Michael Bournival suffered a concussion in the game against the Vancouver Canucks last night, and will be out of the lineup when the Canadiens host the Carolina Hurricanes tomorrow night.
The injury will force Bournival to miss the final game before the Olympic break. With 17 days off scheduled following tomorrow night’s game, it is unlikely the speedy winger will miss any more time.
Bournival had been a member of an impressive new fourth line since the arrival of Dale Weise. Weise was acquired just days ago from the Vancouver Canucks for Raphael Diaz and the pair used their speed and tenacity to form a solid trio with center Ryan White.
Bournival made a nifty play to set up White’s goal that made it 2-0 against the Canucks. He drove the net and when the puck arrived Bournival was tied up by a defender and could not get his stick on a loose puck. Instead of continuing by the crease, he lunged across and knocked the puck loose with his foot, which stopped Roberto Luongo from covering the puck. White gathered it in and roofed it over an outstretched Luongo who protested Bournival’s impressive footwork.
For the first time in months the Canadiens were free of the likes of George Parros, Rene Bourque or Travis Moen acting as a boat anchor and canceling out any speed that Bournival generated on the opposite wing.
It may not sound like a big deal, but the Habs had a fourth line for about five periods that could dominate other teams bottom lines. Rather than having Parros play his average of 4:11 per game, the White-Weise-Bournival trio all played over ten minutes against the Calgary Flames. This takes a lot of strain off the top lines, and allows them to spread out their ice time and remain fresh throughout the game.
Bournival is a 21 year old rookie this season, and has chipped in 13 points in 50 games while averaging just over ten minutes per game.