Patrice Bergeron

Bruins might face elimination without Bergeron, Corvo


If the 2012 playoffs weren’t already turning into the Summer of Upsets, then it would be truly shocking that the Boston Bruins being down 3-2 in their series with the Washington Capitals. Either way, the defending champs face possible elimination on Sunday, and they might just need to survive without underrated two-way center Patrice Bergeron and offensive blueliner Joe Corvo, according to Joe Haggerty.

Here’s Haggerty on what might have caused Bergeron’s issues.

Patrice Bergeron left the ice early in his second shift of the third period after taking an Alex Ovechkin hit near the offensive blueline that appeared to catch the B’s center in the head. Bergeron waved B’s trainer Donnie DelNegro off when he attempted to approach the center on the bench following the collision, but the two-way pivot only played one more shift for the rest of the contest.

Bergeron looked sluggish and labored during the only shift he hopped out for as a right wing, and he once again ended the shift early when things obviously didn’t feel right.

The Capitals scored two goals in the third period while Bergeron was essentially out of action, so containing Washington could be that much tougher without that Selke-caliber forward.

Corvo isn’t necessarily known for being a great defensive stopper, but losing him likely wouldn’t help matters for the Bruins, either. Haggerty describes Corvo’s potential injury situation, too:

Joe Corvo went down in the second period after absorbing a Mike Green slapper to the knee that sent him down to the ice, and resulted in a goal when Corvo couldn’t return to the play. The refs didn’t blow the whistle when Corvo originally went down, and it essentially created a 5-on-4 situation when the B’s defenseman couldn’t get back into the play.

The Bruins and Capitals will face off in Game 6 at 3 pm ET on Sunday, so there isn’t exactly a lot of time for either player to recover. Hockey players are known to fight through injuries in the playoffs, but we’ll see if Corvo or Bergeron can fight through it.

After healthy scratch, Severson vows to play ‘next 80 games’

Jimmy Hayes, Damon Severson
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Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.

It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.

“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”

Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.

Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.

Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.

“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”

Virtanen to make NHL debut tonight versus Kings

Jake Virtanen
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Jake Virtanen, the sixth overall pick in the 2014 draft, will make his NHL debut tonight when his Canucks meet the Kings in Los Angeles.

The 19-year-old winger was a healthy scratch for Vancouver’s first three games of the regular season. He had two goals and two assists in six preseason games.

“I can’t wait,” he told reporters. “My energy is high. I want to get a couple of hits on my first shift.”

Big and physical with goal-scoring ability, the consensus is that Virtanen will remain in the NHL and not be returned to junior after he’s played nine games. That consensus could always change based on his play, of course.

The Canucks — who won last night in Anaheim — did not have a full skate this morning, so it’s unclear who will come out of the lineup. The best guess is rookie Jared McCann, who’s been playing third-line center.

If McCann does come out, the Canucks could move Brandon Sutter to third-line center and Virtanen could take Sutter’s spot on the first line with the Sedin twins. Or, there could be more extensive line juggling.