With all the superstars on the ice for Vancouver and playing in a tight game with Nashville all night long, it would make sense that it’d be a rookie scoring his first NHL goal that would rise above them all. Lee Sweatt was called up today by the Canucks and he made his appearance count in a big way tonight scoring the go-ahead goal with 7:29 left in the third period to give Vancouver a win heading into the all-star break.
The game went quietly until the third period when Nashville’s Shea Weber scored just 37 seconds into the period to put the Predators up 1-0. Alex Burrows would tie things up ten minutes later with a backhand past Pekka Rinne. Just two minutes later Sweatt’s goal would ice it.
Roberto Luongo was steady tonight stopping 26 shots to earn the win. Rinne’s night was a bit more hectic stopping 33 in the loss.
Sweatt, a 5’9″ defenseman who played college hockey at Colorado College, spent all season playing in Manitoba of the AHL with his brother Billy. Sweatt got the call tonight thanks to Alex Edler sitting out with back spasms. With the way all the moves seem to be working for the Canucks this year you have to start wondering if there’s something special going on with them this season.
The win gives Vancouver 71 points on the year and ties them with Philadelphia for most points at the break. Nashville sits fourth in the West with 60 points.
Alumni rosters announced for Bruins-Habs at Gillette Stadium
The Winter Classic Alumni Game is back this year, scheduled for New Year’s Eve at Gillette Stadium between former members of the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins.
Today, the NHL announced the rosters and coaching staffs.
Famous ex-Habs that will take to the outdoor ice include Larry Robinson, Guy Carbonneau, and Mats Naslund. Behind the bench will be Yvan Cournoyer, Jacques Demers and Guy Lafleur, among others.
The home side will counter with Bruins legends Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, and “Nifty” Rick Middleton, while Don Cherry, Mike Milbury, and Derek Sanderson will be among the coaches. (Quite a trio of personalities right there.)
The hope was that the Columbus Blue Jackets would be jolted into a great, long winning streak, and their season would be saved.
The reality of John Tortorella’s first month behind the bench has been, well, reality. The Jackets are 8-7-0 since Todd Richards was fired. Better than 0-7-0, sure, but at 8-14-0 overall, they remain last in the Eastern Conference.
Fifteen games into his tenure, Tortorella is still trying to get his message across.
“A big reason why we bring them in (to practice yesterday and today) is because we don’t have a full understanding of the standard we need to be at in all areas of the game,” he told The Columbus Dispatch. “Some things you can’t control in our game, but it’s how hard you play, how hard you are with your bite as a team, and the pace you play with – you can control that.”
The Jackets play Wednesday in New Jersey, where they’ll look to shake off Sunday’s disappointing home loss to San Jose. Columbus held a 3-1 third-period lead in that one. The Sharks scored four straight to win 5-3.
The San Jose Sharks have signed forward Dainius Zubrus to a one-year, two way contract, the club announced today.
Zubrus was given a tryout with the Sharks last week.
The 37-year-old played 74 games with the Devils last season, scoring just four goals with six assists. His contract was then bought out.
According to a Mercury News source, the decision to sign Zubrus lay “mainly” with his former coach in New Jersey, now San Jose’s bench boss, Pete DeBoer.
“He looks good,” DeBoer said of Zubrus last week, per CSN Bay Area. “He looks close. It’s tough to find six-foot-four, 215-pound guys who can play. … He’s an easy guy to play because he’s defensively reliable. He plays a big possession, heavy game. There’s a lot to like there.”
In a related move, the Sharks have reassigned forward Nikolay Goldobin to the AHL.