By Joe Haggerty
Its sad to see Marc Savard saying goodbye to the rest of the hockey season, but not sad to see a player and team doing the right thing.The Bruins have called together a press conference for 2 p.m. with general manager Peter Chiarelli, team doctor Peter Asnis and Savard himself at TD Garden, where they'll announce that Savards season is over. Hes still fighting symptoms that include headaches, vertigo and irritability the same kind of symptoms he was battling in the aftermath of a vicious Matt Cooke elbow to his chops last spring and its been more than two weeks since Matt Hunwick slammed his face into the Pepsi Arena boards and glass.The time had come to make the call that could give No. 91 his best shot at a normal life and future, whether he returns to the NHL next season or not. At the end of the day thats what its all about, and now Savard will get the long stretch of time that Patrice Bergeron received to heal properly without any temptation or rush to return for a playoff run. Thats what really hurt the center last year when he jumped back into the series against the Philadelphia Flyers just months after his devastating concussion, and then kept silent when he felt PCS symptoms beginning to creep back into his game.No reason to keep silent on concussions anymore for Savard, and no reason to rush back to the Bruins when he has his own life to worry about. All anybody can say about Savard is good luck and God bless, and hopefully that fog clears once and for all after the traumatic brain injuries hes suffered over the last two years.On to the links: Could the Atlanta Thrashers evenbe motivated by Vince Lombardi as they plummet out of the playoff picture? The Atlanta Journal Constitution has its doubts. Dominik Hasek is still playing in the KHL at the age of 46, but he does admit that the Russian teams would have a hard time consistently hanging in the NHLs North American setting for a number of reasons. Guy Carbonneau is returning to the coaching gig behind the bench at the Quebec Major Junior level, which is a slight step down from being at the controls of the Montreal Canadiens. But I didnt need to tell you that. Phil Kessel isnt happy in Toronto and isnt happy with taskmaster coach Ron Wilson. Got to say that Im shocked and chagrined to see this development from such a well-adjusted, well-behaved hockey player. Im beginning to really think Phil the Thrill is one of those its everybodys fault but mine kind of players, and thats not good. Tariq El-Bashir starts a new On Hockey column for the Washington Post by wondering how worthy the Washington Capitals are at this point. Good to see that El-Bashir is going to keep his skates laced up in the world of hockey.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs
Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading, while everybody in New England is in mourning over the latest Gronk booboo.
*A pretty neat sharpshooting video with Jonathan Toews and that young whippersnapper Auston Matthews squaring off against each other.
*Craig Custance looks a little deeper into the situation with the Florida Panthers and how things are stabilizing after the rough firing of Gerard Gallant last week.
*Now. let’s get to the real important stuff: the San Jose Sharks website has put together their Movember rankings for the player’s mustaches.
*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Bruce Garrioch says that the plans for an outdoor game in Ottawa are again back on the NHL’s agenda.
*Erik Erlendsson has put together a “Lightning Insider” website where you can find all the latest news about the Tampa Bay franchise. Check it out.
*As guys such as Anton Khudobin prove when they’re thrust into the starting spot, backup goalies matter in today’s NHL.
*For something completely different: a mash-up of Kylo Ren and “Girls” from the mad mind of Adam Driver is exactly just that.
BRIGHTON, Mass. – Zdeno Chara said he is “feeling better” after going through a full practice with the Bruins, but the captain won’t be making the one game road trip to Buffalo for Saturday afternoon’s matinee game vs. the Sabres.
Chara was going through line rushes and battle drills with the rest of his teammates while practicing for the second day in a row, but made it clear that his lower body injury hasn’t been cleared for game action yet.
“It’s day-to-day. It feels better…yeah. But it’s still day-to-day,” said a rather laconic Chara when it came to questions about his injury. “It would feel much better [to play] than it feels [not playing].”
Claude Julien said his 39-year-old defenseman has moved into true “day-to-day” status as he nears a return after missing what will be his sixth game in a row on Saturday afternoon, but that he isn’t quite ready to go just yet.
“[Chara] and [Noel] Acciari won’t be on the trip,” said Julien. “I think [Chara] is getting pretty close. When you see him at practice things are going pretty well for him. I think that the term day-to-day is fitting for him right now. A lot of times when we say day-to-day we don’t know whether it’s going to be two days, three days or even a week. But in his case I would say that day-to-day is really day-to-day now with him.”
One thing the Bruins can be heartened by is that they’ve managed to survive without Chara: the B’s have gone 2-2-1 and allowed just nine goals in the five games since their No. 1 defenseman went down. They have been able to continue collecting points in sometimes ugly, workmanlike fashion.
That gives the Bruins the luxury of not rushing their D-man along before he’s ready and gives some of their other defensemen added confidence that they can effectively do the job with or without their 6-foot-9 stopper.