After notching a pair of multi-goal games and somehow getting Calgary back into the Western Conference playoff picture, Flames captain Jarome Iginla was named the NHL’s first star of the week.
Iginla led the charge as Calgary won three in a row for the first time this season. He notched three points (including the game-winning goal) in a 7-6 win over Carolina, assisted on Olli Jokinen’s game-winner in a 3-2 win over Colorado, then potted two goals in a 3-0 win over Edmonton.
To give you the full scope of Iginla’s impact:
— The Flames started the week at 11-12-2, 13th in the conference.
— They finished 14-13-2, just two points out of eighth place.
Second star went to Minnesota’s third-string goalie, Matt Hackett. The nephew of former NHL goalie Jeff Hackett, Matt made his NHL debut in style, replacing injured starter Josh Harding and stopping 34 shots for a 2-1 win over San Jose. The younger Hackett continued his strong run of play with a 42-save win over Los Angeles, which set a Wild franchise record with their sixth straight road victory.
Third star went to Washington defenseman John Carlson. He posted consecutive three-point outings against the Panthers and Senators before notching an assist on Dennis Wideman’s hat-trick goal in a 4-2 win over the Leafs. Carlson now leads all Caps defensemen in scoring and is second on the team in assists, with 15.
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.