After being named to the Eastern Conference team on Monday afternoon, an ecstatic Marc Savard said he very much looked forward to participating in the 2008 NHL All-Star Game. He said that was particularly so because he would be able to represent the Boston fans and Bruins teammates in Atlanta.
"When I came here I wanted to help build a winning hockey club," said Savard. "We all know how emotional all the fans are here…that was one of the big reasons I came here, because of that passion.
"They've been great to me since I've been here, so it's nice to be able to represent them."
Savard indicated that he felt at least a little vindication at the late nomination, since he had purposely shifted his focus, away from solely being a playmaker, to becoming a force on both sides of the puck. As a result, his offensive stats are down slightly, even if his worth to the club has skyrocketed.
"I've worked hard at being a more complete player (this year), so it's nice that people took notice," said Savard, who came into camp in excellent physical shape and who logs long minutes each game. "But it's the whole team that has got us in the position we were in.
"I thank all those guys for giving me this chance to play in the All-Star Game…I owe a lot to my teammates."
Beyond simply playing a more complete defensive game, Savard said he feels tremendous satisfaction in being able to contribute in nearly every facet of the Bruins attack.
"I've really enjoyed the different situations that I've been put into," said Marc. "I am enjoying taking those big (face offs) and having Coach Claude (Julien) give me that chance…I'm working at it…and it's something that I look forward to doing during each game," he said.
On top of it all, he is excited to be going back to Georgia and a place he called home for quite a while.
"Obviously, going back to Atlanta is huge," said Savard. "I made a lot of friends there in three and a half years.
"My family knows the area well…being able to bring my family there is great and something I will never forget."
Asked if there were a particular All-Star memory that he remembered from any of the games he has watched, Marc relayed a story about his former teammate Dany Heatley or the man whom he will replace in late January's game.
"It's funny how everything happens in this world," said Savard. "The year that Heatley went and had that big game, I made up his sticks for him for him."
For those of you who don’t know, Savard is very particular about his sticks and treats each one to an amazing amount of care and preparation, so Heatley chose the exact right guy for the task.
"I spray (painted) them up and he liked this certain curve, so I curved them all. And he actually gave me the stick that he scored his fourth goal with, so when I found out I texted him right away and said that I was sorry to hear about the shoulder and that I would represent him well at the game.
"He wished me luck," said Savard.
Furthermore, Marc said he felt as if all the Bruins would get some satisfaction and perhaps even a little boost, by having two men on the Eastern Conference roster.
"I think so. I think it's great for the Bruins organization to have two players there," he said. "It's the coaching staff and the players that have helped me and Z getting there.
"I mean we've held a playoff position pretty much the whole year.
"I owe a lot to the guys (especially) Axie, Muzz, Kessel and Sturmie, all the guys who have played on my line all year and I'm excited to be part of it," he said.