Marc Savard skated again on Friday, and while he may want to get back on the ice and help his team against the Sabres in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, the Bruins are in no rush to throw him into the fire that is playoff hockey.
Savard, who has been out with a Grade 2 concussion since March 7, has been cleared to practice but he must still prove he is in game shape before the Bruins will allow him to play. With his team up 3-1 in the series, the risk of rushing him back to play just isn't worth it.
"You don’t come back from a serious concussion like [that] and say inside a week he’s cleared," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. "He’s going through the protocol and going through different stages, but medically, he’s not totally cleared yet. He still has to go through some different stages. We’ve been cleared to skate him and try to put him back in shape. It’s out of our hands and it’s about medical clearance. Our organization has always taken care of our players’ health first, that’s the most important thing, and we’re not going to change that philosophy.”
Julien stressed that this wasn't a ploy to catch the Sabres off-guard.
"I can guarantee there’s no surprise there," Julien said.
Savard is obviously frustrated about waiting in the wings, but he is happy for his teammates and looking to get back when he can.
"That’s the toughest part about this thing," Savard said. "You have to stay focused and keep the light at the end of the tunnel bright. As much as I want to get back right away, I still have to go through the stages and hopefully, if we can win [on Friday], it would be huge for our team, and obviously give me a couple of more days."