Marc Savard could have a huge impact on the Calgary Flames next season

Photo credit:© Lou Capozzola-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Munnich
1 year ago
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This is the second straight off-season with a lot of changes in the Calgary Flames organization. The one move that has gone most under the radar has been the addition of Marc Savard to Ryan Huska’s coaching staff.
Out of all the assistant coaches, Savard has the potential to make the biggest impact on the team next season. Savard will be responsible for looking after the forwards and the power play. The way he approaches the game is interesting and could end up playing a major role in the Flames becoming a more offensive team next season.
Let’s take a look at his coaching history and results.

Assistant Coach, St Louis Blues (2019-20)

The 2019-20 season was Savard’s first as a coach at any level. He was in charge of the forwards and power play with the Blues, just like he will be for the Flames.
He made an immediate impact, particularly on the Blues power play.
SeasonPower Play %Goals/60 on the PPTotal PP Goals
2017-1815.5% (30th)5.4838 Goals/82 Games
2018-1921.1% (10th)7.5450 Goals/82 Games
2019-2024.3% (3rd)8.9750 Goals/71 Games
(St. Louis Blues power play stats via NHL.com)
Under Savard, the Blues power play shot all the way up to third in the NHL behind only the Edmonton Oilers and Boston Bruins. Impressive results for a Blues team with without a true superstar, or player with elite skill. They didn’t have a Connor McDavid or David Pastrnak that a power play can run through. It was done by committee which is what the Flames power play is going to have to do next season.
The Flames power play was atrocious last season. It was 19th in the NHL which on the surface doesn’t sound all that bad, but when you watched it you could see that there was not much going on. No creativity. No cross ice passes. Bad entries. It was hard to watch. But that’s going to change under the guidance of Savard. Expect the Flames to be a lot more creative and generate more opportunities on the man advantage.

Head Coach, Windsor Spitfires (2021-22, 2022-23)

Savard’s Windsor Spitfire teams put up incredible offensive numbers that should get Flames fans excited. Savard led the Spitfires to two straight seasons of 300+ goals. 305 goals in 68 games in 2021-22, five better than the next best team. And 320 goals in 68 games in 2022-23, 22 more than the next best team. In each of those seasons the Spitfires had four players over a point per game.
They were the most electrifying team in the OHL, in large part to the coaching of Savard.
Similar to the Blues, the Spitfires also had a lethal power play under Savard. They were third in the OHL in 2021-22 at 26.1% and second in the OHL in the 2022-23 season at 25.9%.

Culture change

Savard has been interviewed a couple times since being hired by the Flames and one thing he has been preaching is how important it is for his players to have fun when they are at the rink. A big philosophical change compared to Darryl Sutter the last couple seasons.
Savard talked about that in his interview with Brendan Parker of Flames TV. “I know the offence really struggled last year. I think I can help out. A lot of that is going to be through good relationships with the players and helping them believe in themselves. And give them the opportunity to make plays… I’ve got some great ideas and the guys are going to have a lot of fun”.

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That has to be exciting to hear if you’re a forward on the Calgary Flames and if you’re a fan of the team.
Based off previous results with the Blues and Spitfires, and what he’s said in the media, Flames fans can expect to see a much different style of play next season. Gone are the days of shooting the puck from anywhere in the offensive zone. The Flames forwards are going to have more creative freedom with the puck which should lead to more high danger scoring chances, more goals, and more fun for the fans.

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