WILMINGTON — Marc Savard  held a press conference at the Bruins practice facility, Ristuccia Arena, on Wednesday afternoon after his first full practice since being cleared by doctors to rejoin the team after missing the end of the regular season and the quarterfinals playoff series against the Sabres. Savard touched on a variety of topics, from his role on the team in the upcoming conference semifinal series and his thoughts about getting back at the Penguins , the team he sustained his concussion against.
Here is the transcript of the press conference:
On how he feels:
I am feeling great, I am excited. Obviously I am really happy about the way the guys played and you know I was able to get a couple more days right now. So, it was a good plan all along.
On his conditioning to this point:
Today was my last kind of test. Kind of felt like the Boston Marathon on Heartbreak Hill so they made it pretty tough today but I got through it and they made it pretty hard in practice too and I gave it everything I had. It was a good test and yeah, I am feeling great and really excited to get the opportunity to play in the playoffs again.
On his role:
“I imagine that I will be eased in, for sure. I probably won’t be getting the 19 or 20 minutes that I usually get right off the top, but we’ll see how things go. I am excited and I am going to play with [Sobotka] and [Ryder], it looks like. I love the way those guys have been playing in the playoffs, especially [Sobotka], the way he has been going, so I am excited to play between those guys and create some results to help the team.”
Yeah, I think the first couple of days I was out there I was like, ‘Jesus, this is going to take awhile.’ I am not going to be a savior or anything and go out, you know, and get three goals in the first game. I would like to but I don’t think that it is going to happen.
I am just going to try and work myself in. Just keep on doing what the guys have been doing and be a part of the team and I don’t think it will be a problem. I look at it like my first playoffs here when, with eight games left, I broke my back. You know, I eased myself in and I ended up having a pretty good playoffs even though we didn’t get where we wanted to go but I felt good. I feel it is the same situation and I am going to go out there and work hard for no matter how many minutes I play and that is the thing. I am sure that I will see power-play time and I would like to contribute there also.
On what it was like watching Game 6 against the Sabres:
As you guys know, I obviously wanted to be in that game also. I am an intense person and I obviously wanted to play that night, but I think it was best for myself and the team that I watched that one. I didn’t really watch much of it to be honest with you. I watch a bit of the first period from up top and kind of turned my head most of the game. I went down in the third and hung out in back, just listening to the crowd cheer, so that was a good thing. I was excited and I wanted to play, but in the same sense this is what was best.
On if he would have played in a Game 7 against the Sabres:
I think so, but I don’t have the answer for that. That is something you are obviously going to have to ask Claude [Julien ]. Obviously I was cleared the other day so all signs would have pointed to probably.
On thoughts of playing in Pittsburgh, where he sustained his concussion:
Obviously that would be neat a chance to play them. They are a great hockey team, you know, anybody who makes it to the playoffs and past the first round has done a a great job so far. They are a great hockey team. Philly is a great hockey team there, they have a lot of great players. Whoever it is, we just have to worry about ourselves.
An element of revenge against the Penguins:
I am not a killer by any means, so I am not going to go out there looking for anything like that. It is more about the team and winning games in the playoffs. There will be other times when it might happen, but I don’t see myself looking for a big fight or anything like that.
Revenge on the scoreboard, perhaps:
Well, yeah, on the scoreboard. I am going to be intense as ever and I am a pretty intense guy and it is definitely going to mean a lot to myself and definitely my teammates. Everybody wants to win, whether it is Pittsburgh or Philly. I am going to be ready.
Well, I think one of the reasons I have had success in this league is that I do put that pressure on myself. [Bergeron] has been playing great and Krejci has come along too and played really well. Obviously, the more guys we have firing will obviously take pressure off, but I am going to want to go out and produce every night and help my team win in that area and be respectful defensively. There is going to be pressure and I am going to put it on myself to help this team score.
On the difficulty of defending the Bruins’ top three centers now that he is back:
Yeah, I think it is obviously an added offensive weapon. And, with those two guys going like you said, it is tougher for teams to match up. But, you look at Pittsburgh or Philly and a lot of the teams going on right now have that, you know. Pittsburgh has [Sidney] Crosby , [Evgeni] Malkin, [Jordan] Staal and then you look at Philly with [Mike] Richards , [Claude] Giroux, [Danny] Brierre … I don’t know who else they have playing center, but everybody has centermen and I think you need those these days. But, like you said, it is definitely better for us and I hope I can help.
On being able to come back now as opposed to the summer:
Well, I think that is huge and being able to play again and this time of year. Like you said, I didn’t want to have to wait all summer and think about things and test myself out throughout the summer, so this is a good opportunity, one that I am trying to take advantage of and play well. So, I can’t emphasize enough how excited I am to get back with my teammates and just be part of the team and do the little things, no matter what I am asked to do, whether it is 12 minutes or 20 minutes. I just want to help out anywhere I can.
On if he missed being part of the team most:
Yeah, I think so. Obviously this year been a tough year. I had more injuries than I would have liked, but on this last one the guys have been great. I have heard from them all the time, text messaging, calling, coming over. A couple of guys stopped by. So, they have kept me part of the team and I have felt great all along and even through this series obviously, and a lot of them wanted me to play but they did a great job and I can’t say enough about them and I am excited to fit back in quietly and help out.
On talking to Patrice Bergeron about coming back:
I am sure I will. It is good that you brought that up, I might ask him. Yeah, so, he has been through it. When I think about it, obviously, I think I am going to want to go out and, I am not a guy who hits a lot, but go out and get a couple of bumps in and test myself early so that I am tested and feel involved. So, that is what I think I am going to do. I have obviously thought about it a lot and I will help out anyway I can, especially on the power plays because the special teams have been going really well and I will try to stay off the penalty kill as much as I can right now and hopefully just keep on winning.