As first reported by TheBruinsBlog.net last night, Marc Savard has been medically cleared and will be available to the Bruins for their second-round playoff series.
General manager Peter Chiarelli announced the result of Savard’s Monday neuropsych test during a conference call this morning. Savard met with Dr. Jeremy Schmahamann, an independent doctor, Monday, Chiarelli said.“He’s an elite player and he’s been chomping at the bit to play,” Chiarelli said. “The fact that we were able to clinch and allow time for him to get acclimated and a little practice I think is going to be very beneficial to Savvy and the team. And he’s obviously a terrific offensive player and you’ve seen his performances in playoffs. He really works on the two-way side of the game in the playoffs. It’s like a trade-deadline acquisition and we’re adding obviously a very good player to our mix for the next series.”
After suffering a Grade 2 concussion as a result of a blindside hit by Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke March 7, Savard was unable to perform any physical activity for weeks. He started skating on his own April 19 and slowly increased his workload over the course of the week.
The Bruins went through a similar situation in 2008, when Patrice Bergeron was out for months with a Grade 3 concussion. Bergeron worked his way back and also would’ve been ready to play in the second round had Boston not been eliminated in the first round by Montreal. Chiarelli said he wasn’t surprised that Savard was able to work his way back faster than Bergeron.
“Not really, for this reason. To use Patrice as a reference point, when I saw Patrice – my layman prognosis or analysis – I saw Patrice after his concussion and when I saw Savvy after his, there was a big difference,” said the GM. “They were both, obviously, very severe. But, as I saw Savvy recuperating, a lot of things happened more quickly compared to Patrice. But still, there was some doubt at points in time because he still had that glazed look. But these things turn. They don’t recover in the same way as a torn ligament or a separated shoulder, they can turn quickly, and that happened with Marc. And you could see a real change. So when I saw that, I had a pretty good idea that he would be back if he could stretch it out.”