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Savard skates at Ristuccia 04.20.10 at 10:58 am ET
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WILMINGTON — Bruins center Marc Savard skated at the Bruins’ Ristuccia Arena practice facility on Tuesday morning for the second time in two days since sustaining a Grade 2 concussion on March 7. He was put through exercises by strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides that included sprints up and down the ice and stopping and starting between the blue lines. For Savard, so far, so good.

“Just getting my wind back still but head wise everything is clear. Today I have that neuro-psych test and that is the last step, I guess,” Savard said.

The neuro-psych evaluation is one that athletes or anybody coming back from trauma to the head has to take to judge the status of a patient’s treatment.

From the Center for Cognitive Medicine:

“A neuropsychological evaluation provides comprehensive assessment of patients in whom impairments of cognitive or neuropsychiatric functioning are evident or suspected. Assessment involves a systematic evaluation of higher cognitive abilities in order to identify possible problems with brain functioning, help lead to a diagnosis, define strengths and weaknesses, and make treatment recommendations.”

Savard said he skated for 40 minutes and that Tuesday was better than Monday.

“I did some starts and stops today, which I didn’t do yesterday, and felt pretty good,” Savard said.

So the question everybody is dying to know the answer to but realistically has no definite is — will Savard come back during the Buffalo series?

“That is always the hope that you keep, but I said it before that you’ve got to be realistic here, and when I am 100 percent condition wise and mentally positive that I can do this, you know, I will be ready to go. But until then, I am not going to play the game that I play,” Savard said.

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Savard looking better, hopeful for playoff return 04.19.10 at 12:49 pm ET
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Bruins’ center Marc Savard skated at TD Garden Monday morning for the first time since sustaining a Grade 2 concussion after a hit from Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke on March 7. Savard said that he cannot tell for sure when he will be able to return from the injury but he was much more animated than the previous times he has met with the media since the hit. He said that he has regained the weight he lost after the injury and has been able to do a little golf putting for exercise in the last week or so.

Here is the transcript from Savard’s morning press conference courtesy of the Boston Bruins media relations department:

On how long he skated this morning and what types of workouts he has been doing:

Well, today I was there for thirty minutes I think ‘€” first time I skated and I feel great. I felt great. Biggest thing was the last seven days, I had great days, you know. To be honest with you, you know, I talked to the doctor and I said, ‘€˜Can I get out and putt or something?’€™ and she said, ‘€˜yeah, go ahead.’€™ So I started on ‘€” I guess it was on Saturday ‘€” not this Saturday but the one before and I went out and putted for a half hour and went home, felt great, and then continued on Sunday, got out again and did a little more putting and hopefully I won’€™t have to use that putter for a while. So I just felt great all week and then I guess yesterday, I did that exertion test and everything felt great again last night, so today was my first day on the ice and I just feel normal again, so it’€™s nice.

On when he thinks he can practice with the team again:

Well, you know, tomorrow’€™s another big day, I guess. I got my neuro-psyche test that we have to go through and assuming I pass that, I’€™ll be cleared and it’€™s just a matter of getting back in shape. I haven’€™t done anything for, you know, six weeks at all, so I felt a little short-winded out there because of that, and it’€™s going to take some time and hopefully sooner rather than later, because I’€™m excited that I’€™m feeling good and it’€™s playoff time.

On if he envisions himself coming back in this series:

If you ask me, yeah, I’€™d love to play tonight, but you know, I got to be realistic here and take the proper steps and I’€™m hopeful, I’€™m hopeful. And I can’€™t see these next two games, that’€™s for sure, but down the road maybe, it’€™s going to come down to a coaches’€™ decision and a training decision and myself, so I think I’€™m still a little bit of ways away obviously, like I said, I haven’€™t done anything in six weeks, besides work the remote on the couch, so it’€™s going to take some time.

On if he regained the weight he lost:

Yeah, that came back quick. I wasn’€™t eating much for the first 3½, four weeks and then once I got the taste buds back, definitely ate some food, but the biggest thing is I’€™m just happy to feel like myself again and be around the guys, especially at this exciting time, especially watching the games on TV. You know, I couldn’€™t sit down the last couple of days, watching the games, running around the house and you know, there were some tense times, that’€™s for sure, and I’€™m excited.

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Savard drops by the Garden 04.08.10 at 12:06 pm ET
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Bruins’ center Marc Savard dropped by TD Garden for the team’s morning skate on Thursday and spoke to the media to give an update on his condition after sustaining a Grade 2 concussion after a hit from Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke on March 7. Savard still looks a little pale and speaks like a person not used to being out of bed but said there has been progress.

“I am starting to feel better. I have been getting out a little bit and doing somethings, you know, getting out of the house. Starting to feel better, that’s for sure and hopefully it continues,” Savard said. “I  am still not quite feeling 100 percent.”

Severe concussions are a tricky injury to come back from because there can be good days and bad days. Kind of a two steps forward, one step back type of ordeal. Savard reiterated multiple times that he is “starting to feel better” and that he has been able to get out of the house and do some walking around.

“I have made some steps this week, especially with the good weather I have been able to get outside, get some color and definitely this last week I have felt better,” Savard said.

Part of the recovery process is dealing with an irregular sleep cycle and Savard expressed that was one of the biggest problems that he has been having.

“Obviously I am on a little bit of medication to help me through that because my sleep has been a little bit all over the place. I have had some trouble sleeping through the night but the doctors gave me a prescription to get through that. Having some bad dreams and stuff like that but nothing I can’t get over,” Savard said.

Until Savard is symptom free, he said he is not even going to start to think about hockey related activities. Right now it is enough just to be able to watch the games and root for his teammates.

“There is still minor headaches and some other stuff that I am still cautious about and until that goes away I am not going to look at coming back. For now I am cheering the boys on and able to watch now,” Savard said.

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Savard: ‘Just trying to feel normal again’ 03.27.10 at 2:09 pm ET
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Marc Savard is taking walks, getting some fresh air and trying to regain his full wits.

On Saturday, he spoke publicly about the hit from Matt Cooke on March 7 in Pittsburgh and how it’s affected him.

Thanks to the Bruins media relations department, here is the full transcript:

On how he is feeling and if he remembers the hit:
I am not feeling myself quite yet, still. I still don’€™t have any recollection of the hit. Obviously, I have seen it but that’€™s the only recollection I have, when I see it. I just don’€™t remember any of it.

On if he has any close calls with similar types of hits before this particular one:
No, none of that nature, I guess. I have obviously seen them but, I haven’€™t come close to getting hit like that ever.

On his reaction to the hit:
Well, I have obviously viewed it a couple of times and I think it was a play that didn’€™t need to happen, obviously. To me it wasn’€™t a shoulder and I watched the [Mike] Richards on [David] Booth hit. I think that was a shoulder. I think mine was more of an elbow, so I think there was an attempt to injure there. I was, obviously, very unhappy with what happened and I think it could have been avoided very easily. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Bruins, Marc Savard, Matt Cooke, NHL
Savard: ‘I have no interest in talking’ to Cooke at 1:04 pm ET
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Speaking publicly for the first time since taking a hit to the head from Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke on March 7, Bruins center Marc Savard said he believed “there was intent to injure,” adding he was “very unhappy with what happened and it could have been avoided.”

Savard said he has had trouble sleeping since the hit and has had a mixture of good days and bad.

“I’m not feeling myself quite yet still,” Savard said. “I still don’t have any recollection of the hit. Obviously, I’ve seen it. That’s the only recollection of it is when I see it. I don’t remember any of it.”

Savard acknowledged that Cooke tried reaching out to him on March 18 when the Penguins returned but he declined through the team.

“I guess he’s tried to get my phone number,” Savard said. “From what happened, I really don’t, at the moment, have any interest in talking to him. I’m not feeling any better so I’d rather not talk to him.”

Read More: Boston Bruins, Marc Savard, Matt Cooke, NHL
Julien, Bergeron react to new blindside rule 03.25.10 at 3:11 pm ET
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The NHL finalized a new blindside hit rule on Thursday that will ban blindside hits to the head, effective immediately. The rule is intended to prohibit “a lateral, back-pressure or blind-side hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principal point of contact.”

“I don’t think there are too many people who are going to argue against it,” coach Claude Julien said. “I think the players want a little bit of security when it comes to that and what I personally like about the rule is that there is responsibility for both sides. You can’t expect the player carrying the puck to be able to see what is behind him in a way where there is what is called blindside hits but at the same time also puts the responsibility for the puck carrier. If you are going to put your head down and you get hit head on it becomes your responsibility. They are not taking hits out of the game and they are putting the responsibility, and the right responsibility, on both players.”

Julien said that coaches were shown a video of the type of hits the league is talking about but, to be sure, the rule was sped through the system after the brouhaha of Matt Cooke’s hit to Marc Savard on March 7. The Flyers’ Mike Richards hit to Florida’s David Booth earlier this season was also impetus to implement the rule. Booth missed 45 games after the hit.

The rule initially calls for a suspension for blindside hits with no in-game penalty this season though it is likely that an in-game penalty will be instituted by the start of the 2010-11 season.

“Personally, I think it is pretty black and white,” Julien said. “A blindside hit or a head on hit. We are talking about hits to the head. You can hit from the side, as long as you are not hitting the head … To me it is pretty clear the way it has been explained and if they want to put it into play anytime I am for it because it doesn’t take practice, it takes common sense.”

Patrice Bergeron, no stranger to concussions after questionable hits, completely agreed with Julien that the rule is more common sense than any type of game changer.

“For me it is a rule that is kind of common sense,” Bergeron said. “It is a rule that should have been in place and now that it is I hope everyone’s going to think about it … I don’t think it is going to change the game, I think it is still going to be a physical game. There will still be some good hits but those hits, direct to the head are careless and there is no need for it and I am just happy that there is a rule in place now.”

Ultimately, Bergeron said, it is up to the players to do the right thing on the ice.

“I think in between the players we need to be responsible, we need to think about the actions before we do it,” Bergeron said. “Kids are watching, it’s something important but first and foremost it is the players.”

Read More: Claude Julien, Marc Savard, Matt Cooke, Patrice Bergeron
Orr on focusing on Cooke: ‘That’s silly’ 03.18.10 at 5:04 pm ET
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Before and after Thursday’s game against the Penguins the Bruins will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1970 Stanley Cup champions team. Many of the major alumni from the era are in attendance at TD Garden and were made available to the media in an afternoon session in the executive suite on the second level of the stadium. Bobby Orr, Johnny Bucyk, Dallas Smith and Fred Stanfield, among others were in attendance to rehash the memories of that great Bruins team.

Yet, the members of the last great Bruins dynasty could not completely escape the drama that the current incarnation in embroiled in. For the most part they were diplomatic and are trying not to stoke the fire and the media did its best to keep the topic on 1970 as opposed to 2010.

“Just getting together and seeing the guys again is really what it is all about,” Orr said. “I have to thank the Bruins for doing this. They have really been first class.”

Orr was bullish on the notion that the 1970 team would still be a great squad even in the current era of the NHL.

“We had a pretty good hockey team,” Orr said. “If you look at our lines they would be a pretty good team today too. We were pretty close. I don’t believe we had any ego problems or anything like that and we knew it was more fun to win than to lose and we loved to win hockey games … we didn’t need anyone else taking care of our problems, we could care of those ourselves.”

The group of reporters around Orr held out questions about Matt Cooke and the Penguins for about six minutes before finally succumbing to the temptation to ask one of the greatest hockey player of all time what he thinks about the situation. He reiterated what the current players said earlier Thursday — it is about the two points and to make it a point to go after Cooke would be “silly.”

“The Bruins have to go out tonight and play. It is two points, they are in a fight. And the Penguins are struggling a little bit. First of all I think that it is going to be a heck of a hockey game. It would be silly for the Bruins that their key thing to be to go after a player,” Orr said. “That’s silly. It would be a silly thing to do, it would be a silly thing for all of us. I was listening to a talk show coming in and the fan was ‘you got to do this, you got to do that, you got to take [Sidney] Crosby out.’ Come on. That is silly.”

Orr did express his opinion on the nature of the hit and what he thinks of Marc Savard.

“In my mind, it was an illegal hit. In my mind, a player like Marc Savard, who is a great hockey player, you bump him, you grind him, you get in his way. But, he is a player that you don’t run over like that. There were periods where that was understood that,” Orr said. “It would be like like me, during my time, running over Jean Beliveau from behind or blindsiding him. You just don’t do that. I was a pain in the you know what, so I was hit a lot. I would hit so I am going to get hit back but Marc, you just don’t do that to him.”

Orr was asked if the rules changes between his era and the current era has led to more hits like the Cooke’s on Savard but understands that the players cannot be given free reign over vigilante justice.

“The rules are pretty strict on things like that. I believe that if they let the players police it for a little while everyone will soon understand but I am not sure they will let them do that,” Orr said.

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