Savard close to playoff return

Savard2.jpgIt seemed like an impossibility just a few weeks ago when a pale and
visibly shaken Marc Savard appeared in public to speak about his
troubles with symptoms from a concussion. Yet Savard is optimistic about
being able to return to game action soon, after skating for the first
time since his injury this morning.

From Fluto Shinzawa on the
Bruins Blog
, Savard “felt great” after the skate and has been
symptom-free for over a week.

Savard passed an
exertion test yesterday. Savard plans to skate on his
own again tomorrow morning, then undergo a neuro-psych test in the
afternoon. If Savard passes, he will be cleared to return to practice,
although he wasn’t sure if he’d jump in with his teammates right away.

stated just two weeks ago that he was likely out for the season, and
now it seems he could be a week from being able to jump into game
action. I wouldn’t expect him to log 18 to 20 minutes a game, since he’s
barely conducted any physical activity since his injury, but just
having Savard on the ice or on the bench will be a tremendous emotional
boost for the Bruins.

He’ll still need to be cleared to play by
the training staff, even if he passes these tests so there’s no
gaurantee that Savard will return for the fourth round. So the Bruins
now have something more to play for, something more substantial than
just “proving themselves”, as they hope to get their emotional leader
back on the ice before being eliminated.

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
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It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.

Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.

Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.