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Savard: Good days and bad days

by Phil Coffey
Boston Bruins center Marc Savard said he is still experiencing lingering effects of the concussion he suffered on March 7 when he was hit in the head by Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke.

"I'm just trying to feel normal again and I don't feel that way right now," Savard told a press conference prior to the Bruins' game with the Calgary Flames Saturday afternoon. "I'm getting outside, getting some fresh air, but I'm not where I need to be.

"I miss playing hockey. I miss my buddies. Hopefully. I'm back soon."

The hit on Savard was an impetus to the NHL instituting immediate measures to eliminate heat shot on unsuspecting players.

"At the end of the day, that's the one good thing that has happened," Savard said of the measures made to eliminate head shots. "We need this ASAP before it happens again. We don't need this stuff in our game anymore."

Savard looked pale and spoke slowly as he met with reporters for the first time since absorbing the blindside hit to the head from Cooke. He did not say his season was officially over, but provided little reason to believe he will be back in the short term.

"I just want to get well," Savard said. "Obviously, I would like to get back and help my team. (But) I'm not looking at it right now. I want to get healthy. I need a couple clear days before I can get on a bike. Right now, (I'm) taking it day by day."

Savard says he has every intention of playing again, but there is no timetable for his return.

"This is what I grew up learning to do and what I want to do for a long time," he said. "I want to get back and play hockey as soon as possible. I'm taking it a day at a time. Hopefully, sooner rather than later."

A hope echoed by Bruins coach Claude Julien.

"Slowly but surely he is coming around," Julien said before Savard spoke. "There is always hope he will come back. The longer we go the more hope there is.

"We want to be part of that second season and have him back at some point," Julien said. "We all know it is going to be a much longer process than these couple of weeks. It is going to be up to the guys in the dressing room."

Savard said Cooke has attempted to contact him, but at present, he is more concerned with getting healthy than talking about the hit.

"He's tried and he's tried to get my phone number," Savard said of Cooke. "From what happened, right at the moment I don't have an interest in talking to him. I'm not feeling any better, so I'd rather not talk to him. … It was an attempt to injure that could have been avoided."

Savard said he has spent the bulk of his time since the concussion inside his home and has not been able to watch a full Bruins game owning to light sensitivity. Savard said he has just recently started going outside and attempting to do normal activities.

Savard said he had previously suffered concussions in his career, but none of the severity of the current one.

"I had three kind of minor ones, none as serious," he said. "I don't feel good a lot of days. I have trouble sleeping through the night. Everyday things I don't feel comfortable doing. (I'm) very irritable."

Savard said he has spoken with teammate Patrice Bergeron, who suffered a severe concussion in 2007-08 that limited him to just 10 games.

"I've talked to 'Bergy,'" Savard said. "He's reached out and told me what is going on … there are some bad days and some days when you feel great. He's been great for me."
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