Packing up his gear for the summer during last Monday’s breakup session at the Garden, Marc Savard deemed his sprained knee sustained in a Game 6 win over Carolina as simply, “sore.”
The collective feeling in the Bruins’ locker room following a second-round exit to the Hurricanes? Decidedly more painful.
“It still doesn’t feel great,” said Savard. “It’s sad that the playoffs are still going on. I still see it on TV, so it’s tough right now. But I think that, as it finishes, maybe it will not feel better, but at least get it out of our system.”
Just how banged up was that knee during Game 7? Asked how long the sprain might have sidelined him if it had occurred during the regular season, Savard offered a potentially long timetable.
“I don’t know, two weeks, maybe, at the most,” he said. “I don’t know how these injuries (work), I’ve never had a sprain. I’ve had MCL tears, I’ve never had a sprain, but I guess it just depends on the situation.”
As his knee recovers, don’t expect Savard to be killing time in front of the tube.
“I’m not going to watch [the playoffs],” Savard said Monday. “I’ve got a long drive home tonight, so I might have it on the radio. But I’m not going to be watching.”
The Bruins watched Savard’s production dip from just shy of the century mark (96 points in his first year in Boston in 2006-07) to 88 points (25 goals, 63 assists) in 2008-09. But coach Claude Julien doesn’t worry about his 31-year-old, top-line center.
“From maybe his first year here to now, [Savard] may have 5 or 10 points less, but what he’s given us is a better all-around player,” said Julien. “He’s been one of our good penalty killers this year — smart, well-positioned, read the play well. He did an outstanding job in an area where not too many people thought he could do a job, and at the same time, it didn’t matter the linemates he had. He still produced at a consistent rate, and this is what you expect from Marc. For a guy who’s been around the league for 10-11 years, I still find that this guy keeps getting better and better, and we’ve got to hope that continues next year.”
Savard, who enters the fourth and final year of a free-agent deal inked in 2006, knows how hard it will be to bring back the same roster because of the progress of the team’s young players. And that’s just another reason why the Carolina exit hurt much more than his knee.
“This year, we knew how good we could have been and, obviously, to see things maybe get broken up a little bit, we might lose a couple of pieces, but it’s still everything adds up,” said Savard. “It’s obviously going to be tough if stuff happens.”
Check out the video at the top of this entry to hear Savard talk about not watching the playoffs and potentially playing for Canada in the Olympics.
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