Savard Stellar in Debut
Three of Boston's most promising young forwards were doing exactly what the rest of us were doing on Saturday afternoon - watching Marc Savard
Savard, who had missed Boston's first two exhibition contests amidst concerns about his health, put all of those worries to rest with his outstanding performance in Boston's losing effort against the Rangers.
He is one of the most skilled guys in the NHL -- the best league in the world," said forward Jeff Lovecchio. "He's unbelievable and some of the stuff he does with the puck it just doesn't even make sense to me."
Across the locker room, Zach Hamill
had similar sentiments.
"Every time he's on the ice, something is happening," said Hamill. "He's fun to watch and even more fun to play with.
"He's probably the best passer I've ever seen play live."Jamie Arniel
spoke in hushed tones about the veteran's skill set.
"His confidence and his vision, his patience with the puck are ridiculous, actually," said Arniel. "You don't see that very often and it's just incredible to watch because you think he's all alone and he finds somebody that you didn't even see on the ice -- And you're on the bench.
"That's just a great skill to have and it's why he's one of the best centermen in the league."
Arniel also talked about having Savard as a mentor.
"To have a personality like that when you are such a great player is awesome," said Arniel. "He makes everyone around him better and more comfortable with the game.
"Being a young guy, I think he's definitely calmed me down a bunch and helped me play a little bit better."
LoVecchio said he appreciated Savard's approach on the bench, too.
"He was talking quite a bit," said the young forward. "I talked to him a couple of times.
"He came up and said something to me about having a good shift. That pumped me up a little bit, there and...he keeps it light in the locker room, too.
"He's a pretty funny guy," said LoVecchio.
However, LoVecchio indicated that if Savard were an actor, he would be staring in a science fiction pic, not a comedy.
"He's got crazy vision. Good players at that calibre it seems if they can slow the game down. Other players, they don't see the game in that slow motion," he said. "It seems like when he gets the puck, he's thinking three steps ahead of everyone else. He just slows the game down kind of like The Matrix or something.
"He just has this ability to make plays every time he has the puck. It's fun to watch."
Okay. I am heading over to the live blog
. You can follow the game there.
Thomas in goal for Boston. Valiquette in goal for New York.
New York's lineup:
Girardi, Kotalik, Avery, Staal, Prospal, Boyle, Semenov, Voros, Byers, Parenteau, Anisimov, Del Zotto, Ownes, Sanguinetti, Locke, Lisin, Brashear, Gilroy, Valiquette, Johnson.
Chiarelli on the challenge of replacing Kessel:
"I feel we have players that will fill in the goals. I don’t know if we will score the same number of goals as last year. I don’t know if that is a function of losing Phil. I’m not sure. I still think we have an offensive bent to our team. You’re going to have Marco Sturm coming back. You’re going to have a Derek Morris who can score. You’re going to have a Bergeron is going to score more. Lucic will score more. So you will get increased production. What he (Kessel) does from a speed perspective is he puts the opposing team on their heels a little bit because he has tremendous speed. We will getting some speed back with Marco (Sturm) and we try and play a high tempo game regardless."
Arniel, Begin, Boychuk, Fata, Hamill, LoVecchio, Lucic, MacDonald, Morris, Penner, Rask, Ryder, Sauve, Savard, Stuart, Sturm, Thomas, Thornton, Whitfield, Wideman.
Claude Julien was asked about the challenge of replacing Phil Kessel.
"You hope that...some of the young guys and others, as a team, will make up for that difference," said Julien. "It’s one player and yet we have some young players that we feel are going to get better.
"We just have to really focus on moving forward here without him and not think for a second that we are going from a good team to a bad team, because I think we will be just fine."
Blake Wheeler, a teammate of Kessel's at the University of Minnesota, also spoke.
"Well, it’s part of the business," said Wheeler. "That’s really as far as you can take it. I’m going to miss having him around, he’s obviously a great friend of mine, and you learn quickly though that it’s part of the deal and it’s too bad it didn’t work out, but I wish him luck in Toronto and we see them six times this year and hopefully we come out on top."
Practice is over and three of the Bruins talked about the trade. Patrice Bergeron
was one of them.
"Well, I think for us, we’re pretty happy with what we have in the dressing room and we believe in all the guys that’s here right now," he said. "It’s Phil’s decision and we all respect that, but at the same time we’re here in training camp and we feel good with all the guys that are here now."
Chiarelli's opening statement.
"Obviously, we are here to discuss the trade of Phil Kessel to Toronto. You have the details, we traded Phil last night to Toronto for their first round pick in 2010 next year, their second round pick next year and their first round the following year. So it’s actually three picks, two firsts and a second.
"A trade of this nature is obviously difficult. When you trade a good young player who can score goals with speed, who we drafted and helped develop, so obviously it’s a difficult thing and I’ll fill you in on some of the details. But let me be perfectly clear, this trade is really about two things: one, it’s about a player who did not want to play in Boston, and two, it’s about the threat or the perceived threat of an offer sheet. And I’ll get into detail a little bit those two things, but really that’s what this trade is all about."
The presser is over. I am heading over to the Bruins locker room to get player reaction.
Follow the press conference @NHLBruins on Twitter.
Recchi, Krejci, Lehtonen, Bitz, Hunwick, Marchand, Kobaasew, Chara, McQuaid, Sobotka, Ference, Wozniewski, Courchaine, Bodnarchuk, Wheeler and Sabourin are among the players on the ice for the warmup.