Morning Skate 322: Where does all this leave Savard?

Morning Skate 322: Where does all this leave Savard?

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comBOSTON It was a fleeting question during the second annual Peter Chiarelli conference call with Bruins season ticket holders, but it takes on greater significance given everything going on around Matt Cooke and the NHL.Chiarelli was asked about Marc Savards current condition two months after he suffered another concussion after a collision with Matt Hunwick at Pepsi Arena in Denver against the Avalanche. It was Cookes act of hockey violence against Savard with a cheap shot elbow to his chin a little over a year ago thats inexorably changed the Bs centers life for the worse and made him more susceptible to the concussion he suffered again this season.Chiarelli said that Savard has daily symptoms of concussion, but isnt suffering from the same depression that really bothered him last summer. The Bruins general manager called it a slow and delicate matter for Savard to continue fighting the concussion symptoms and get on the road to wellness, but its eye-opening that the crafty pivot still has symptoms two months later with little to no physical exertion during his down time.It continues to look as if Savards career is permanently altered due to Cookes reckless on-ice actions, and its only a shame that it took the NHL an additional year to finally slap Pittsburghs rat around with the NHL rule book.Somewhere Savard is nodding in agreement with the decision to ostensibly end Cookes season after his elbow to the head of Ryan McDonagh but also certainly wondering if fiery hot intensity why that justice never arrived for him when he was unconscious on the ice at the Igloo last spring.On to the links:An SI.com photo gallery of NHL players that have had their careers shortened by multiple concussions over the last few decades. This should be required viewing for "Cookie."Good work by Rob Rossi to get some comments from Matt Cooke on Monday night where the Pittsburgh punk finally says I need to change. No crap there, Sherlock!Elliotte Friedmans 30 thoughts on the NHL are always a must-read and theres no reason why this week would be any different. Several thoughts about Matt Cooke and his suspension within the piece.Puck Daddy radio makes its debut on the morning skate, and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Greg Wyshynski actually creates a new nickname for Milan Lucic when he calls him Cheech. He also gets Looch to admit his favorite American beer is Budweiser.My CSNNE compatriot Mike Felger tells us the Bruins arent as bad as their current losing streak and werent as good as their road winning streak last month. Good call there, Captain Obvious.The Predators fans are throwing catfish on the ice. This is much better than waffles.A good breakdown of the Matt Cooke decision and how difficult its going to be to take the Pittsburgh hatchet man back if he doesnt change his ways.FOH (Friend of Haggs) Matt Kalman of bruinsblog.net comes up with the nit-picking blog entry of the year by saying the Bruins current losing stretch is much worse than other elite teams because they picked up two less points through a seven-game stretch this season. Thats not contrived at all. No!Good debut Versus.com column for FOH (Friend of Haggs) Steve Lepore, who writes about whether the NBC national stage played into the heavy suspension for Matt Cooke. Good to have you in the ComcastVersusNBC family, Steve.Don Cherry talks to WEEI about the recent Bs slide and also calls Matt Cooke a rat while recounting the run-in he had with the Pittsburgh cheap shot artist a couple of years ago in the hallways of an NHL rink.ESPNs Pierre Lebrun and Scott Burnside discuss the amazing story of the Penguins, and their ability to keep winning despite the absence of Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Its a nice story, but theres no way they sustain that during the playoffs with a lunch-bucket crew.XM Home Ice chats with Anaheim enforcer George Parros about his mustache and the Cooke suspension. Parros says that Cooke needs to smarten up a bit about the way hes playing, and potentially hurting fellow players.

Acciari notches first NHL goal in Bruins win over Predators

Acciari notches first NHL goal in Bruins win over Predators

BOSTON – It took until his 43rd game in the NHL to finally score his first goal with the Bruins, but Rhode Island native Noel Acciari said it made him appreciate it all the more when that moment finally did arrived on Tuesday night. The 25-year-old Acciari finished off a Riley Nash feed on a 3-on-1 odd-man rush that gave the Bruins an insurance goal they badly needed in a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators at TD Garden.

Then David Pastrnak hit Acciari with a shaving cream pie to the face during the NESN broadcast as a way to commemorate his teammate’s big scoring moment, and Torey Krug immediately fished the puck out of the net to make certain that Acciari would get it.

So it was the best of both worlds with the team-oriented Acciari, who watched his Bruins win to go right along with his hallmark scoring moment that he’ll remember forever.

“Your first NHL goal is a special feeling and to finally have it, you know, like I said before I couldn’t have done it without the other guys, the other four, five guys on the ice. But it feels good,” said Acciari, who has a goal and four points in 24 games this season in Boston. “It just shows you how special it is. It’s not going to come the first game you play; it could come 10, 20, for me probably over 40, but it still feels the same.”

Clearly it’s more about providing a physical, heavy and aggressive opponent when Acciari suits up for the Black and Gold, and it’s less about providing offensive production that’s really a bonus from the fourth line. The focus on throwing hits, aggravating opponents and playing with extra energy have been a big part of Acciari’s game since his return from Providence, and that is absolutely been by design.

“I think I kind of strayed [from my strengths] when I got back from my injury – I kind of strayed away from the hitting game,” said Acciari. “Just getting in on the fore-check and, you know, just kind of getting back to that down in Providence was huge and kind of get my confidence up down there helped out a lot. So when I got the call up I was ready for anything.”

He’s certainly played like he was ready for anything while posting a goal and two points along with a plus-4 in his first four games back for the Bruins organization. Acciari did all of that while leading everybody in Tuesday night’s game with eight registered hits in the win over Nashville. So the 5-foot-10, 208-pound Acciari gave a pretty good example against the Predators of just what he can do with steady ice time and the trust of his teammates as all of the hockey clubs in the East gear up to finish strong for the playoffs.

Now all Acciari has to do is continue to play consistently, punish opposing players and chip in a little offense from time and time as he carves out a permanent role on Boston’s fourth line, and helps his team win a few along the way.