Marc Savard ‘woozy’ after big hit in Saturday’s game; could it be another concussion?

It’s true that Marc Savard has been back from that brutal concussion he suffered from a Matt Cooke hit last season, but few would deny the fact that he hasn’t been himself in those 21 games (two goals and six assists for eight points with a -7 rating and about 16 minutes of time on ice per game).

The full-fledged return of the “Old Savard” might have hit another speed bump during Saturday afternoon’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, although the check itself isn’t generating anywhere near the controversy as last season’s hit. Penguins tough guy Deryk Engelland caught Savard with a big hit that ended up driving Savard’s head into the boards, leaving the star pivot “woozy” but without a headache.

Here’s the good news/bad news take on the situation. The good news is that Savard didn’t end up missing a shift during that game, despite laying on the ice for a few minutes following the hit. The bad news is that he used “concussion buzz words” such as “bell rung” and “dazed” when discussing his outlook, according to Joe Haggerty.

Click here for some Youtube footage of the hit. Here’s a snippet of what Savard said after the game; you can view a longer video of the interview via CSNNE at the bottom of this post.

“All I want to do, is make sure I gather my thoughts, you know, and everything came back together … fine,” said Savard. “I’ll monitor it and watch the rest of the day here, see how I feel a little bit … I was a little bit shaken up.”

For a normal player that wouldn’t signal much, but that could spell trouble for a player that’s experienced difficulty with post-concussion syndrome symptoms.

Savard rightfully admitted he was scared in the moments following the collision on the ice after appearing to just find his game this year 20 games into the season.

“I was [scared]. A little woozy, to be honest with you,” said Savard when asked how he was feeling. “We’ll see how I feel the rest of the day here tonight and stuff, because… I don’t know I haven’t seen the replay, it felt like he just got my head, so I don’t know.

As always, we’ll keep you posted regarding Savard’s health. Hopefully this is just a scare for the talented passer.

Metro’s best? Capitals keep winning, pass Rangers for division lead

Jonathan Bernier; Matt Niskanen; Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau
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If you want to summarize the Capitals – Maple Leafs game in one sentence, you could do worse than:

“Washington is hot as Jonathan Bernier is cold.”

The Caps reeled off a 4-2 win against Toronto on Saturday, giving them five straight wins. They also jumped into first place in the Metropolitan Division today, as they keep climbing while the New York Rangers are experiencing some growing pains.

Again, James Reimer can’t get healthy and back in Toronto’s net too soon:

With this win, Washington is now 17-5-1, leading the Metro by one point with 35 standings points. They also hold a game in hand against the Rangers, and no other Metro team even has 30 right now.

Measuring stick stretch begins

Tonight’s game began a “prove-it” month-and-change for Washington.

This contest began a three-game road trip, and they’ll also play six of seven away from Washington.

It’s pretty rough through the start of 2016, really. The Capitals will only enjoy three home games through Jan. 9.

In other words, the Capitals seem like a convincing East contender, but look out if they remain hot through the next 5-6 weeks.

Video: Evgeni Malkin leaves Oilers spinning


Yes, there’s a lot of drama surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins, whether it’s founded on serious problems or merely speculation.

It’s easy to get swept up in all of that and ignore the fact that, hey, they still have Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Those two can really heal wounds with their on-ice play, and in Saturday’s case, Malkin is taking over against the Edmonton Oilers.

His spin-o-rama goal above was a real jaw-dropper. He also scored Pittsburgh’s second tally:

These highlights feel like Malkin’s way of saying “It’s going to be just fine.”

Update: It wasn’t enough for a win, however, as the Oilers beat the Penguins 3-2 via a shootout.

Lightning’s first fight this season: Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo

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Fighting is down more or less across the board in the NHL, but the Tampa Bay Lightning might be the franchise least interested in dropping the gloves.

Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo already has some name recognition to it, yet it gets some bonus points for being the Bolts’ first fighting major of 2015-16.

It … probably loses those bonus points in being run-of-the-mill.

Hey, be fair; the Lightning are clearly out of practice.

Oilers GM doesn’t want to force a trade for the sake of a trade

Peter Chiarelli

It must be a helpless feeling to sit idly by while your team continues to flail, but such emotions are what opposing GMs love to prey on.

Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli hasn’t been around through much of the suffering for this hapless franchise, yet that doesn’t mean he’s immune to the calls for improvement. To his credit, he’s not buckling under that pressure.

You can see and hear his full comments below:

If you don’t feel like playing the video, the message is simple enough.

Chiarelli isn’t happy with Edmonton’s record – he hasn’t “seen progression” in ways that he was expecting, but again … he doesn’t want to force moves.

Long story short, he can “sleep at night,” even if he’s disappointed.

Is he right to take a relaxed approach, though? Maybe it’s time to blow up a part of what isn’t working? Have some fun armchair GM’ing on this one.