WILMINGTON — Good morning from Ristuccia Arena, where the Bruins are back on the ice for a practice on the heels of a 5-3 loss to Tampa Bay.
Andrew Ference, last seen gift-wrapping a goal to Paul Szczechura, did not practice today — a “maintenance day”, as they call it around here — while Steve Begin, Michael Ryder, Vladimir Sobotka and Daniel Paille were all late arrivals.
We’ve got a double-dip today, too, as the Calgary Flames (tomorrow afternoon’s opponent) have just concluded practice here as well.
No changes in the Bruins’ forward lines:
Sturm — Bergeron — Recchi
Wheeler — Krejci — Ryder
Lucic — Sobotka — Satan
Paille — Begin — Thornton/Marchand
— Vladimir Sobotka, who left the ice early in the Bruins’ 4-0 win over Atlanta after taking a nasty hit from behind by Evgeny Arthyukin, skated with the team. Head coach Claude Julien confirmed Sobotka will undergo a neuro-psych examination today, as required by the NHL before being cleared to play again.
So in other words, yes, it was a concussion that the third-line center suffered in Tuesday’s win, as he had told various reporters yesterday.
“It was deemed, I would say, a mild concussion, very mild concussion,” Julien said.
— Ference, who has battled a nagging groin injury all season long and intends to have surgery as soon as the season ends, told reporters that this routine of days off in between games should continue the rest of the way through.
“The injury doesn’t go away. It’s there, and you just have to try to make sure blood doesn’t build up, and the swelling from the injury doesn’t mess things up,” said the 31-year-old defenseman, who signed a three-year extension earlier this week. “Yeah, lot of hot tub, cold tub, hot tub, cold tub kind of stuff.
“It feels great, but yeah, (I’m) just flushing everything and making sure I’m staying on top of it. You let it slide, it turns bad pretty quick.”
— Your daily Marc Savard update: moving along “at a snail’s pace” but getting better, Julien said.
Calgary captain Jarome Iginla, former teammate of Savard during the latter’s years with the Flames, confirmed that he has been trading a series of text messages with the center since a blind-side hit to the head from Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke put him out the rest of the season with a grade two concussion.
“I’m sure that’d be called now, — I would think,” Iginla said, alluding to the new league ruling on contact to the head implemented this week. “It’s good that there’s change.”
Iginila said he heard Savard was out for nearly 15 minutes after the hit — “that’s pretty scary,” he exclaimed — and commented on the anxiety Savard must no doubt be feeling as the Bruins make a playoff push.
“I’m sure he wants to get back out there, but it’s more important, he has alot of years ahead of him, to get back — and in life too, not just hockey — and be healthy, to do the right thing here,” Iginla said.