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Savard's Goal Was an Exclamation Point

by Dyan LeBourdais / Boston Bruins
In this Feb. 7, 2009, file photo, Marc Savard celebrates his goal against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston. The Bruins have signed forward Marc Savard to a seven-year contract extension that would keep him in Boston through the 2017 season. Financial terms of the deal, announced Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2009, were not disclosed. (AP)

Boston, MA -- Marc Savard’s contract extension was something he’d been interested in making happen for a long time and he wasn’t ever shy about letting everyone know it.

“He was on me for a while,” said Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli during the press conference that spoke to the deal. “He was pretty clear in where he wanted to be.

“But generally speaking it’s just, you get a feeling, you do your homework. And there’s a time when you move forward in these things and the timing was right with Marc.”

The timing is often right for Savard and that was again the case during Wednesday night’s game.

Just hours after the press conference that announced his newly solidified stance as a member of the Black & Gold -- a home game versus the Tampa Bay Lightning -- Savard showed his appreciation by scoring the first goal of the night on the power play at 8:05 in the first period.

“Yeah it felt good,” said Savard about netting his 200th NHL goal on the same day as the announcement of his extension. “You know the Bruins are obviously putting a lot of faith in me and I can’t reward it all in one night but that felt good for sure.”

Savard made no bones about his desire to remain in New England.

“It’s something I’ve been interested in getting done as soon as possible because you know, what Peter [Chiarelli] has done here in bringing in the young guys and core that we have and I want to be part of that,” said the veteran forward.

Savard is looking forward to being a Bruin for another seven years – especially because he wants to finish out his career with an organization that has the means and the will to win a championship.

“I want to try and win [a Stanley Cup] and I think we have the intangibles here [in the Bruins organization] to do that. So I was excited and happy we came to an agreement.”

Some of those intangibles are embodied in Savard himself.

“His competitive nature has always been there, but I just see it maturing,” said Chiarelli. “I see it growing and it’s really consistent and compatible with the identity of the team.

“The face-offs, the penalty killing, the shooting the puck more, I feel his game is rounding into a really solid, tremendous skill package with these other intangible things. And you’ve seen it year-to-year and it’s been impressive.”

Savard showed off many of those qualities in Wednesday’s game by scoring his fifth goal of the season on the power play with assists from Zdeno Chara and Derek Morris. He also played 17:59 versus the Lightning -- the most of any Bruins forward. The veteran center also played 2:41 on the power play, had three shots, won 9 out of 12 faceoffs and had one blocked shot for good measure.

Last season, Savard helped lead the Bruins to first place in the Eastern Conference and played in all 82 regular-season games where he registered 25-63-88 totals. In 12 games played this regular-season, Savard has 5-6-11 totals.

As for his point production capabilities, at least in the short run, Savard said, “To be honest [my goal tonight] was a bit of a fluke.

“If you see it [on replay Michael Ryder] was in front of the net all alone. It got a nice bounce off a skate.

“I’ll take it when I can and it was a big goal at the time.”

But Savard is not all about big goals or high point totals.

B’s head coach Claude Julien talked about how Savard’s game on both sides of the puck has improved since signing with the Bruins as a free agent on July 1, 2006.

“I think what Marc has done in the past is he’s added more to his game. He’s still putting up points which is his strength, but at the same time he’s more reliable,” said Julien. “And because he is [more reliable] we are able to put him in some different situations.

“So, I think he’s tried to develop himself into an all around player,” continued Julien. “You certainly don’t want to take away his strength, but anytime you can add something to your game, which I think he’s worked hard at doing, I think that’s what has made him a better player.

“He hadn’t had any playoff experience until a couple of years ago and people were kind of wondering what he would be like in pressure situations and he’s responded to it [with over] a point a game here.

“You can’t criticize a player who’s got those kind of stats.”
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