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.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.