The Bruins continue to figure out the best way to re-introduce Marc Savard, out since March 7, back to the lineup. Yesterday, Savard had Vladimir Sobotka on his left side. Today, Daniel Paille replaced Sobotka as Savard’s left wing. Michael Ryder has been on Savard’s right side the last two days.
Because of his layoff, Savard will not see the workload (18:34 of average ice time per game in the regular season) he assumed prior to his concussion. Given the perfection of the penalty kill against the Sabres, it’s a good bet that Savard will not see much shorthanded ice time.
“We’ve got to careful that we don’t think that all of a sudden, Marc Savard’s going to come in and control everything,” Julien said. “He hasn’t played in two months. So let’s understand that he’s going to need some time. We’re going to make sure that again, we give him that opportunity to better himself as we move along. You’ve got a great player coming into your lineup. But you’ve got a great player who hasn’t played in two months who’s stepping into the second round of the playoffs. Cautious is certainly something we have to be when it comes to that and not put too much on his plate. We’ll give him a chance to get better here properly.”
Today, for the first time, Savard participated in power-play drills, serving as the quarterback on the No. 2 unit. The coaching staff will not touch the top unit (Zdeno Chara, Matt Hunwick, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Mark Recchi), which performed well against Buffalo as Krejci worked the left-side half-wall.
* Julien acknowledged that Sobotka feels more comfortable playing at center than at wing, one of the reasons why Paille practiced on Savard’s left side today. Julien said one reason why Sobotka was effective against Buffalo was because he was moving his feet. At center, Sobotka can be in constant motion. Wings, on the other hand, are usually starting and stopping.