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Smiles all around for Savard

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff  November 24, 2010 12:57 PM

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Marc Savard went through energy-sapping sprints yesterday morning in Pittsburgh, then spent the rest of the day undergoing tests that would ultimately clear him for full-contact practice.

His reward today? Grueling battle drills, which included an errant elbow from Adam McQuaid to the head, following the morning skate, directed by assistant coach Doug Houda.

"He's thinking two or three more days of this and he'd want to play instead," cracked GM Peter Chiarelli, noting the difficulty of the battle drills. "I know what he's thinking."

But Savard was all smiles after the session, despite not having a stall in the dressing room. Savard, who was given a folding chair in the room, quipped that he deserved better after being a 14-year veteran.

"It was really a great day," Savard said of his experience yesterday. "I got my confidence that much more better. What a facility they have there in Pittsburgh for that stuff. Dr. Micky Collins is incredible.

"I got quite the workout in. I didn't expect the workout that I was going to get. I did a couple of basically [John Whitesides's] sprint tests. That got me tired first thing in the morning. That's when your brain is most mentally weak -- when you're tired. Then I went through testing all day. He said I passed with flying colors. So that made me feel really good."

Savard will continue to practice with the team and catch up to game speed.

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