Montreal will welcome back a veteran defenceman for tonight’s game against Nashville as the team announced that they have activated him off injured reserve. To make room on the roster, Mattias Norlinder was sent down to Laval.
Savard has played just five games this season, suffering a hand fracture in that fifth appearance against Buffalo. He has a pair of assists along with 14 blocks in those contests while logging over 20 minutes a night.
The Habs won’t be too worried about Savard’s offensive contributions but they’ll be happy to have him back from a minute management standpoint. Justin Barron has been inconsistent in his bigger minutes, Johnathan Kovacevic struggled when moved up the lineup, and Gustav Lindstrom is a depth player, not one who should be playing in the top four at even strength as he has been. Savard will also quite likely be back on the top penalty kill pairing before long.
It’s not yet known who will come out of the lineup for Savard. A decision on that front is expected after the warm-up.
As for Norlinder, he was with the Habs for nearly three weeks after being recalled following the rash of injuries on the back end. However, he didn’t see any game action, serving as the extra defender for that entire stretch.
After a strong showing in training camp which nearly saw him break camp with the big club, things have not gone well for him in Laval. He had just a goal and one assist in 14 games and while plus/minus isn’t as important now as some feel it was, there’s no way to spin a -15 into a positive. He’ll need to show a lot more in his second stint with the Rocket.
In other lineup news, Michael Pezzetta will take Tanner Pearson’s spot up front against the Preds. There is no word yet on how long Pearson will be out for after leaving yesterday’s game early with an upper-body injury.