Michael Bournival

Habs to keep rookie Bournival for season


Michael Bournival is sticking in Montreal.

On Monday, the Habs announced Bournival, their 21-year-old rookie, would remain with the club for the season after scoring two points in his first five games with the team.

“We told to Michael Bournival this morning that he can start looking for an apartment,” Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien told the team website.

Bournival, acquired from Colorado in exchange for Ryan O’Byrne in 2010, impressed the organization last year during his first season of professional hockey, scoring 10 goals and 30 points in 69 games with AHL Hamilton.

There was some thought he could be on his way back to the Bulldogs this season, but the Quebec native played well during the exhibition season and thoroughly impressed in his first five regular-season games with the Canadiens.

Now, Bournival could be in line for an increased role with the club. At Monday’s practice, Therrien had Bournival playing on a power play unit with Tomas Plekanec and captain Brian Gionta.

Related: Hawks’ Pirri, Leafs’ Leivo and Habs’ Bournival score 1st NHL goals (Update: Jenner, Murphy and Stanton too!)

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.