Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 01/16/08 at 08:36 PM ET
Earlier today, Marc Savard of the Boston Bruins participated in a teleconference for the NHL. Since the start of the ‘05, ‘06 season Marc has recorded 179 assists placing him in third in the NHL over that timeframe behind San Jose Joe Thornton with 228 and Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby with 190.
Here is the transcript of today’s Q&A session.
Q. Two questions actually. The first one is about the game on NBC Sunday. Just curious. Do you guys—I think it’s hard to say that you could get up more for one game than the other, but do you notice that the game’s on national TV and does it strike your awareness before the game, you know, the hype surrounding a national televised game or anything like that?
MARC SAVARD: Oh, yeah, for sure, you know it’s obviously a regional matchup, NBC has already been into the media coverage on it so we’re excited and it’s a back-to-back game at the end of a back-to-back, so it should be exciting for the fans and the players.
Q. It could also be that it’s the end of a back-to-back game who knows what could happen Saturday but it could boil over and make for some pretty entertaining television for even the non-hockey watcher that’s just skimming through the channels.
MARC SAVARD: Yeah, exactly. And you know at the end of that, too, is we’re both rated close to the playoffs right now so they’re much needed points for both hockey clubs, so I think at the end of the day it’s going to be a pretty intense little series.
Q. One other question for you, Marc. The way you’ve gone I’ve been reading some stuff on you recently and a lot of it’s talking about how you’ve become more of a two-way player where years past you weren’t. Do you think that’s part of the reason why you’re an All-Star now, you’re not just worried about—I don’t know if you were worried, but you’re not just all about the numbers now, you’re playing the defense, you’re doing the back-checking, all of those things that are required of a two-way player?
MARC SAVARD: Well, yeah, I think New York’s—part of why I get recognized (indiscernible) if I had two goals and four assists but you got to produce at both ends but at the same time our team’s played well this year and I owe a lot to my teammates. We’ve been in playoff position pretty much the whole way.
Obviously Claude Giroux and I, the coach is pretty defensive minded, so I mean that’s the only that way we’re going to win hockey games is playing the system, so I think that’s helped me a lot, too.
Q. I just wonder, you were overlooked in the past, specifically last year. Was that upsetting to you?
MARC SAVARD: I think, yeah, last year I was upset a little bit. You know, I think I was around seventh or something like that in league scoring or wherever I was at the time, and I thought for sure, especially coming off the year before that I had also a good chance of me getting in. You know, I guess it takes time, and I’m glad I’m in this year and it’s going to be a lot of fun.
Q. Why do you think you were overlooked in the past, what do you think made the difference?
MARC SAVARD: I don’t know, just you know a lot of guys have been you know playing in situations and obviously last year you know some guys are Stanley Cup winners the year before and I guess it just takes time to get recognized and you know, like I said, I’m just glad I’m there this year.
Q. Hello, Marc. I just wonder if I could ask you one of your teammates is from Vancouver, Milan Lucic. Can you sort of describe what he’s done for the team and are you surprised at his age that he’s accomplishing what he’s done so far?
MARC SAVARD: Well, you know, since the first day Milan came to camp, I really enjoyed his enthusiasm and I thought he was a great young player, and I mentioned to Peter Schaefer right in the midst you know, start of the camp that I think this guy is ready to play and you know I see he was like a man already, he’s only 19, and you know he’s just growing everyday.
I mean, he’s been in probably seven fights and maybe lost one, so I mean he’s done a great job, and he’s going to get a lot of recognition for his offense because he doesn’t get to play in a lot of offense situations right now, but the skill level is there, too, so he’s going to continue to grow. You know, he’s a great kid. We drive to the rink together every day and we have a great time so he’s going to be around for a lot of years to come.
Q. Some people compare him to maybe a young Cam Nealy who fought a lot and didn’t score a lot his first two or three years in the league. Do you see any comparisons there at all or do you remember when Cam was—what he was like when he was younger?
MARC SAVARD: Yeah, I mean there’s comparisons there for sure, but it’s pretty early to say, and I think that, you know, Milan is going to grow like I said and like I said I see a lot of offensive potential there, you know, even when I get on some shifts with him he makes a lot of little great plays and I think the sky is the limit for him, for sure.
Q. Just looking back at your past I see the last time that you made an All-Star team was back in ‘95 with the Generals. Did you ever figure it would be this long coming back to an All-Star Game?
MARC SAVARD: Actually I think I played in one in the American League, too, in Syracuse. But yeah, I never thought about the All-Star Games and stuff like that. First off I just wanted to make the NHL and be a regular. You know it’s grown, and you know I think when I (indiscernible) to Atlanta I got a really good opportunity to play and it’s great how I’m getting to play there for my first All-Star Game. I’m really happy about that. I didn’t really look at it, but I’m excited to be in one now.
Q. Do you feel that you’ve kind of been overlooked as well internationally, you know, a lot of team candidates get put together but Marc Savard’s name never seems to really pop up.
MARC SAVARD: Yeah, I mean you know I don’t have the answers for that, but you know, I just like I say continue trying to work hard and get better and making the playoffs is a huge thing, so I think that is the next step on where I’d like to get, especially after getting this All-Star nomination, so I think our team is set up in a good position that we’re young working group and we play well defensively so hopefully that gets us to the playoffs, and we’ll see what happens from there, and I’d like to get some international recognition for sure.
Q. When you mentioned when Claude took over he did bring his defensive style in. Was it, you know, was it then that you realized that you know like if this is the style that I’ve got—that he’s going to, you know, coach then we’ve all got to adapt to it and that’s kind of how it worked for you, did it happen right away or did it take a little time?
MARC SAVARD: No, I think I was brought in right away at the end of the season, and I think being a leader on the team it’s helped everybody else, too, and realizing, you know, this is the way we’re going to win hockey games, this is what we’ve got to do to win hockey games, and it’s been successful. So it’s tough because an offensive guy your whole career, you want to be offense all the time, but you got to realize to win hockey you’ve got do adopt.
Q. One other question. Why did it work all of a sudden for you really why did it really take off that season in Atlanta, really in Atlanta before signing with Boston. What was the difference?
MARC SAVARD: Well, I just think honestly, John, you know, I owe a lot to him and give me an opportunity to come to Atlanta and when Bob Hartley took over he basically called me in the first day and he told me the ball is going to be in my court when he coached Colorado he knows what I’m capable of doing and he just wanted me to really go and work hard, and I owe a lot of credit to him, he’s a greater person, too, and I’m sure he’ll be back in the league someday.
Q. You and Claude Giroux are both from the Ottawa area. Had you known each other before Boston and had you ever worked together before?
MARC SAVARD: Yes. Claude used to have this NHL camp when I was about 15 or 16 before NHL seasons opened up, so I used to go and get, skating before I went away to an actual NHL camp and then when I was a forward I went to his camps he left to go coach and so he didn’t run that camp anymore.
Q. Has that helped you, the relationship with him in the past?
MARC SAVARD: I think so. I think any time you get guys in the same area, you know, not favoritism but you know the guy you’ve been around him before, me an Claude get along fine and it’s something that maybe has helped me a bit, but you know, like I said, I owe him a lot of credit for helping me on the other side of the puck.
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