Marc Savard

Marc Savard won’t play Wednesday, but didn’t rule out a Thursday return

As you may know by now, Marc Savard is hoping to return to NHL action in “early December” after sitting out all of the 2010-11 season up to this point with post-concussion syndrome.

For those of you without calendars, December begins on Wednesday, so many wonder if that means Savard could return as soon as then. The brilliant passer denied the possibility of coming back on Wednesday, but didn’t necessarily rule out the chance of a Thursday return.

In case you were wondering if Savard is worth the trouble, it’s pretty difficult to argue against it. He scored 88 points in his best season with the Bruins (2008-09) and also produced 97 and 96 point campaigns as a member of the Atlanta Thrashers.

He told Douglas Flynn of NESN about the possibility of returning on Thursday.

“I don’t think so, no,” said Savard. “I’m not going to be playing Wednesday.”

But when pressed about playing in Thursday’s home game against Tampa Bay, Savard was less definitive. “I don’t know, we’ll have to wait and see,” said Savard.

Savard is clearly anxious to return, but understands he still has work to do to get his timing and conditioning ready for game action.

“I think I’m nearing that point,” said Savard. “I’ve been skating a long time now, but only got in — this was only my third real practice, plus a couple morning skates which don’t really count, so I’m looking at another couple days and go from there.”

Flynn writes that Bruins coach Claude Julien will ultimately have the last word when it comes to when Savard can play again.

One thing that people are overlooking is the fact that Savard received time to heal other parts of his body as he dealt with those concussion issues. He told Flynn that the off time allowed problematic knees to heal up, allowing him to be “quicker in small areas.”

Of course, once Savard’s actually ready to return, the question then becomes: who needs to go? (When that happens, the decision goes from Julien to GM Peter Chiarelli.)

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan


Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?