BOSTON — Bruins center Marc Savard, some eight months removed from the serious concussion that has cost him a solid chunk of his playing career, has decided to begin wearing a face shield on his helmet.
Although that won’t do much for him in the case of another concussion-causing blow, he just wants to feel extra protected on the ice. Savard wearing more facial protection sends a strong message to his teammates and opponents, many of whom are too macho to wear the shield, that it might be better to be safe than sorry.
The road back from post-concussion syndrome has been a tough one made more difficult by his decision to return too soon last spring for the playoffs rather than wait until he was 100 percent ready to return. Savard also ignored the symptoms while working out over the summer.
He need look just a few feet away in the Bruins dressing room to see center David Krejci, who is trying to return from his own recent concussion and balance out how he feels with how badly he wants to play. Savard knows now that a player has to put his well being ahead of the desire to battle in a game.
“I think you can’t let the hockey player get ahead of the person,” he said after taking a morning skate with his teammates for the first time this season. “I think that’s what I did and I wanted to play and I think that’s just me and I think every other guy in this league wants to play. And sometimes you just try to get through things, and obviously your brain is not one of the things you should be battling through. And I learned that the hard way and hopefully other guys are learning from it, the training staff’s much more knowledgeable because obviously we had Patrice [Bergeron] and now myself. And we’re not going to risk anything.”