Some good news out of Ottawa on Thursday — Senators forward David Dziurzynski is reportedly feeling better after getting knocked out and suffering a concussion during a fight with Toronto’s Frazer McLaren on Wednesday night.
Dziurzynski is doing much better today. Accompanied team to NYC though he is not skating. #concussion. #Sens
Just 26 seconds into last night’s Battle of Ontario, Dziurzynski fought McLaren in what was the Ottawa rookie’s first-ever NHL fight:
McLaren tried to explain his rationale for the scrap after the game.
“We had a flat start last game. I was just trying to get us going early,” McLaren told the Globe and Mail. “I asked [Dziurzynski if he wanted to fight] and actually he said no and so I didn’t think we were going to go and then he ended up dropping his stuff when the puck dropped.
“He’s a big guy and he actually gave me a few good ones early there. It was a lucky punch. It happens sometimes.”
Dziurzynski left the contest following the game and didn’t return.
After healthy scratch, Severson vows to play ‘next 80 games’
“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.”
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.