Notes: Savard suffered from headaches Sunday


Notes: Savard suffered from headaches Sunday

By JoeHaggerty

EL SEGUNDO, CA Marc Savard landed in Boston on Sunday afternoon after the long flight back from Denver, and it appears the Bruins center will be getting treated for both a cut and a head injury that had the center suffering from headaches one day later.

Savard flew home with assistant equipment manager Matt Falconer, and was going to get some rest before getting run through a series of all-too familiar medical tests in the days ahead.

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told via a text message that Savard will be evaluated by doctors on Monday, and it appears that the 32-year-old center is exhibiting some of the symptoms associated with a concussion.

Nothing has happened since he got to Boston, so I havent heard of anything as well, said coach Claude Julien. His head was hurting because he was cut over the head. The medical staff was being cautious with whats happened to him by sending him home, but he was still having those headaches this morning.

They havent deemed anything yet, and thats what will happen in Boston. Theyll check him out and decide whether its serious. It didnt seem serious since he remembered the hit and everything that happened afterward. It was more the cut than anything else and it was precautionary move by everyone involved.

Savard missed the first 23 games of the season over the first two months while recovering from the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome and seemed to just be finding his game in the last couple of weeks.

But it appears Savard might be on the shelf again with whats hoped is a minor concussion that wont keep him out of the lineup for a long period of time. All bets are off, however, when it comes to a case of a player like Savard thats battled with some pretty serious neurological issues over the last calendar year.

The violent way Savards head slammed into the glass following contact with Matt Hunwick on Saturday afternoon, and his emotional reaction following the collision, spoke volumes about what the center is feeling but things could change for the better a few days removed from the hit if Savard truly was fully and completely healed from the concussion and PCS symptoms that dogged him during the spring and summer.

David Krejci was moved up to a center position on the top line with Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton at Sunday afternoons practice at the Toyota Sports Center facility used by the Los Angeles Kings a reunion of the line that tore up the NHL over the first month-plus of the season.

Hopefully we can pick it up and have a good stretch, said Krejci. We played really well, but we had a couple of games that we didnt produce. So we had to have a chance. Im excited about it.

Krejci went through a dry spell of seven games wrapped around the end of December and beginning of January where he managed only a single assist, but it appears the Czech Republic center is back on the upswing again. In his last seven games Krejci has seven assists and earned the helpers on both of Milan Lucics goals against the Colorado Avalanche a good sign for Krejci and Lucic as theyre again setting in as Bostons big playmaking unit.

The last few games I felt pretty good and my legs have felt good, said Krejci. Weve created a lot of scoring chances, and the last game Looch really broke out which helps. Its funny how this game works sometimes.

You feel like you played pretty well and one game, second game, third game you have no points. A month later you look at it and you see five games with no points, and you say, Wow, you must have been awful. Im not saying I played well when I had no points, but Im sure in these games I felt good. It happens sometimes. The season is long and it happens. Youre playing against the best players in the world. You just need to forget about it and get ready for the next game. Im just glad that Looch is playing well and hes back on my line. So far, so good and we want to keep it going.

Tyler Seguin practiced at center with Blake Wheeler and Michael Ryder on either side of him in practice, and Julien said the soon to be 19-year-old is continuing to really absorb all the nuances of the NHL game.

Seguin has two goals and three assists in 12 games during the month of January, but has gone six straight games without gracing the scoresheet despite his ability to score at will on both goaltenders when the Bruins practice the shootout at the end of their Sunday work day at the Toyota Sports Center.

I think when you look at our lineup weve got some really good experience up the middle and its an important part. When you talk about Gregory Campbell, Krejci, Patrice Bergeron and Savard theres some real experience there and some good things, said Julien. Putting Seguin on the wing has taken some of the responsibility away from him so he can develop more comfortably, but when injuries happen its pretty easy to throw him back in there at center.

I dont think any of this moving back and forth is hurting him at all. I think its helping him because its allowing him to understand the game at this level much better from both of these positions.

Daniel Paille will be back into the lineup for the Bruins on Monday night against the Los Angeles Kings to replace Marc Savard, and should be skating with Shawn Thornton and Campbell to start the game at the Staples Center.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Tuesday, March 28: 1,000 games for Sabres' Gionta

Tuesday, March 28: 1,000 games for Sabres' Gionta

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while forgetting that Nancy Kerrigan is on Dancing with the Stars.  

*Here’s the rundown on Brian Gionta celebrating his 1000th NHL game played with the Sabres on Monday night.

*Congrats to good guy Chad Johnson, who was appropriately given the “Good Guy Award” by the Calgary Flames media this week.

*Brock Boeser showed his abilities in a fantastic NHL debut after leaving the college ranks for the Canucks.

*I hope the fancy stats crowd is listening to this: The NHL playoff forecast is raining on the Corsi and fancy stats parade.

*Hope that Eddie Lack is okay after he had to be taken off the ice in a stretcher following a collision at the end of Carolina’s game.

*ESPN’s hockey crew breaks down some expansion mock drafts and have either Adam McQuaid, Jimmy Hayes or Malcolm Subban headed to the Vegas Golden Knights.

*The Benn brothers are gearing up for their first match-up against each other with the Canadiens and Stars set to meet.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jen Neale nails a Philly columnist for a hot take on USA Hockey and says the column illustrates just how much a change is needed there.

*The Winnipeg Jets have officially been eliminated from the playoffs, so now the Colorado Avalanche don’t have to feel so bad about themselves.

*For something completely different: One thing I’ve never wondered is what Tony Robbins thinks about politics.


'Healthy' Rask ready to go with a lot to prove

'Healthy' Rask ready to go with a lot to prove

BRIGHTON, Mass. – Tuukka Rask went through morning skate Tuesday at Warrior Ice Arena and proclaimed himself “healthy” to start against the Nashville Predators at TD Garden after sitting out Saturday with a lower body injury.

So, Rask will play his 60th game of the season tonight and the Bruins will hope that a dominating performance will douse some of the brush fire that’s cropped up around the Black and Gold’s goaltending situation. 

After Boston’s No. 1 goaltender coughed up five goals in a rough loss to Tampa and then sat out the must-win against the Islanders on Saturday night, questions about Rask’s big-game reliability are absolutely there after he also sat out last season’s pivotal finale against the Ottawa Senators.

Still, Rask said he hasn’t paid attention to the media scrutiny and is instead looking forward to locking up against fellow Finn Pekka Rinne of the Preds.

“I haven’t listened to the [media scrutiny], but I’m sure they’ve been very nice to me,” said Rask. “I don’t listen. I don’t read it. Doesn’t affect me. You know where you stand, and how good you play and when you don’t play good. That’s all you need. You don’t need to listen to the outside voices because it’s just going to distract you. People have opinions and they can say whatever they want.

“This is what we play for, right? It’s fun. It’s going to come down to the wire again and it’s going to be another battle tonight. I don’t even know how many games I’ve played. I feel good. I think I’ve said all throughout the year there’s going to be ups and downs, and you just try to stay even-keeled. It’s something that you learn not getting too high or too low, and just win as many games as you can.”

The bottom line with Rask is that there are major question marks about his standing as a No. 1 goaltender that he needs to address in these final seven games, media scrutiny or no media scrutiny. A No. 1 goalie worth $7 million per season can hold up with a 60-plus game workload and not fade down the stretch while in need of mental and physical breaks. 

The slender Rask has shown signs of slippage in his performance when the workload is heavy, and coach Bruce Cassidy admitted as much on Tuesday while not guaranteeing that his No. 1 will be able to play in six of the final seven games down the stretch.

“We’re trying to write our own story this year. I know how the last few years have ended, and we’d like a different ending,” said Cassidy. “I think this group should be afforded that right to write their own stories, and we’ll see how it plays out. Obviously last week did not play out well for us and we heard about it, and that’s part of the business.

“Saturday, hopefully we turned a corner, but we won’t know that until we get going forward here. I’m asking [Tuukka] to play well tonight, and I’m asking the players in front of him to play well tonight. The workload for Tuukka has to be monitored, and whether the whole world agrees with it or not, that’s the situation. I think the data backs up that he’s better with ‘X’ amount of rest and that’s just the way it is. It’s an inexact science and we’re trying to do a better job with that. The second half we’ve really tried to monitor it and last week was a bit of an exception. At crunch time things change a little bit, and that’s what we’re trying to balance.”

In an ideal world, a hockey team scratching and clawing for the Stanley Cup playoffs wouldn’t have to so closely monitor whether a goaltender is about to break down because he’s pushing 60 games in a season, especially when he’d enjoyed a five-day bye just a month earlier.

There are also questions about Rask’s reliability after sitting out last weekend, whether it was by his choice, the team’s choice or a mutually agreed upon decision after his lower body discomfort cropped up. A No. 1 goalie is no longer worthy of that lofty mantle when a team can’t rely on big-game performances from him, or even if he'll be available, once the pressure is on in the final weeks of the season.

So, there are plenty of questions to answer for Rask down the stretch here and they may go a long way toward determining his long-range future with an organization that invested heavily in him a few years ago. Those answers begin on Tuesday night against the Predators and it certainly feels like it will be game-to-game with him for final seven contests of the regular season.