BOSTON – Marc Savard has been cleared to play and will be available for the Boston Bruins’ second-round playoff series against Pittsburgh or Philadelphia.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli made the announcement Tuesday during a conference call, saying Savard was tested by Dr. Jeremy Schmahamann the previous day and got the OK to return to the ice.
“He’s an elite player and he’s been chomping at the bit to play,” Chiarelli said. “The fact that we were able to clinch and allow time for him to get acclimated and a little practice I think is going to be very beneficial to Savvy and the team.”
Savard suffered a Grade 2 concussion on March 7 after a hit by Penguins forward Matt Cooke. Savard started skating again last Monday.
In 41 regular-season games, Savard totalled 33 points (10 goals) after leading the Bruins in scoring the previous three seasons.
The Bruins completed a six-game victory over Buffalo in the Eastern Conference quarter-finals Monday night in Boston. Their opponent in the next series depends on the outcome of the Washington-Montreal series, which will be decided in a Game 7 on Wednesday night. If the Capitals win, Boston will face the Penguins.
The Bruins have advanced to the second round for the second year in a row, though this year’s team did so under completely different circumstances. In 2009, the Bruins were the top seed in the East and they swept Montreal in the first round. After 10 days off between series, they lost to sixth-seeded Carolina in seven games. This year, as a lower-seeded team that took longer to win in the first round, the Bruins are hoping they’ll be able to avoid the pitfalls of last spring.
“I know we use the word complacent to describe some of the issues we had in last year’s second round. I think part of that stemmed from the long layoff, and that complacency just creeps in naturally,” Chiarelli said. “We’re not going to have that long layoff now. Our guys also have learned from last year about better preparing mentally for the next round.
“The stuff that we’ve been through in the year, I think it’s helped us. It helped us mentally and I just saw a consistent approach in this past series, a consistent effort. … I just think that the group has learned collectively from last year. They’re more experienced.”