Following the B’s loss yesterday, there was enough disappointment to go around in the Garden this morning without looking for some more.
But you know what -- here goes.
I do not know why Marc Savard
is not on the Eastern Conference All-Star team.
Yah, yah, I know that there are writers in many other cities complaining about some slight or another and yah, the B’s are in 13th place at the moment.
But for crying out loud -- Savard is tied for NINTH in the ENTIRE NHL with 56 points, and leads his team in points and assists. And can you name any forward who is more important than he is to his squad at the present moment?
Along with goalie Tim Thomas
(who also deserved a good look, but whose stats, admittedly, took him out of the running) and defenseman Zdeno Chara
(just his minutes played makes him stellar), Savard deserves the bear’s share of the credit for any of the success the B’s have had.
But that’s not why Bruins fans and hockey fans at large should feel "bummed."
It’s a shame Savvy is staying home because the rest of the NHL and its fans are going to miss out on a great player on one of the grandest stages in the game.
And beyond being "just" a player, Marc is a performer and in this day-and-age where all-star contests are losing their allure to their participants, Savard lives to play the part of an NHL hockey player.
He enjoys his time on the ice (during games and practice), the interaction with the fans and all the ancillary attention that comes with it.
In short, if there are any players who enjoy playing the game more than Savvy, I would like to meet them. And that, coupled with his downright spectacular stats, would have made it pretty darn interesting to see our Savvy on All-Star ice.
For his part, Savard downplayed his obvious regret about missing the plane to Dallas.
"Obviously I am disappointed," said Savvy. "I guess sometimes it happens like that.
"(But) I will take it as a tool to try to be better and help my team get back on track, because that is the most important thing anyway."
Well said, Marc.
However, even in the somber and quiet Bruins locker room this morning, almost everyone you talked to (and nobody was talkative, by the way) was baffled.
"I think he deserved to be there," said Thomas. "I mean he is in the top ten in points overall and he’s been an important part of our team all year -- based on those credentials alone he belongs there
"In fairness I guess there are only so many spots…there’s a lot of good players and it must be hard to make the final choices.
"(But) it’s too bad that he got left, because he deserved it," said the Tank.
"The numbers are there to show that he had a real good chance," said forward Wayne Primeau. "It’s too bad for him…he’s been our offensive leader all season."
"Being a teammate of Savvy’s it’s extremely disappointing (that he didn’t make it)," said defenseman Paul Mara. "He’s in the top ten in the league in points…and to not make the team, that’s tough."
Count Bruins head coach Dave Lewis among the confused.
"I am disappointed," said Coach. "He’s deserving and he should have been there.
"He plays hard every night. He’s an important player in all situations…and his numbers are great.
"So I don’t understand," said Lewis.
And hang in there for a treat Bruins fans; Coach Lewis thinks that for Savard, the best is yet to come.
"I think Savvy can be an even better hockey player," said Lewis. "I think he has room for growth and I’d like to see that growth (turn him into) a really difficult player to play against."
Opponents around the league would say that he is already just that.