Since heading to the Tampa Bay Lightning organization from the Canadiens in 2016, Bournival has played 24 games in two seasons for the NHL team, and 95 games for the Syracuse Crunch. On the Crunch last season Bournival had 15 goals and 19 assists, all while racking up 55 PIM. In 22 Crunch playoff games in 2017, Bournival was a solid producer, with 8 goals, 7 assists, and 15 PIM.
Bournival re-signed while injured, however — his injury occurred on March 23 against Bridgeport, a knee impact that ended his season and his hope of helping the Crunch in this year’s playoffs, unless his recovery is swifter than expected.
Tampa Bay signs rehabbing Syracuse Crunch forward to pact for 2018-19 [Syracuse.com]
“I think it will mentally help him with his rehab,’’ said Tampa Bay assistant general manager Julien BriseBois. “We knew we wanted him back. There was no real incentive to wait. We know he’s going to make a full recovery. He’s proven he can play at the NHL level.’’
@BoltProspects In addition Somppi ELC today, they also gave Michael Bournival a one year, two-way extension. First RFA struck from the list: Domingue, Paquette, Miller, Peca, Koekkoek, Verhaeghe, Erne, and Walcott remain. Gallant might end up Group VI.— Timothy Bennett (@exterminatorx) April 19, 2018
Okay, now for the rest of the news...
Victor Hedman named a Norris Trophy finalist. [Raw Charge]
Turns out, Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy is ready for the playoffs. [Tampa Bay Times]
“Vasy has played well down the stretch,” Cooper said. “I just don’t know how well our team played defensively down the stretch. And when the team is playing better defense, it helps your goaltender out. Now he doesn’t have to make as many highlight-reel saves. And I think what you’re seeing in the playoffs is a group that has been determined to play both ends of the ice and, in turn, that’s helping Vasilevskiy out. I think it has all been a culmination of this.”
The defenseman has an upper-body injury sustained during a 3-1 loss in Game 4 on Wednesday. He did not travel with the Devils to Tampa on Thursday but could join them later. If Vatanen cannot play, the Devils could reinsert Mirco Mueller, who has three shots on goal and a minus-1 rating in two Stanley Cup Playoff games. They could give right-handed shot Steven Santini an opportunity to play in his first NHL playoff game.
Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov won’t face discipline for hit on Devils’ Sami Vatanen. [NJ.com]
Vatanen was forced to leave the game after Kucherov delivered a booming check to the defenseman’s body and head. The main point of contact was deemed to be the body, with no unavoidable contact to the head.
Justin wrote us up a solid round-one preview of the Amerks, including an interview with a Rochester fan. [Raw Charge]
The teams share more than a New York license plate on their team bus, which often resulted in those close games this past season. They are aggressive teams that like to score goals. Syracuse and Rochester finished tied for fifth in the league with 234 goals during the regular season.
Geo wrote a great piece about Benoit Groulx that has me worried that some coachless NHL team is going to wander by and scoop him up. [Raw Charge]
For any NHL organization, the primary role of an AHL affiliate is to develop prospects and prepare players for the NHL. That is most important to the NHL club. But perhaps just as important, is building a winning culture in the AHL. When you teach players to win, to expect to win, and more importantly to be hungry to win, you develop winners. And when you get them on your NHL team, you want your prospects to be winners.
Seldo rounded up the CHL playoffs numbers. Although Otto Somppi was injured, and his team lost playoffs, three Bolts prospects remain: Boris Katchouk, Taylor Raddysh, and Alex Barré-Boulet. [Raw Charge]
As go Tkachouk & Raddysh, so go the Greyhounds. When the two stars team up and score it’s a win for the ‘Hounds, but they weren’t consistent enough this series to make it a quick one, and the Soo saw its toughest opponent in the playoffs almost knock them out of the second round. Now the ‘Hounds will play the Kitchener Rangers, a surprising team this post-season. Is the Soo prepared and more focused for this challenge?
But because Otto Somppi was booted from playoffs, he got to sign his ELC with the Tampa Bay Lightning. [Raw Charge]
As a professional, Somppi will bring some flexibility to the Syracuse Crunch as a speedy two-way player that can play center and on the wing. Listed at 6’0 and 181 pounds, he has good size, but will likely still add 5-10 pounds to his frame over the next few seasons with a professional workout regimen.
Tuukka Rask comes up big, leads the Bruins to a 3-1 win [Stanley Cup of Chowder]
Rask’s tremendous performance was bolstered by the Bruins taking advantage of Toronto’s mistakes. While the Leafs seemed to set up camp in the Bruins’ end for minutes at a time, the Bruins’ chances were more of the one-and-done variety.
“We are not down in the damn series,” Tortorella said. “Yeah, would we like to get something done at home? A great building both nights. We come up empty. Guys want to perform, make the fans happy. I feel for them in that way. Let’s just forget about it and get to our next game. We’ll have a good practice tomorrow, bang it around, get our hands back, and go play an afternoon game.”
The Ducks’ problems are philosophical and financial. Carlyle and general manager Bob Murray are old-school proponents of a slow, physical game that doesn’t work anymore. This could be the right time to move Carlyle into the post-coaching consultant job he was promised and find a coach who can instill a sense of discipline.
And here’s the highlight, because angry Torts is the best Torts. “We sucked.”