|01.08.10 at 2:16 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins are still awaiting word on the extent of a knee injury suffered by center Marc Savard in the opening minute of Thursday’s 5-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. Savard underwent an MRI this afternoon.
‘He’s being examined now,’ said coach Claude Julien after practice. ‘Hopefully we’ll (know) later today or at the latest tomorrow morning.’
Julien has already ruled Savard out for Saturday afternoon’s contest against the New York Rangers at TD Garden.
With Savard awaiting results of the MRI and leading scorer Patrice Bergeron already sidelined with a broken thumb, the Bruins patched together line combinations at practice that will hopefully offset any slack in the team’s offense.
The Bruins managed to go 7-4-4 when Savard was sidelined early this season with a broken foot.
The immediate plan appears to have Vladimir Sobotka moving into Savard’s spot, centering for Marco Sturm and Mark Recchi. Sobotka, who has four goals and three assists in 34 games, has generally been skating in a supporting role, on the team’s energy line this season. But, he has been a top line center in the minors, generating 44 points in 44 games with the Providence Bruins last season.
‘You have to start leaning on guys like that,’ said Julien in reference to Sobotka. ‘He’s played that role in Providence, it’s a little different than the NHL, but you have to lean on him, and you hope that he responds.’
David Krejci continued to center for Blake Wheeler and Miroslav Satan. Milan Lucic, skated with center Steve Begin and right wing Michael Ryder. After quickly being recalled from Providence, Trent Whitfield skated on the fourth line with Shawn Thornton and Daniel Paille.
With Savard sidelined, the Bruins will likely opt to provide more ice time to Krejci’s line, which may have been Boston’s best trio over the past week.
Krejci and Wheeler have shown some good early chemistry skating with Satan. The trio combined for both Boston goals against Chicago Thursday after generating three goals against Ottawa Tuesday in Satan’s first game after being singed as a free agent a week ago. Wheeler has scored four goals in the last three games.
‘Those three guys have done pretty well so far in a short span of time, right now that’s what we need from that line is to give us some scoring power and they seem to create that,’ Julien said.
If Savard is lost for any significant time, Krejci could be ready for added responsibility.
‘I want to be a player who helps make a difference, I really want to help the team win games, I believe I can do more,’ said Krejci who has four points ( 1 goal, 3 assists) in the last four games.
As Krejci, Wheeler and Satan learn more about each others tendencies, the trio could be poised for generating additional offense.
‘He’s a great player, when we figure out more about where (each player) likes to go, he could score more, especially in front of the net,’ said Krejci of Satan. ‘He’s a big guy who is tough to push aside. If you put the puck on the net, he’ll be there.’
|01.08.10 at 2:05 am ET|
Milan Lucic couldn’t have picked a better time to return. The only problem was the good vibes last all of 28 seconds on Thursday night.
The Bruins are now without Savard, pending the result of Friday’s MRI. They are without Patrice Bergeron for up to six weeks with a hand injury and they are without defenseman Andrew Ference for six weeks with a bad groin. Add on top of that an achy back for forward Byron Bitz and TD Garden has become TD M*A*S*H for the Bruins.
|01.07.10 at 10:27 pm ET|
“It’s a knee injury,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien in making the announcement after the game.”The severity of it, we’ll know more once we get the MRI done [Friday].”
Savard, the team’s top play-making center, left after his first shift, 28 seconds into the game, when he fell to the ice, holding his right knee. He had to be helped off the ice by teammates Marco Sturm and Mark Recchi.
He was helped to the dressing room and did not return.
|01.07.10 at 7:39 pm ET|
Lucic had returned and played just four games before suffering his second significant injury of the season. he had two goals and three assists in 10 games this season.
|01.07.10 at 7:18 pm ET|
Bruins top line center Marc Savard had to be helped off the ice just 28 seconds into Thursday’s game with Chicago at TD Garden with an apparent right leg injury.
The injury happened on his first shift of the game in the offensive zone. Marco Sturm and Mark Recchi had to help him skate to the Bruins bench, where he immediately made his way to the dressing room with assistance from Bruins training staff.
Eight minutes later, the Bruins announced he would not be returning to the game.
Savard, like Lucic and Bergeron, has been bitten by the injury bug this season. Savard has played in just 28 games this year, compiling nine goals and 13 assists. He missed 15 games between Oct. 21-Nov. 20 with various injuries.
|01.06.10 at 7:40 pm ET|
The Bruins have lost defenseman Andrew Ference for six weeks as the result of a groin injury suffered in the second period of Tuesday’s 4-1 win in Ottawa. The loss of Ference will test the team’s depth even further as the B’s have also recently been skating without defenseman Mark Stuart who broke his sternum on December 16.
Ference averages just over 20 minutes of ice time per-game. With Stuart still not set to return for at least another week, the Bruins could call on Johnny Boychuk to log more minutes. Since jumping into the lineup on December 5, Boychuk has averaged 17:38 of ice time per-game, building a plus-six, plus-minus rating while contributing two goals and five assists.
Rookie Adam McQuaid will also likely see more action. He played his first three NHL games Dec. 19-23, averaging 10:23 of ice time. The Bruins could also recall Andy Wozniewski who made two appearances with the team last month.
Stuart skated for the fourth time Wednesday. He is pleased with his progress recovering. ‘When you get hurt you appreciate being able to play a lot more and being able to be on the ice,” Stuart said. “It’s been a good last four days.”
|01.06.10 at 1:25 pm ET|
WILMINGTON ‘ The Bruins could put together a pretty good lineup with the five players who hit the ice for practice Wednesday. While most of the team was given the day off, Patrice Bergeron, Milan Lucic, Mark Stuart, Adam McQuaid and Tuukka Rask went through varying bits of work on the practice rink.
Bergeron was skating less than 24 hours after being told he had a broken right thumb.
‘It’s fine to skate and workout, I just can’t move my thumb for ten days,’ said Bergeron, who had a molded splint around the thumb. ‘I’m going to keep in game shape, keep working out, keep staying strong. The only thing is I’m not going to be able to pass and shoot, that’s about it.’
Bergeron suffered the injury when struck by a shot in the second period of Monday’s 3-2 loss to the Rangers in New York. He was glad to learn the injury was not more severe.
‘I didn’t know what to expect, the doctor gave me some good news so I was pretty happy,’ said Bergeron, who leads the Bruins in scoring. He was also recently selected to skate for the Canadian Olympic team at the Winter Olympics in February. The thumb injury should not impact his ability to play for Canada.
With Bergeron out of the lineup Tuesday, the Bruins put together a quick-strike attack leading to a 4-1 win in Ottawa. They’ll face a major test in their next contest, hosting the league leading Chicago Blackhawks Thursday.
The Blackhawks have won four in a row and seven of their last eight games while taking over the overall standings points lead in the league. Chicago also has the best team GGA (2.01) average in the NHL.
‘They’re arguably the best team in the league right now, they have so much depth and talent, skill and confidence, they have everything gong this year’ Bruins coach Claude Julien said. ‘I know we have played them well in the past, but this will be a real good challenge for us tomorrow. To win the game we don’t have a choice but to be at our best.’
Julien also indicated that defenseman Andrew Ference was being examined by doctors Wednesday morning. He suffered a lower body injury during the first-period of Tuesday’s game. Julien did not have an update at the time he met with reporters.