the first couple games, it was kind of like he didn’t have his stride and he was kind of hesitant to get in the corners and stuff like that. But it’s definitely gotten a lot better, as you can tell, the last couple games.”
Now Horton has to build on his breakout performance against the Islanders over the course of the Bruins’ five-game homestand and beyond.
Some more tweets from Savard, including maybe a few that start to add in the official Horton “smiley face” emoticon, could help out.
But Savard shouldn’t expect a Twitter response from Horton.
“I don’t got tweets,” said Horton.
No, but what he does have is the ability to dominate a game when he forgets about what ended his season last year and treats this season as a new beginning. At the very least, he has to do it for Savard.
Matt Kalman covers the Bruins for CBSBoston.com. He operatesTheBruinsBlog.net and also contributes coverage to NHL.com and several other media outlets. Follow him on twitter @TheBruinsBlog.