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Marc Savard Conference Call Transcript

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
With two goals and six assists for eight points in four Bruins victories, Marc Savard was named the National Hockey League's 'First Star' for this past week.

In 21 games this season, Marc has tallied eight goals and 19 assists for 27 points. He tied for second in overall League scoring with Washington's Alexander Semin, trailing Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin by four points.

With a plus-minus ranking of plus 13, Marc is third in the League, and his 19 assists place him second. Boston leads the Eastern Conference with a record of 14-3-4 for 32 points. On Wednesday, the Bruins travel to Buffalo where they will meet the Sabres. They return home to host the New York Islanders Friday and the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings Saturday.

Here is a snippet of the transcript from his conference call:

Q. From a plus/minus standpoint, you're having the best season of your career. What specifically do you think you've down to improve that area of your game?
MARC SAVARD: I just think I've been building ever year, you know, since Coach Hartley helped me out in Atlanta, and I kind of came here and I've learned a lot from Claude.
So things have helped that way. Obviously with our system it makes it a lot easier to obviously be a better plus player than what I've been in the past.

Q. What has Claude's system done specifically to help your game?
MARC SAVARD:  He tells us exactly what to do. It's right in front of us. Trust in your teammates that they do their job. It makes it a lot easier. Just that. Just little things, being down low and what exactly you do when you're down there. And being better away from the puck overall has really helped me too.

Q. Do you feel you're a more complete player this year?
MARC SAVARD:  Yeah, I do. I'm killing penalties this year for really the first time in the NHL since they've done that, and taken a lot of big face-offs. So it's nice to be counted on like that. It feels good, and hopefully we can keep winning like we are.

Q. The Bruins success as of late has really raised eyebrows around the league. As a team, what do you think you're doing so play to be playing this well?
MARC SAVARD:  I think we're just playing together. We get along so well. I know a lot of teams say that, but we really do. If there's something to be said, we air it out in the room and go from there.
I think when Dallas came in here; I think I look at that as our turning point in the season. We started off with a 500 schedule I think through our first maybe six games, and then Dallas came in here and we had a big game against them and we just grew from there and have been on a pretty good roll since then.

Q. If the Dallas game was a turning point, what do the two recent wins against Montreal mean to the team? They have to mean more than just beating any other team given how they've had your number so much.
MARC SAVARD:  Yeah, obviously it's a huge rivalry. You know, we're not the biggest fans of the Canadiens, and I'm sure they're not the biggest fans of us. It's nice to be able to finally get some wins against them. I think we're just building off it and just rolling over. You know, we're a confident team right now, but at the end of the day we know that we have to work hard to get our victories, and we have been able to do that too.

Q. Coach Julien has been fairly active in moving players around to see what will work, but it seems like he's had you and Phil (Kessel) together a lot. I noticed the defensive work of both of you. Can you talk about that defensive awareness that you guys have?
MARC SAVARD:  Yeah, well, playing with Phil and Milan (Lucic), they're both younger guys. For myself, too, you know, for us to be out there and get the minutes that we get, we try and stress to each other we've got to be good defensively. If we are, we're going to get a lot of offense. Really it feels like we haven't been in our zone too much for that reason, that we've been getting back, breaking up plays, and getting it in.
We're having a lot fun as a line, and like I said, Kess has really worked hard at that aspect so he can be out there in key situations. As he gets older, he's going to obviously be a top guy at both ends.

Q. A couple things. Would you like to be considered for the Canadian Olympic team? Seems like they mentioned all the other players but not you. The other question is about your passing ability. You take great pride in that. In know in the past three or four years you've had almost the most assists in the league.
MARC SAVARD:  Yeah, you know, first, on the Olympic thing, that would be a huge honor for me. I mean, it's something that I don't go into every game thinking about, but it would be nice to work for that. Right now I'm worried about the Boston Bruins. Like I said, it would be a huge to wear my jersey for my country. There are a lot great players on that list. It would be nice to be mentioned.
The thing at passing side, yeah, I've always been a passer first. I've been trying to get away from that to open up more things, and I've try to have more shots on goal this year. I have done that, and it's obviously work out well.
Yeah, on both things, you know, it's nice to get some recognition on that aspect. Hopefully I can keep setting up my wingers and keep scoring some goals.

Q. Do you think the Bruins who have maybe flown under the radar for a while won't be able to do that now?  I know it's only 20 games into the season and there's another 60 games to go, but when you set some kind of bar early in the season the games become a heck of a lot harder.
MARC SAVARD:  Yeah, I mean, for sure. Now that we know teams are coming for us, they're going to be ready every night. Claude keeps us pretty honest on that side, that we've got to be ready every night. The best thing about our hockey club right now, we're obviously a confident group right now, but we know what we have to do to win games, and that's work hard and stay with the system and play at both ends of the ice.
We've been able to do that. Obviously we're getting great goaltending, and we're getting different guys stepping up every night. We're getting a good mix of things right now. Like you say, we know it's only twenty games in, so we're not getting too high right now and try to keep an even keel. Things are going well.

Q. What you do you think makes a good leader on a hockey club?
MARC SAVARD:  Well, not only be being able to say something, but being able to go out and do it. You know, I do like to talk a lot and have a lot of fun before the game and keep guys loose.
In the same sense, I like to be serious and get things going. Those are things I try and bring, and hopefully I can continue to do that.

Q. You mentioned how close this team is and kind of the chemistry. You hear that a lot, like you said, from other teams. That's something that's kind of develops over a long time. Was there a moment or a point over the course of the last year when you realized that this was kind of a team that was in it together?
MARC SAVARD:  Well, I think it started with maybe our last -- you know, it started out throughout last year. Obviously when Bergy went down we came together closer because we know that each guy had to step up.
As we came into the end of the season we had to battle to make the playoffs, and from there  we went on to the seven game series against Montreal and were able to battle back the way we did, and really have the same guys come back and add three players, we've really just taken off from there.
I think in the room, whether we're on the road, we get along so great, all the guys. Like I said earlier, I know a lot teams say that, but it's the truth here. We hang out all the time. Yesterday we had a little team get together. It's just like a family here. We're able to stick up for each other.
That Dallas game this year also brought us closer together. We stuck up for each other, and that was one of the biggest wins at home this year, and we've just really taken off from there.

Q. A lot teams like to incrementally grow together. Does the start you're having, has that maybe changed expectations in the room for this season?
MARC SAVARD:  Yes and no. But I think at the beginning of the year we knew that we had a great team, it was just about when it was going to come together. It's obviously came together pretty fast.
Like I said, off the Montreal series last year we really grew as a team, and we knew the damage we can do if we work hard and stay within a system. We've done that, and now, like I said, we're a confident group, but at the end of the day what wins us hockey games, and that's working hard and coach keeps us honest at that aspect and we've able to do it.

Q. Somebody told me that like today's players seem to really prefer playing within a system. How important is that in Boston?
MARC SAVARD:  It makes it a lot easier. The system is there to protect you, and if you get away from it you're going to get in trouble. I think we know that as team. We probably don't have the most skilled team in the NHL, but if we stay with what we're taught we are able to win games through hard work.
We do have skilled players, and it's getting proven every night. Different guys are stepping up. I think as a whole we're a confident team right now, but at the end of the day we know we have to work hard.
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