The Bruins' No. 1 center skated for two consecutive days this week, and most importantly, he passed his neuro-psych test on Tuesday afternoon, which ultimately cleared him for practice with his teammates. Keep in mind, Savard is not in physical game shape — yet, that is. He has missed significant ice time since sustaining a Grade 2 concussion in Pittsburgh on March 7th, but if Savard can get himself conditioned, a return to action during the course of this series is not being ruled out.
"I have to be realistic, here, and when I'm 100 percent condition-wise and mentally positive I can do this, I'll be ready to go," Savard said after his skate on Tuesday at Ristuccia Arena. “ I’m getting my wind back still, but head-wise, everything’s clear.”
All system’s a go. The only question that remains is how quickly Savard can get himself into game shape. With the Bruins leading their series with Buffalo 2-1, there is caution on the side of the Bruins' coaching staff to not rush Savard back into the lineup too soon. Remember, it’s an injury to his brain we’re talking about here, not a broken foot. The Bruins need to be sure their top center is 100-percent ready before they throw him to the wolves in the NHL playoffs.
It’s a good thing the Bruins have shown signs of hope that they may be able to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals. We’re seeing a team that has developed down the stretch and during this first round. Tuukka Rask has upstaged Sabres netminder Ryan Miller so far, and Mark Recchi has proven that age is just a number. Johnny Boychuk has delivered game-changing hits, Dennis Wideman and Michael Ryder have silenced their regular-season critics, and Big Zdeno Chara has played exactly how everyone expected he would, only he’s done it while logging the utmost minutes.
If Savard needs an extra week to get himself ready, so be it. This team looks fully capable of carrying the weight in his absence and will be right there waiting when No. 91 returns to his position on the top line.
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