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Marc Savard expected back in Boston on Thursday 02.03.11 at 12:06 pm ET
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Bruins coach Claude Julien said Thursday morning that center Marc Savard is en route to Boston after returning home to Peterborough, Ontario following the diagnosis of his fourth concussion. Savard, who missed the first 23 games of the season with post-concussion syndrome, suffered his second concussion in just over 10 months on a routine hit from Avalanche defenseman Matt Hunwick on Jan. 22.

Upon Savard’s return to Boston, he will receive further evaluation from the team doctors.

“Savvy is due in today, but I don’t think we’re going to get an answer today, and people are all waiting for an answer here,” Julien said. “He still has to see the medical staff. Again, that doesn’t mean the decision will be made tomorrow or the day after.”

Julien added that while he can understand why updates on Savard are so heavily sought, he doesn’t know when the answer regarding what the center’s short-term and long-term future holds.

“Right now, I know he’s on his way back,” Julien said. “From there on [out], it’s kind of out of my hands. It’s out doctors and our medical people and our trainers that are going to be dealing with him.

“With concussions, as you know, it could be a matter of saying, ‘Well, we’re going to give it another week and see how he feels,’ but we don’t know when that answer’s going to come. That’s where we’re at right now with Savvy. How’s that going to impact the team? I think we’ll only be able to find that out when we do have that answer that everybody’s looking for.”

Read More: Claude Julien, Marc Savard, Matt Hunwick,
Tuukka Rask to start for Bruins vs. Stars, Mark Stuart a healthy scratch again at 11:54 am ET
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Tuukka Rask was first off the ice in Thursday’s morning skate, an indication that he will get the start in goal when the Bruins take on the Stars at TD Garden.

Rask last started on Jan. 20 against the Sabres, making 29 saves on 33 shots in a 4-2 loss. He is 4-10-1 with a 2.67 goals against average and a .923 save percentage.

Coach Claude Julien said after the skate that Mark Stuart will be a healthy scratch once again for the Bruins, and that it’s “not really” a matter of him being a game-time decision at this point. He noted that with six defensemen playing well, he doesn’t want to “punish” any of them by disrupting the success they’ve had. Stuart has been a healthy scratch for the last four games.

Read More: Claude Julien, Mark Stuart, Tuukka Rask,
Claude Julien says Marc Savard ‘still has symptoms’ 01.31.11 at 4:13 pm ET
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Bruins center Marc Savard is still back home in Peterborough, Ontario, as he continues to be out with his second concussion in just over 10 months. Savard suffered a concussion on Jan. 22 after he was hit into the boards by Colorado defenseman Matt Hunwick. Coach Claude Julien, in saying there is no update on how the center feels, said Savard will return to Massachusetts in the coming days.

“He’s going to be back [in Boston] tomorrow or the day after, I think, and he’s going to be re-evaluated, but ‘€¦ he still has some symptoms,” Julien said. “That hasn’t totally disappeared, so we’ll let the medical people deal with him when he gets back here.

“Hopefully for his sake — not for the team’s sake, but more for his sake — he gets better. I think it’s important for the individual here, for a guy that’s gone through that, that he is taking care of himself. I think this organization — the medical staff, upper management, everybody — has always done the right thing as far as that’s concerned, and that won’t change.”

Savard missed the first 23 games of the season with post-concussion syndrome, the result of last March 17′s hit to the head from Penguins forward Matt Cooke. In 25 games this season, Savard has two goals and eight assists for 10 points. He has a minus-7 rating on the season.

Read More: Claude Julien, Marc Savard,
Claude Julien says Nathan Horton is ‘fine’ after leaving Bruins practice at 3:46 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Bruins forward Nathan Horton left Monday’s practice with what he called a “stinger” on his right knee. The 25-year old skated off with trainers, though there is no concern on his or the Bruins’ part for his playing status.

“He’s fine,” Claude Julien said following practice. “It was just a precaution. ‘€¦ By the time he was ready to come back, we were done [with practice].”

Horton is currently in a scoring slump that has seen him produce just one goal over the last 20 games. So far, he has 12 goals and 16 assists for 28 points in his first season in Boston.

Read More: Claude Julien, Nathan Horton,
There will be plenty of time for Tim Thomas to focus… after the All-Star break 01.27.11 at 4:49 pm ET
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There will be plenty of time for Tim Thomas to focus on what’s at stake in the final 32 games of the regular season and hopefully, long after that. He reminded reporters of that following Wednesday night’s win when asked about the second half of the season that starts following this weekend’s All-Star game.

“Man, we just started the break five minutes ago,” Thomas said. “I’m just going to focus on the break. Otherwise, we don’t get that mental break we’re talking about.”

Fair enough. Thomas has earned the right to reflect on what has been a first half filled with superlatives worthy of a Vezina and Hart trophy winner. Thomas has been that good.

Consider:

- He came within 11 minutes and 23 seconds of his NHL-leading eighth shutout on Wednesday night against the Panthers.

- He leads the NHL in goals against at 1.81.

- He leads the NHL in save percentage at .945.

- He is tied for second in wins with 24 behind Anaheim’s Jonas Hiller.

- His teammates believe they will win every time he takes the ice.

That last one is the most subjective but also the most important. Thomas has recovered from summer hip surgery to become the backbone of their Bruins team. So, after the 2-1 Wednesday Thomas admitted he’ll take some time to savor the winning feeling heading into the break before gearing up physically and mentally for the final 32.

“I was thinking win, feel the good feeling,” Thomas said. “Then you can really savor the feeling for a couple of days because usually we travel or get ready for another game. So yeah I thought about it.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, Hart Trophy, NHL
Claude Julien has reason to believe Milan Lucic will continue to ‘come up big’ 01.26.11 at 10:46 pm ET
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Milan Lucic scored his 20th goal Wednesday night in the Bruins’ 2-1 win over Florida, and his coach is hoping to see more of that from the power forward in the post-All Star break portion of their schedule.

“I think what we’ve seen in the first half is what he’s capable of doing for us as we move on,” Claude Julien said. “He’s also one of those players that I think has always come up big in the big games, such as playoffs and all that stuff. He’s one of those guys who always rises to the occasion and you hope that continues as well.”

Lucic made it clear from Day 1 of camp that he had every intention of scoring at least 20 goals this season. Now that he’s reached the goal before the break, bigger and better things should be ahead.

“It’€™s obviously something that I talked about coming in, and that was a goal for myself and [to] reach it as quickly as I did, it’€™s a good step for me,” Lucic said. “I couldn’€™t be happier right now, but definitely not satisfied.”

Last season, the expectations for the 21-year-old star on the rise were the same but the results were not. He scored nine goals in 50 games during an injury-riddled season, with a plus-minus rating of minus-7.

“Yeah, a lot more, definitely,” Lucic said when asked if he might be enjoying this season a little more. “It was real tough going through what I went through. Being out for so long, and especially even when I came back, that high ankle sprain was still bugging me so to work as hard as I did this summer and to get rewarded for it thus far throughout the season is great. And definitely like I said before, I can’€™t stop here. I’€™ve got to keep pushing for more.”

A year later, he’s 22 and he’s already surpassed his career-best goal total from 2009 when he potted 17 and had 25 assists, raising those expectations that were there last season. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, Milan Lucic, NHL
Mark Recchi hears Claude Julien loud and clear: ‘That’s what happens when you don’t have everyone going’ 01.21.11 at 1:16 pm ET
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Following another head-scratching performance Thursday ‘€” when the Bruins blew a pair of one-goal leads on home ice and lost, 4-2, to the Sabres ‘€” venerable B’s spokesman Mark Recchi again called out his teammates for not giving it their all.

“We didn’€™t have everybody going, and that’€™s what happens when you don’€™t have everybody going. And when we’ve got 20 people going, we’€™re just really tough to play against,” Recchi opined. “We don’€™t have everybody going [on] all cylinders and competing at the level we should you know it just makes it hard for us. And I think we know that and we’€™ve been a lot better at it lately and more consistent and we just have to keep learning from these ones that when we do have these, that there’€™s reasons why.”

There was a very good reason for Recchi’s post-game ego check following a week that saw them score a pair of seven-goal wins. They also had a pair of losses in which they managed two goals apiece. The Bruins need more consistency all around if they’re going to make April and May truly meaningful.

He believes they can and so does coach Claude Julien, who matched Recchi’s sentiment almost word for word
Thursday night.

“Well there’€™s no doubt,” Julien began. “I don’€™t think from start to finish, I don’€™t think there’€™s much to say here except that we were totally flat, from the first player to the last. So it’€™s not about pointing to one or pointing to the other, we came out flat tonight and never seemed to find our game. Even in the third period, you are coming in there tied and you got an opportunity, twenty minutes again, to seal your fate and it just wasn’€™t happening tonight

“We were flat. I’€™m not saying guys were bad, I’€™m saying we were flat tonight so that’€™s the thing that I, you know, we kind of talked about after the game, is that from the first player to the last, just didn’€™t have it.”

The Bruins did put 40 shots on U.S. Olympic goalie Ryan Miller but only two got through, none in the third period when the Sabres took over.

“He made some lucky ones, he made some great saves,” Recchi said. “We had a lot of traffic. You know he’€™s a good goalie. But he made the saves he had to make and a couple snuck behind him and he got some help but that’€™s what happens when you’€™re a goalie, you make those saves.”

Recchi said the 40 shots were nice but not good enough.

“It wasn’€™t our game, no it wasn’€™t what we’€™re capable of doing,” Recchi said. “And we’€™ll just have to regroup. We’€™ve got a tough trip ahead of us and we’€™re a pretty good road team so we have to again learn that consistency is going to be a big part of us being a very ‘€¦ a great team instead of just a real good team, and we’€™re getting there and we gotta keep pushing along here.”

That push continues Saturday in Colorado and Monday in Los Angeles against the Kings ‘€” perhaps with just a little more purpose behind it.

Read More: Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Claude Julien, Colorado Avalanche
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