BOSTON — After he was the only Bruins player to skate this morning a day after Boston’s 4-1 loss at Buffalo in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series, Marc Savard was still holding out hope that he could be back in the lineup before the series ends.
“Every player wants to play and I think that I’m no different,” Savard said in the TD Garden hallway with a face full of sweat courtesy of another John Whitesides workout. ” I’m excited and obviously the adrenalin is pumping. Even today I couldn’t wait to get out there, even going out alone, I couldn’t wait to get out there and keep challenging myself. We’ll see what happens. It’s up to the coaches and the trainers and see what happens from here on in.”Today was Savard’s sixth day of skating in his attempt to return from a Grade 2 concussion. Each day he has upped the tempo of his workouts, and today was no different.
“I kind of did some shift things, where I was out there for 40 seconds going hard everywhere and then coming off. And then sitting on the bench for two minutes and then going back out there. I did six or seven of those,” he said. “So I felt game situation, I recovered pretty good. Obviously toward the end I faded a bit, but in the same sense I’m feeling great.”
Simulating games obviously doesn’t compare to what it’ll be like if Savard rejoins the Bruins in a playoff atmosphere. Savard plans to practice with the team Sunday and then see where things go from there. Head coach Claude Julien is still trying to temper everyone’s enthusiasm for a Savard return.
“There is nothing more than he’s got to keep working out and he’s got to go through the protocol and everything else medically,” said Julien. “We’re doing everything we can from our end of it. And then we’ll wait to see when he’s 100 percent cleared. It could happen soon, it could happen much later, we don’t know that.”
Even though he hasn’t been able to help the Bruins with assists on the ice, Savard is trying to lend a hand off it. He said that making the road trip to Buffalo with the team helped him mentally, and he’s getting back into the swing as one of the Bruins’ more talkative veterans.
“They’ve done pretty good, so I haven’t had to do much [talking],” he said. “But I think last night after the game I talked to a couple of younger guys and just gave them a little bit of wisdom and tried to get them going a little more. And hopefully that helps out.”