Marc Savard, Peter Chiarelli

Report: Training camp looks unlikely for Marc Savard, whose concussion issues continue

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Thanks to strong work down the middle from the likes of David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron and Rich Peverley, the Boston Bruins were able to win the 2011 Stanley Cup without star center Marc Savard. While it’s unclear if the concussion-wracked forward will get his name on the Cup, he will enjoy a day with the silver chalice on Monday.

The bigger question is: when will he enjoy a few days without concussion symptoms? The Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa provides an update on Savard’s condition from Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli that really isn’t much of an update at all: not much has changed. He’s still dealing with headaches related to post-concussion syndrome. Shinzawa reports that the gifted playmaker won’t participate in Bruins training camp in September unless there is “an immediate turnaround in his condition.”

Once again, you have to wonder if Savard’s career will sadly be cut short. He suffered two concussions in a dangerously close span to get to this point. The first was probably the biggest, as Matt Cooke devastated him with a highly controversial check in March 2010 while former Bruin Matt Hunwick’s hit gave him another concussion in January 2011. Savard hasn’t played since and there’s reason to believe that he won’t play again.

Things just haven’t been right the last two seasons, with Savard scoring just 10 points in 25 games in 2010-11 and 33 in 41 during the 09-10 campaign. The four prior seasons showed what the sublime passer can be capable of with strong linemates and good health, though. Savard scored 97 points in his last season with Atlanta then continued to light up the league with the Bruins, scoring 96 in 06-07, 78 in 07-08 and 88 in 08-09.

As sad as it would be to see a talented player hang up his skates too soon, it might end up being the best thing for Savard as a person. It seemed like he paid the price for a hasty return with that Hunwick concussion, although maybe it was another case of bad luck.

Hopefully Savard enjoys his day with the Cup and eventually a clean bill of health, whether that means the end of his playing days or not.

Capitals accuse Letang of leaving his feet, hitting Johansson in head

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Get this: the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins seem divided on the legality of Kris Letang‘s hit on Marcus Johansson.

(Take a moment to gather your thoughts amid this shocking revelation.)

You can watch the hit over and over in the video above. This post features some takes on that check, which the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is reportedly reviewing.

Generally speaking, the three things people discuss regarding the check is how late it might be, if Letang used his feet and if Johansson’s head was the principal point of contact.

Letang told his side of the story:

The Capitals disagree:

While Barry Trotz pleads the Fifth after his previous comments about Brooks Orpik‘s suspension:

No doubt about it, Letang’s status is the top story to follow in this series between Games 3 and 4. We’ll find out soon enough how it all shakes out.

Penguins ride Murray’s masterpiece to 2-1 series lead vs. Capitals

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If Marc-Andre Fleury suiting up bothers Matt Murray, then the rookie goalie channeled those feelings into a masterful performance on Monday.

The Washington Capitals absolutely dominated Game 3, but Murray was even better, stopping 47 shots as the Penguins stole one 3-2 to take a 2-1 series lead.

(Capitals fans might see some parallels to Washington’s Game 5 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers; they fell 2-0 despite a 44-11 shots on goal edge thanks to Michal Neuvirth‘s heroics.)

Murray stopped chance after chance before Alex Ovechkin finally broke through for his first goal of this series. Justin Williams then brought the Penguins’ lead down to 3-2 to make for a hold-your-breath final minute.

A driven Ovechkin and strong overall play from the Capitals (despite this defeat) aren’t the only reasons why Game 4 might present some twists.

First things first: Kris Letang might get suspended for Game 4 (if not for more than one game) thanks to this controversial check on Marcus Johansson.

Beyond that, there could be some bumps and bruises from this contest.

Bryan Rust left during the first period and didn’t return to the game after blocking a shot. Brian Dumoulin seemed shaken up after an Alex Ovechkin hit in the third period. The Capitals might have a player or two to look at, as well.

In other words, the Penguins could really lack for quality defensemen with Letang possibly suspended and possible injury absences for Dumoulin and Olli Maatta.

This series is living up to the hype … and really building up the hate.

Yes, NHL is reportedly looking at Letang’s hit on Johansson

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It remains to be seen if Kris Letang will get suspended for his hit on Marcus Johansson … and if he does, for how long.

(You can read initial reactions and some analysis about the specifics of the check vs. the one that got Brooks Orpik suspended here.)

There are a few things we do know already.

For one thing, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is reportedly looking into it.

Another factor that could help Letang avoid a suspension or limit the duration of supplemental discipline: Marcus Johansson returned during the second period.

In fact, Johansson delivered some hits on Letang.

There have been some nasty moments in Game 3, and more might be coming. The Penguins lead 2-0 with a few minutes remaining in the middle frame.

Kris Letang may face suspension for hit on Marcus Johansson

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Update: Reports indicate that the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is indeed looking into the hit.

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As thrilling as this Pittsburgh Penguins – Washington Capitals series has been, it seems like every game presents another controversial hit.

Game 3’s most noteworthy entry (so far?) came when Kris Letang was whistled for interference on Marcus Johansson.

Penguins fans griped that Brooks Orpik didn’t get a major penalty for his hit on Olli Maatta … now Capitals fans likely feel the same about the check Letang delivered.

Watch it in the video above. Also, Stefanie “My Regular Face” has it in GIF form:

Things could get ugly in Game 3:

One factor in a suspension happening – or at least the duration of the suspension – would be what the point of contact was:

Also, lateness of the check:

The Penguins ended the first period up 2-0 against the Capitals, even though Washington played one of its best 20 minutes of the series. Expect more drama.

Update: The Penguins won the game 3-2.

Read reactions to the check here.