Bruins

Notes: Savard to undergo tests Friday

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Notes: Savard to undergo tests Friday

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON While the Bruins and Stars were battling it out on the ice in a wild, punchy brand of hockey that would have made the Hanson Brothers jealous, Marc Savard was resting up in Boston and readying for an important weekend.

The Bruins center flew from Peterborough, Ontario, to Boston on Thursday, and sources indicated to CSNNE.com that he'll meet with doctors for testing on Friday after suffering the fourth concussion of his NHL career two weeks ago.

TSNs Bob McKenzie reported that Savards agent, Larry Kelley, is also arriving in Boston this weekend, and that Savard, Kelley, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli and all of the parties involved would get together to discuss Savards future.

Savard is still suffering from headaches, irritability and other troubling symptoms more than a week after he was pushed headfirst into the boards by former teammate Matt Hunwick at the Pepsi Center in Colorado.

The Bruins have discussed shutting Savard down for the rest of the season after suffering his second concussion in the last 10 months, and that undoubtedly be the topic of conversation this weekend when all parties get together.

Patrice Bergeron continues to set the pace for the Bruins this season, and hasnt slowed down at all after winning the NHLs No. 1 Star of the Month for January. Bergeron has 11 goals and 9 assists in 14 games and leads the Bruins with 13 multipoint games this season. He also leads the team in scoring, with 44 points overall.

Bergeron, quite simply, is as good as the Bruins get at any position aside from goaltender, and as a line the BergeronBrad MarchandMark Recchi trio put up nine points with a plus-6 rating in the 6-3 win.

Well, it's chemistry, said coach Claude Julien. We talk about chemistry with lines and they seem to be clicking well together. They find each other. Marchand, with some of those nice passes he makes, he really sells the shot and all of a sudden the pass comes out and those guys know about it and theyre driving the net and getting rewarded for that.

Those three guys, not only is there chemistry, but they seem to enjoy playing with each other and when you do that theres and even better reason for success.

Tyler Seguin broke a nine-game scoreless drought when he snapped home a one-timer for his eighth goal of the season in the third period. The Seguin goal actually came at a large point in the game for the Bruins, who had allowed the Stars to creep within one before Seguin connected on Michael Ryders pass.
He hadnt scored in a while and it was a nice goal. I thought he made some nice plays tonight and I thought he was skating well tonight, played with some good confidence, said Julien. Absolutely, hes a young guy that we want to see continue to progress. Tonight was one of those good nights for him. Shawn Thornton once again came up just short of a Gordie Howe hat trick when he couldn't get an assist in the final two periods. He snapped a 19-game goal-scoring drought with hiseighth goal of the season in the first period. The 8 goals and 14 assists for Thornton this season are both career highs for the Bruins enforcer. Bruins wives and girlfriends, including Kim Jacobs, Tatiana Chara, Tammy Horton, Brittany Carnegie and Christine Sweeney, will model the latest 2011 spring and resort collections from Saks Fifth Avenue for an audience of honored guests at the "Carnevale Di Moda" which takes place next Thursday, Feb. 10, at the Taj in Boston. Former Bruins goaltender Andrew Raycroft had an interesting matchup against Tuukka Rask, for whom he was traded in a Bruins-Maple Leafs swap years ago, but was yanked just 1:20 into the game. Raycroft was pulled after both Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron scored on the only shots he faced, and it was all Tuukka Time from that point forward. Rask made 30 saves -- including 15 in the second period, highlighted by stoning James Neal cold on a close backdoor bid. Julien took a timeout in the third period once the Stars climbed to within a goal with plenty of time on the clock, but Tyler Seguin ended the drama when he made it a 5-3 game in the third and put the game out of reach."They made some nice plays there and we took the timeout and regrouped and then responded again with a couple of goals," said Rask. "So one goal first to get us back on track there. You know, its a good sign." Mark Stuart was scratched for the fifth straight game as a healthy defenseman, and it's apparent that Adam McQuaid has supplanted the rugged Stuart as one of the B's top six defensemen. McQuaid gave Andrew Sutherby a beating in the third period and had his first goal of the season waved off in the worst goaltender's interference call of the year on Blake Wheeler. Wheeler was feet outside of the crease and made no contact with Kari Lehtonen when the penalty was called for, and wiped a nifty little fake-and-shoot move by McQuaid. "Im going to stand here and tell you were going to go with the same Ds," said Julien. "Im not going to mix anything up right now. It is what it is and we keep talking about that almost everyday as well, is that weve got a guy in Stuey Mark Stuart that so far has had a great attitude towards not disrupting the team and understanding how tough it is to play. But at the same time our six Ds are doing a great job so you dont punish other guys for that kind of stuff. "But things always work out and Stuey knows that and has been a real, I guess helpful player in regards to that, at not disrupting the team and hes still working hard and when he gets his chance hell be ready."
Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Bruins still holding out on a goalie decision for Devils game

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Bruins still holding out on a goalie decision for Devils game

BRIGHTON -- Coming off a pair of back-to-back wins from backup goaltender Anton Khudobin, the Bruins are still undecided about what they’re going to do between the pipes Wednesday night against the New Jersey Devils.

On the one hand, the Bruins are very tempted to ride the hot goaltending hand with Khudobin a strong 5-0-2 record on the season and a .935 save percentage that currently leads all goaltenders across the league. There’s a school of thought that the B’s should simply keep plugging Khudobin into the lineup until he actually loses a game, and begins to cool down a little bit between the pipes after stopping 63-of-65 shots against LA and San Jose.

At the same time it will be over a week since Tuukka Rask has played in a game if the Bruins go with Khudobin on Wednesday night against the Devils, and Bruce Cassidy was clear to stress that Rask is still their No. 1 guy. So that’s the dilemma the Bruins are facing with Cassidy calling it “a good problem to have” based on Khudobin’s strong play from the backup spot.

That is a far cry from what the Bruins experienced a year ago with the same goalie, and a reason for optimism that their goaltending situation will be better off throughout a long season.

“Do you go with the hot hand and leave your No. 1 sitting where he’s beginning to wonder what the hell is going on? That’s the decision,” said Bruce Cassidy. “We need to keep them both in a good place, and not lose out on [Khudobin’s] good run while keeping Tuukka focused and confident in his game. That’s what we’re battling and I talk to Goalie Bob [Essensa] about it every day. We’ll make our decision [on Wednesday] and we hope it’s the right one.

“It’s a long year so no matter who we use there are a lot of starts. I don’t think Khudobin is going to go ice cold if he use Tuukka tomorrow, and I don’t think Tuukka is going to blow a gasket if we go with the hot hand. For me I don’t think it’s that big of a decision.”

Perhaps Rask blowing a gasket wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world given the way he’s played this season.

The one underlying concern for Rask beyond the .897 save percentage this season is that his game has really been in a different place for the last three seasons. While his .922 career save percentage mark is among the best in the NHL, he has been below that mark in each of the last three seasons while struggling to maintain consistently behind a changing roster that’s turning over to youth and inexperience.

It certainly seems like the Bruins feel it’s premature to label Rask as anything but their No. 1 goaltender, but the pause they’re giving on Wednesday night’s starter speaks volumes about their current confidence level in each of their puck-stoppers.

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Morning Skate: Not all smooth sailing for top picks

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Morning Skate: Not all smooth sailing for top picks

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while enjoying the return of Adolfo to Toucher and Rich this morning.

*Jack Eichel and Connor McDavid have received plenty of acclaim over the past couple of years as talented, young stars in the league, but Pro Hockey Talk’s James O’Brien details how things haven’t gone ideally for either of those youngsters, or their teams, this season. Clearly, it’s not at this level yet, but just think about the hype behind Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin when they were drafted 1-2 back in 2010, and what they have, and haven’t, been able to accomplish in the league since that time.

*Outstanding rookie Brock Boeser credits a conversation with Vancouver Canucks coach Travis Green for helping spark his game this season.

*Good video piece on the near miss of Wayne Gretzky almost playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs after dominating them in the playoffs.  

*Salivating for some hockey trades? The 10 potential NHL trade deadline targets around the league as we wait for players to become available for trade later in the season.  

*Hockeybuzz is asking what the NHL, and more specifically the Hockey Hall of Fame, has against goaltenders?

*For something completely different: A great piece from Drew Bledsoe on the tragic passing of former Patriots wide receiver Terry Glenn, and how his death came just as he seemed to be putting all the pieces of his life together.