Bruins

Savard returns to Ontario home for rest

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Savard returns to Ontario home for rest

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Marc Savard has returned to his home in Peterborough, Ontario, to rest and recuperate from his latest concussion, suffered last weekend against the Colorado Avalanche.The Bruins said Savard is suffering from all-too-familiar concussion symptoms after Saturday's collision with ex-teammate Matt Hunwick in Colorado. The concussion is the fourth of his career and his second in 10 months.
Coach Claude Julien said there wont be much in the way of daily reports on Savard's progress in the coming days. No timetable has been set on a potential return.Hes gone hometo rest and thats all you can do when youve got a concussion, said Julien. Well just take it from there.Peter Chiarelli went on the radio with 98.5 The Sports Hubs Toucher and Rich on Wednesday morning, and indicated the fog hasnt yet cleated for Savard following Saturdays moderate concussion. The Bruins GM feels Savard was operating at about 75 percent capacity in the 25 games hed played with the Bs since returning, though he had looked very close to himself in the handful of games leading up to the concussion.Chiarelli also told the radio station the Bruins would only make a significant move to replace Savard on the roster if they were certain he'd be out for the balance of the season, and said that decision can't be made at this stage of Savard's recovery.His teammates hope it doesn't come to that.
Its tough. Hes a guy that Ive built a friendship and relationship with in the four years that Ive been here, said Milan Lucic. Its tough to see him go through this especially with what hes been through over the last year. Its tough to say with concussions because things can drag on even with a minor one. It can go a lot longer than you expect. We hope that we see him back again this year, but hes got to think about his health No. 1, and that he makes a full recovery. Hes got to avoid making a mistake in coming back too early where he puts his life in jeopardy.If Savard is placed on long-term injured reserve at some point, Chiarelli said former first-round pick Zach Hamill is more ready to jump into the Boston lineup than Joe Colborne when looking over their centers ready for a promotion at the AHL level. If Savard doesn't make progress, it would seem to be only a matter of time before he'd be placed on long-term injured reserve. If that happens, his 4 million cap hit would come off the B's books for this season. Tim Thomas was the first goaltender off the ice, and it appears that hell get the start against the Florida Panthers in the final regular season game prior to the NHL All-Star break. Julien said hell have a game-time decision on potentially scratching a defenseman tonight after making Mark Stuart a healthy scratch each of the last two games on the road. The Bs blueliners have been playing well as a six-man unit, but it could be Adam McQuaid that gets the healthy scratch after playing in the last couple of games for the Black and Gold.Weve got to hopefully keep Stuart going as well, so were going to try and balance that out, said Julien. Steve Kampfer said he wont need surgery on his broken nose as theres been some progress in clearing up his nasal passage for easier breathing out of his nose over the last couple of days. Kampfer will instead head back home to Michigan to take in some college hockey with a few of his NHL buddies.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Rask recovering from concussion, may be ready to play on Saturday

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Rask recovering from concussion, may be ready to play on Saturday

BRIGHTON -- Tuukka Rask is quickly making his way through the concussion protocol and may return to action this weekend.

The Bruins netminder skated with the other injured players ahead of Monday’s main team practice at Warrior Ice Arena, and is on track to rejoin the team at regular practice on Tuesday barring any setbacks in his concussion recovery. That would leave Rask with just a couple of games missed after getting trucked by Anders Bjork at practice last week, and it would give the Bruins back their No. 1 goaltender after Anton Khudobin let in five goals vs. the Sabres on Thursday night.

“He’s in the protocol and progressing well,” said coach Bruce Cassidy. “He’ll probably join us [on Tuesday] for the next step if there are no ill effects from today. That’s a positive. If there are no setbacks, I think Saturday is a more realistic [timetable for a return].”

The hope would be that Rask could start elevating his game when he does return, and play better than the goalie that’s posted the 1-3-0 record, 3.30 goals against average and .882 save percentage thus far this season. But first things first with the recovery to his first career concussion as an NHL goalie, and the set of hurdles that must be passed before Rask is again allowed to jump back into game action as early as this weekend.

Here are the line combos and D-pairings from Bruins practice with Rask, David Krejci and Noel Acciari all skating prior to practice, Patrice Bergeron staying off ice with a maintenance day and Kevan Miller skating in main practice with a maroon, no-contact jersey:

Marchand-Schaller-Bjork
DeBrusk-Backes-Pastrnak
Agostino-Nash-White
Beleskey-Kuraly-Vatrano

Chara-McAvoy
Krug-Carlo
Miller-Postma

Khudobin

Schaller's sterling play helping to ease Bruins' pain

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Schaller's sterling play helping to ease Bruins' pain

BRIGHTON -- Injuries, and some really tough losses, have put a bit of a damper on the start to the Bruins season. But there've also been a couple of unquestioned bright spots.

And one of them is Tim Schaller, who's been a strong, consistent performer in the first couple of weeks of the season. The New Hampshire native -- and lifelong Bruins fan -- was penciled in as a fourth-line winger throughout most of training camp, but he’s played everywhere as injuries have ravaged the B's roster.

The high point was probably centering Jake DeBrusk and David Pastrnak (and notching an assist) in Saturday’s overtime loss to the Sabres, and filling in for a late-scratched David Krejci with a very different set of skills. Certainly he’s been a standout for the Bruins with his physicality, including stepping up and fighting man mountain Erik Gudbranson after Gudbranson's nasty boarding hit on Frank Vatrano last week, and he’s also kicked in a couple of goals and three points in seven games thus far this season.

“It’s a reactionary thing, and that’s just in a person,” said Bruce Cassidy of fighting Gudbranson. “It’s a character thing because you don’t have a lot of time to think about it. Good for Timmy. That earns a lot of street cred not only in your own locker room, but the other teams notice it. too.

"We know with the goals that he can obviously chip in [offensively] and he’s doing a great job for what we’re asking him to do. He’s probably going to take ownership if he’s out there with some young guys on a line, and if he can be a leader and get that line playing the right way every night that is very valuable to us.”

Schaller’s game to this point is a continuation of what he showed in his first season with the Bruins last year, when the 26-year-old posted 7 goals and 14 points in 59 games while becoming a staple in Boston’s bottom-6 group. He’s once again shown pretty good straight-ahead speed for a big man, and a willingness to take his 6-foot-2, 219-pound frame straight to the net.

“I’ve been moving well and I’ve got the two goals, so personally I’m happy [with my game],” said Schaller. “Hopefully others can feed off what I’m trying to do out there, and we get a more well-balanced game [as a team]. I had a good season last year, and what was really good was that I knew that I had more to give. That’s what I’m trying to do this season.

“I can obviously produce more. I had a good start to last season and then I kind of fell off a little bit. So hopefully I can be a little more consistent for this entire year.”

That would be a very good thing for a Bruins team that can use him in a bottom-6 energy role when its roster is healthy, and will fully utilize his versatility in times of injuries and adversity.