Savard happy; not "a bright future" for playing again


Savard happy; not "a bright future" for playing again

Marc Savard insists hes happy, hes watching his kids grow up as hockey players in Peterborough and day-to-day life is manageable.

All of that is encouraging news, but No. 91 also frankly admitted its tough to see a bright future when it comes to his NHL playing career in his current state. Savard admitted he still wades his way through post-concussion syndrome symptoms like memory loss and headaches, and routinely forgets his phone at home or leaves his car keys in the ignition after exiting the vehicle.

Despite all of that hes overcome the feelings of depression and sounds very much like a man moving on with his life with or without hockey.

Im doing good. Im feeling better. I have my days still, but Im doing a lot better. Im happy, said Savard. Im with my family and my kids, and going to watch them play hockey. Im getting a while different side of life.

I do feel really good just being in the building today. Im excited to be back. I miss being out there, thats for sure. But just being around the crowd and the atmosphere is going to be nice.

Savard didnt smile much or show his normally chirpy personality during his lengthy 10 plus minute meeting with reporters prior to Saturday afternoons BruinsRangers matinee at TD Garden. But the mere sight of the Bs fallen center at his second hockey home in Boston is cause for good news.

Savard will today host a group of pediatric Childrens Hospital patients battling through head trauma and their families in a suite hes sponsoring all of this season and the entire 2012-13 season.

The charitable endeavor convinced Savard to make his first trip to Boston this year, and hell be a more frequent visitor in the coming years regardless of whether he ever dons the Bruins sweater again.

I know what Ive gone through and what Ive been going through lately. At this present time Id like to do something for Boston because theyve been so great to me, said Savard, who hoped to drop into the Garden for games a few times per season when he was feeling up to it. I just felt that I know what these kids are going through in some of these departments. I just saw that this was something minor I could do to put a smile on their faces.

The center hasnt returned in almost exactly a calendar year when he took perhaps his final hit in the NHL from Matt Hunwick that caused him to bang his head into the dasher. Savard left the ice immediately after the hit, and has suffered through headaches and memory loss associated with the injuries ever since. It hasnt been an easy road, and its got to be difficult living as a cautionary tale as Savard is with the danger of concussions.

The way Im feeling and the daily issues Im having, its tough to see a bright future right now to be honest with you, admitted Savard. Its tough. I still have my tough days that I want to get back and play.

But at the end of the day I know that I could possibly get hit in the head again and what could happen. Im still hoping that something happens and I feel a lot better, but if I feel like this I still couldnt play.

The severity of Savards symptoms make it difficult to envision a return to the Bruins as an active player, and even Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien have spoken in terms of his career likely being over. While the Hunwick hit was the final straw, it was a blind side elbow from Matt Cooke two years ago that affected Savards career path permanently. Cookes cheap shot has forced No. 91 into a reluctant role as one of the most ardent spokesmen for severe head shot penalties in hockey.

Savard hopes for much steeper penalties that would even make things that much easier for both the players and NHL disciplinarians. Certain on-ice crimes come with certain levels of suspensions, and there would be little gray area in Savards world of supplementary discipline.

I think the league has done a great job. At the end of the day Brendan Shanahan has done a wonderful job. I think about this head shot rule, Rule 48 or whatever its called, and maybe it just needs to be 10 games or more, said Savard. If you do it you just know that youre getting 10 games. Its in black and white. I almost think a lot of the rules should go that way.

It sounds like Savard has been doing quite a bit of thinking about ways to improve player safety in the world of the NHL, and perhaps keep other players from going through the same personal struggle he has gone through. The center has come out on the other side through the support of those that care about him.

Savard wants to be one of the last of the cautionary tales around the league when it comes to career-ending concussions.

Brandon Pirri scores twice, Rangers rally to beat Bruins 5-2


Brandon Pirri scores twice, Rangers rally to beat Bruins 5-2

NEW YORK - Brandon Pirri scored twice to help the New York Rangers beat the Boston Bruins 5-2 on Wednesday night.

Rick Nash, Kevin Hayes and Jimmy Vesey also scored for New York, and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 27 shots. The Rangers won their third straight game, overcoming a 2-0 deficit to improve to 5-2-0.

David Pastrnak and Austin Czarina scored for Boston. The Bruins have lost three straight to drop to 3-4-0.

Zane McIntyre made 26 saves in his first NHL start. He was called up prior to Boston's 5-0 home loss to Minnesota on Tuesday night to back up Malcolm Subban due to injuries to Tuukka Risk and Anton Khudobin.

Down 2-0 after the first, the Rangers scored three times in the final 10:44 of the second.

Nash began the comeback with a power-play goal at 9:16. He curled to the net before corralling a rebound of Derek Stepan's point shot and flipping it over goalie Zane McIntyre for his third of the season.

Hayes tied it with 3:25 left in the second, banking a shot from behind the net off of McIntyre's pants.

Pirri's power-play goal with 36 seconds left made it 3-2. The free-agent signee ripped a shot from the right circle that was in the net before McIntrye could get his glove up. New York finished the game 2 for 6 on the man advantage, while the Bruins were 0 for 1.

It was not all positive for the Rangers in the second, with Dan Girardi missing two shifts following a hit from Pastrnak, who was assessed a minor penalty for an illegal check to the head. Girardi leaped in the air to play a loose puck in the neutral zone and, as he came down, Pastrnak drove his shoulder into the upper body of the New York defenseman.

Pirri made it 4-2 2:23 into the third with his fourth of the season. Vesey scored on a tap-in 43 seconds late.

The Bruins opened the scoring Pastrnak's fifth of the season 10 seconds into the game. The lead grew to 2-0 14:34 later when Czarnik scored his first goal in the NHL. Czarnik fired a shot from inside the blue line that New York defenseman Brady Skjei blocked, but Henrik Lundqvist appeared to lose track of the puck and it bounced across the goal line.

Lundqvist had 27 saves.

Roethlisberger to Brady: I've never done this before but...can I have your jersey?

Roethlisberger to Brady: I've never done this before but...can I have your jersey?

Tom Brady has fans everywhere, apparently. Even in Pittsburgh. Even on the Steelers roster. 

Showtime's Inside the NFL caught video of Brady meeting with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger before Sunday's game between New England and Pittsburgh. 

The pair hugged near the 50-yard line at Heinz Field. Brady called Roethlisberger "big guy." Roethlisberger, who was out with a knee injury, told Brady he wanted to play "so bad."


Then Roethlisberger became a fan. And like many of them, he had a request. 

"Um, hey, listen," he said. "I've never done this before, but I would love to get a jersey at some point. It'd mean...There's not many I want to put in my office. You're the best, dude."

Brady was happy to oblige. Just not right at that moment. 

"Sure, I'd love to," Brady said. "I'll get you after the game."