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Leave it to Savvy

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins

Boston’s resident team chemistry guy is on the new Bruins case.

"You just have to make them feel welcome," said Marc Savard (right, #91) when asked what he had in mind for the newest Boston NHLers. "Have some fun, loosen them up, and involve them.

"Maybe a little chirping before the game."

And if anyone knows chirping, it’s Savvy.

"You just try to have fun with the guys," he said. "They seem like great people so it should be fun."

Winning is the greatest component in any measure of team chemistry, however, and the B’s need to win consistently over the next month to get into the show.

"There are a lot of games left and we have a lot of games in hand," said Savard. "Montreal has 16 games left, the same with Carolina, so we see that, and if we win our four games (in hand with each), we’re right in this thing.

"But we need to worry about ourselves, take it one period at a time and look to do that tonight.

"We have to focus on that and…we can’t worry about other teams.

From the in-box

From a fight fan:

Hey there Bish! I’m an avid reader of your blog, and just wanted to point out a trend I’ve noticed in the last stretch of the B’s games.

In the last ten games, the B’s are 7-3. In those 7 wins there have, by my count, been 7 fights (2 vs. Buffalo). The only game they won without a fight was vs. Toronto.

In their three losses, they have only one fighting major. That was vs. Carolina, and instigated by Carolina’s Walker before they scored 4 unanswered goals.

Seems to me the Bruins need to keep this rough, high-energy, passionate style of play if they want to stay hot and avoid another loss (note: no fight vs. Florida).


The Bruins resident rough, high-energy, passionate player, Jeremy Reich, also feels that a good scrap can send things in the right direction.

"It definitely doesn’t hurt," said Reich. "Sometimes it doesn’t work, but I think that the majority of the time when someone tries to go out and fight, I think it does work.

"I can play (hockey), too…but it’s the way I’ve always played, since I was younger. I’ve always tried to play hard and (check). I like (checking) guys and getting hit, too. It’s part of the game."

Asked if he had ever boxed, perhaps in preparation for his on ice bouts, Reich answered in the affirmative.

"Yah in the summertime, sometimes," he said. "About once a week…I’ll box with the guy who trains me.

"But as far as working on it during the summer, I just try to improve on getting quicker and stronger."

Regardless of how he trains, the results since he was recalled in February are pretty clear. Boston has gone 8-4 in his 12 games, but Reich is certainly not resting on any laurels.

"Pretty much every team has four lines with guys that can play (and) it’s still a learning process for me. I haven’t played four or five years in the league," Reich said. "I need to skate and handle the puck and do all the little things right."

"But not too many guys my age get a second chance to come up (to the NHL) and prove themselves. I appreciate that Boston has given me a chance and hopefully I’ll prove them right."

Reich has already gone a long way towards that.

Here’s another note from Watertown, Mass:

Hey B’s -

I’m writing to say that I have faith in you. I’ve watched every NESN game and listened to every Versus game this season, and in many years past as well.

My five-year-old (and three-year-old, as well!) and I have bonded over the games this season, getting psyched up by talking about and watching games together. Not a single game night has gone by without him asking, before he goes to sleep, "Dad...will you tell me who won?", and not a morning without, "Dad, did the Bruins win?" You’ll probably find it as cool as I did that just before he went to sleep before the big Buffalo win during the recent road trip, he excitedly ran his giant yellow foam "Bruin’s #1" finger in to me in the TV room for "good luck" as I watched.

Many of our little life lessons come out of discussions during games around sportsmanship, teamwork, optimism, effort, and yes...penalties. : )

So we welcome the new guys to the family. Keep that hot play going, protect Timmy, and keep the faith for a playoff berth this season.

We will in Watertown. I assure you.

Go get em!!!

The new guys in the room are just as excited as you are, Matt.

"My two hours in (the practice facility) locker room were great," said Aaron Ward, this morning. "It was such a great locker room to be in -- nice guys…I didn’t feel out of place at all."

And chemistry like that is important.

"It’s huge. You want to play for each other, for your organization. You want to excel at what you do and find a purpose. When you all are feeling like you are playing for the right reasons then teams can be successful," said Ward.

Dennis Wideman is confident about the team coming together, as well.

"There are a couple of things different here, and we play some teams I haven’t played at all, but I’ll get used to it," he said. "I’m feeling a little nervous right now, so I’m sure the adrenaline will be going when I get out there.

"I’m looking forward to the game and being a Boston Bruin. It’s very exciting."

It’s exciting for all of us, don’t you think?

Upcoming Events:
TD Banknorth Showdown--Two hockey players from these communities will have the opportunity to shoot eight pucks and win up to $800.00 for their hockey program from TD Banknorth. These shootouts will take place in-game between periods on their respective night.

Tonight: Canton
03.06.07: Braintree
03.24.07: North Andover
03.29.07: Franklin
03.31.07: Lowell

03.15.07: St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. The first 10,000 fans through the turnstiles at the Bruins vs. Capitals game will receive a green Bruins hat courtesy of TD Banknorth Garden.

03.15.07: U2 Cover Band, Joshua Tree, will be playing live throughout the Bruins vs. Capitals game.

03.18.07: 8th Annual Boston Bruins Charity Auction at the Royal Sonesta Hotel, Cambridge, MA from 5-8pm presented by TD Banknorth. The event features rare, one-of-a-kind items and experiences up for bid by Boston Bruins and sports fans alike.

Tickets are available online by clicking here, or call 617-624-1928.

03.22.07: Following the Bruins v. Canadiens game there will be a post-game concert featuring the Grammy nominated country duo The Wreckers presented by WKLB Country 102.5. More...

03.22.07: The Carlton Award. The John Carlton Memorial Trophy is given annually by the Boston Bruins to an outstanding male and female student-athlete in Eastern Massachusetts high school or junior hockey "who combine exceptional hockey skills with academic excellence."

The award is named in honor of the late Bruins scout and administrator John Carlton, who passed away in 1982 after a long and dedicated affiliation at all levels of the game.

03.29.07: 38th annual NESN 7th Player Award.

Given to the Boston Bruins player who has gone above and beyond the call of duty and exceeded the expectations of Bruins fans and teammates.

This is an award that is decided on by the Fans through and this year is sponsored by Dodge. Click here to vote...

04.07.07: WBZ 3 Stars Award.

Throughout the season, bob Beers and Dave Goucher select the Three Stars of each game and present the Three Stars Award to those players who have contributed the most to the teams’ success this season.
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