Weather prevents Savard from getting back to Boston

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Weather prevents Savard from getting back to Boston

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Wednesday's bad weather prevented Marc Savard from making it back to Boston, and coach Claude Julien said he hopes the veteran center will be back by Thursday.

There reports earlier in the week that Savard, who suffered his second concussion in 10 months in January and is again suffering from post-concussion syndrome, may be shut down for the season. Julien said he hasnt been involved in those discussions, but added no decision will be made until Savard is re-examined by the medical staff.

That will happen when he returns to Boston.

If you werent quite sure whether or not defenseman Mark Stuarts absence over the last four games was health-related, Julien clarified, on Wednesday afternoon at the TD Garden, that its not. Hes been a healthy scratch.

Right now, Stuart has lost his starting job due to injury. It doesnt have to do with his poor play. It has a whole lot more to do with the way others stepped up during his six-week absence, thanks to a broken hand he suffered in early December.

The play of Steven Kampfer has given him an everyday role in the Bruins lineup, and Andrew Ference (19) and Adam McQuaid (16) have the best plus-minus ratings on the team.

Also, take into account that the Bruins have been playing some pretty good hockey as of late, and Julien has a tough decision to make every game day. But certainly, thats a good problem to have, because it means you have depth.

For the longest time, Stuart was a key piece to that depth, as he was the teams iron man up until last season.

Now, another injury opened the door for a puck-moving defenseman like Kampfer, and even after having played in the first three games that he was cleared to play in, in mid-January, Stuart has been the healthy scratch for the last four games, a stretch in which the Bs have gone 3-1.

Julien talked about Stuarts current situation on Wednesday.

You dont want to be a healthy scratch, said Julien. At the same time, I think he understands what the situation is. Weve played well with our back end, the way it has been, during his absence. And sometimes its a matter of . . . players get hurt, and its unfortunate, but sometimes they kind of have to wait for their opportunities to step in there, and then make a difference when theyre called upon.

Thats why hes got to stay ready. That doesnt mean youre not going to see him in the lineup. That doesnt mean Im not going to move guys around. Im just saying that, what hes going through right now, is not easy. But as I mentioned yesterday, Stueys one of those guys thats a team-first guy. And if theres one thing you dont want to do, its disrupt the club, for his own sake.

Theres no doubt, hes not enjoying this, and I wouldnt expect him to enjoy it. Its just the way it is.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on his streaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from 9-10 a.m. on CSNNE.com.

Friday, July 29: Good signs in Bruins-Marchand negotiations

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Friday, July 29: Good signs in Bruins-Marchand negotiations

Here are the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while using “malarkey” in my day-to-day vocabulary as much as possible. 
 
-- Dale Tallon was promoted with the Florida Panthers to accentuate his strengths as a talent evaluator, but maintains that he still has final say on hockey decisions
 
-- PHT writer Cam Tucker has another young D-man off the board with the Wild’s Matthew Dumba signing a two year, $5.1 million deal with Minnesota
 
-- In the interest of self-promotion, here’s my take on the negotiations between Brad Marchand and the Bruins: There’s a couple of good signs at the outset of negotiations
 
-- The Arizona Coyotes are stressing the defensive side of things in a big, big way, and it appears to be part of John Chayka’s master plan

 -- Alex Pietrangelo would be a natural selection to replace David Backes as the next captain of the St. Louis Blues. 

-- A moving letter from Sens forward Bobby Ryan to his recently passed mother is up at the Players Tribune website. 

-- Chris Kreider has re-signed with the New York Rangers, and plans to get out of his head and onto the score sheet more often. 
 
-- For something completely different: Jerod Mayo will bring a new voice to Tom E. Curran’s Quick Slants program on our very own CSN network. 

 

List of Bruins prospects includes two familiar names

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List of Bruins prospects includes two familiar names

With decidedly Boston-sounding names and thoroughly familiar faces, given their resemblances to their ex-Bruin dads, it might have been easy to overlook Ryan Donato and Ryan Fitzgerald and focus on the truly little-known prospects at Development Camp earlier this month.

But on the ice, their brimming confidence, their offensive skills and the maturity to their all-around game was impossible to ignore.

When it was over, general manager Don Sweeney singled out Donato, who plays at Harvard, and Fitzgerald, from Boston College -- along with Notre Dame forward Anders Bjork and former Boston University defenseman Matt Grzelcyk -- as players who have developed significantly.
 
“[They're] just comfortable in what they’re doing,” said Sweeney. “I mean, they’ve played at the college hockey level . . . two, three, four years with some of these kids. They’re very comfortable in their own skin and in what they do.”
 
Donato, 20, is actually coming off his first season at Harvard, where he posted 13 goals and 21 points in 32 games. He looked like he was in midseason form during Development Camp, showing off a scoring touch, skill with the puck on his stick in tight traffic, and the instincts to anticipate plays that allow him to beat defenders to spots in the offensive zone. He’s primed for a giant sophomore season with the Crimson, based on his showing at camp.
 
“Every year is a blast," said Donato, son of former Bruins forward and current Harvard coach Ted Donato. "You just come in [to development camp] with an open mindset where you soak everything up from the coaches like a sponge, and see what they say. Then I just do my best to incorporate it into my game and bring it with me to school next year.
 
“One of the things that [Bruins coaches and management] has said to me -- and it’s the same message for everybody -- is that every area of your game is an important one to develop. The thing about the NHL is that every little detail makes the difference, and that’s what I’ve been working on whether it’s my skating, or my defensive play. Every little piece of my game needs to be developed.”
 
Then there's Fitzgerald, 21, who is entering his senior season at BC after notching 24 goals and 47 points in 40 games last year in a real breakout season. The 2013 fourth-round pick showed speed and finishing ability during his Development Camp stint and clearly is close to being a finished hockey product at the collegiate level.
 
“It was good. It’s definitely a fun time being here, seeing these guys and putting the logo on,” said Fitzgerald, son of former Bruins forward Tom Fitzgerald, after his fourth Development Camp. “One thing I’m focusing on this summer is getting stronger, but it’s also about just progressing and maturing.
 
“I thought . . . last year [at BC] was a pretty good one, so I just try to build off that and roll into my senior season. [The Bruins] have told me to pretty much continue what I’m doing in school. When the time is right I’ll go ahead [and turn pro], so probably after I graduate I’ll jump on and make an impact.”
 
Fitzgerald certainly didn’t mention or give any hints that it could happen, but these days it has to give an NHL organization a bit of trepidation anytime one of their draft picks makes it all the way to their senior season. There’s always the possibility of it turning into a Jimmy Vesey-type situation if a player -- like Fitzgerald -- has a huge final year and draws enough NHL interest to forego signing with the team that drafted him for a shot at free agency in the August following his senior season.
 
It may be a moot point with Fitzgerald, a Boston kid already living a dream as a Bruins draft pick, but it’s always a possibility until he actually signs.
 
In any case, both Donato and Fitzgerald beat watching in their respective college seasons after both saw their development level take a healthy leap forward.