Marc Savard is back skating with the Bruins but his return is not imminent. A major outgrowth of his injury, however, has been increased playing time for Vladimir Sobotka, a 5-foot-10 pepperpot of energy who has emerged as one of the surprising players in the series.
Sobotka is clearly under the Sabres' skin. Lindy Ruff even took a shot at him yesterday when he said, "You've got that little Sobotka who's ducking now, doesn't want to get hit by [Tyler] Ennis."
So Sobotka got plenty of attention in the Bruins' locker room today after the pregame skate. He said he hadn't heard about Ruff's comment but he wasn't too happy when it was relayed to him either. What would his message be to Ruff?
"I've got nothing to say to him," Sobotka said. "Just on the ice. I'll show you on the ice."
Sobotka has shown plenty in this series with 23 hits in the last three games, a key assist on Dennis Wideman's goal in Game Three and his first NHL fight (with Andrej Sekera).
He spent the bulk of last season at Providence, and this year had just 10 points and was minus-7 in 61 games.
"It comes with more ice time and more confidence," Sobotka said. "I have trust of my coach on the ice. I have more confidence to make plays and get better."