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Bruins updates on Marc Savard and Marco Sturm: Rehab on track

With the recent injury to Bruins center David Krejci, who’s out with a concussion, thoughts turned to the progress of other injured Bruins forwards Marc Savard and Marco Sturm. Savard has been out all season recovering from post-concussion syndrome while Sturm is coming back from knee surgery after getting injured in the playoffs. Jimmy Murphy from ESPN Boston gets the scoop on how they’re progressing from Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli, and the news is especially good for Savard.

“He’s starting to feel like he’s in good shape,” Chiarelli said, when asked about Savard’s condition. “There hasn’t been any lingering side effects that we talked about earlier on in his rehab. He was in very good spirits. I wouldn’t say he’s champing at the bit yet, but we’re almost at that corner with the turnaround. To me — again, timetables are difficult — but to me he seemed in good shape, good spirits. I wouldn’t say he’s close, but he’s getting there.”

The Bruins, of course, are going to be more careful with Savard after he potentially hurt himself more by coming back during the playoffs last season. Savard had been out with a concussion he suffered at the hands of Penguins forward Matt Cooke but talked his way back into the lineup during the playoffs to try and help the Bruins go deeper into the postseason dance. Mission unaccomplished as the Bruins blew a 3-0 series lead to the Flyers and lost in seven games.

As for Sturm, Chiarelli reports that all is going well with Sturm and that he’s aiming for an early December return to the lineup. Sturm had knee surgery after suffering an injury during the playoffs and the six months of recovery needed to get back on the ice puts him on track to be back right on time.

Once Savard and Sturm are back in the lineup, the Bruins will have some serious salary cap questions to get resolved. With both players showing improvement, perhaps it’s time to put Peter Chiarelli on the clock to get a solution figured out there as he’ll have about another month to get things squared away. If I were Bruins forward Michael Ryder, I’d start getting nervous. Ryder and his $4 million cap hit is a prime candidate to be sent down to the AHL to get his contract off the books.

There’s ‘a real positive vibe’ in Buffalo, where Eichel will make NHL debut tonight

Connor McDavid
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Jack Eichel didn’t disappoint in the preseason, finishing with six points in four games, including two shorthanded goals.

Tonight in Buffalo, his NHL career will start for real when the Sabres host the Ottawa Senators in regular-season action.

“It’s something I’ve dreamed of my whole life, stepping foot on that ice and making the NHL,” Eichel said, per “It’s kind of been a whirlwind, but you’re finally playing hockey for a living and everything you’ve done your whole life is to get to this point. It’s pretty special.”

The 18-year-old’s debut was front-page news this morning in Buffalo, where the Sabres have been among the NHL’s worst teams since last making the playoffs in 2010-11.

Eichel front page

Granted, even with the additions of Eichel, Ryan O'Reilly, Evander Kane, Robin Lehner and Cody Franson, expectations for 2015-16 remain modest for the new-look Sabres. Certainly, a spot in the playoffs would count as a surprise.

But for the fans of a team that’s barely possessed the puck the past couple of years, it’s night and day.

“People are excited,” GM Tim Murray said earlier this week. “It’s great. They think we’ve improved, and there’s a real positive vibe, I believe.

“That’s what I said to our coaches, ‘I want everybody to be positive. I’m the only guy in the organization allowed to be negative.’ That’s the way I wanted it. If I’m the most negative guy in the city about the team, that’s pretty good.”

Sutter: Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

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Lost in the various controversies (see here and here) of last night’s game in Los Angeles was a pretty dismal performance by the Kings, a team that should’ve been especially motivated to start the season after missing the playoffs last year.

The Kings were hammered, 5-1, by the visiting Sharks. They were outshot, 32-20.

“If you don’t check, you don’t have the puck enough,” said Kings head coach Darryl Sutter. “If you don’t have the puck enough, you can’t score.”

“We were pretty sloppy. Sloppy on our rushes, sloppy in our D-zone,” said forward Dustin Brown. “That’s probably most of it, but the other part is compete – in the corners and making hard plays coming out of our zone, going in. We didn’t play very well.”

Obviously, much credit has to go to the Sharks. Like the Kings, they missed the playoffs last year and came into 2015-16 looking for redemption. But the Sharks haven’t won two Stanley Cups in the last four years, and they weren’t the home team.

“Gotta check,” said Sutter. “You don’t check, you can’t score. We had a lot of guys, especially top guys that weren’t interested in that part of the game.”

The Kings get a visit from the Arizona Coyotes on Friday. If they don’t dominate that team…