Ryan Kesler, Bobby Ryan, Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Andy Sutton

Riding the Zamboni – Wednesday, February 9th

For a recap of the bloody and busy Bruins-Habs game, click here. This post covers the Sharks’ 3-2 win over the Blue Jackets, which briefly gave them the Pacific Division lead. Here are summaries of Wednesday’s other six games.

Nashville 4, Detroit 1

Perhaps Barry Trotz should convince that the Predators are playing the Red Wings every night. They’ve beaten Detroit 7-1 in the two clubs’ last two contests, but haven’t been able to beat anyone else since January 23rd (going 2-4-1 in that span including those two victories vs. the Wings). As Trotz pointed out, the Predators are five points out of the Central Division lead yet they’re also five points away from being out of the playoffs altogether.

Nashville scored the game’s first four goals, forcing Detroit to pull Jimmy Howard in the second period. The Red Wings are still in control of the division and their own playoff hopes, but one has to wonder about Howard’s confidence at this point.

Minnesota 3, Colorado 2

If the Avalanche were in NBA Jam, the game’s announcer would say that they “can’t buy a bucket.” Hapless Colorado is now on a six-game losing streak thanks to their 3-2 loss versus the Wild.

Minnesota is now in ninth place while Colorado finds themselves in second-to-last place in the brutal West bubble.

Chicago 4, Edmonton 1

The Blackhawks earned two types of wins tonight. The first one was a subjective one, as many (including myself) believe they got the better end of a trade with Florida. Still, they need objective ones more than subjective ones, so it’s good to see they took care of business against the Oilers.

Phoenix 3, Dallas 2 (OT)

The Pacific is now a big mess, which shouldn’t surprise anyone who follows the NHL’s most top-to-bottom competitive division. The Stars are technically in first but are tied with the Sharks at 66 points while the Coyotes are at 65, the Ducks are at 64 and the Kings are “lagging behind” at 60. (Wipes sweat from forehead.)

It was a business-as-usual game for the Stars, as Brad Richards carried the offense (one goal and one assist) while Kari Lehtonen kept them in the game with 32 saves. Ray Whitney provided two assists while Radim Vrbata scored the overtime game-winner.

Calgary 5, Ottawa 2

The Flames (10-1-2) are just about the polar opposite of the Senators (11 losses in a row), which showed in this game. Anton Babchuk scored a goal and two assists, Tim Jackman scored two goals and Calgary scored four unanswered goals after trailing 2-1 going into the first intermission.

Anaheim 4, Vancouver 3

The Ducks ended the Canucks’ winning streak at six games. Vancouver was also on a nine game streak in which they earned at least a point, something Anaheim stopped as well.

Bobby Ryan scored two goals, Teemu Selanne provided two assists and Ryan Getzlaf provided a beautiful backhand pass for an assist in his Ducks return.

Anaheim built a 3-0 lead and held on as the Canucks made the game interesting in the last 21 seconds. Daniel Sedin had a chance to tie it up in the hectic last moments, but couldn’t get a shot on goal.

Struggling Sabre Tyler Ennis out with upper-body injury

Tyler Ennis, James Wisniewski
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Tyler Ennis can probably relate with the Buffalo Sabres’ opponent on Wednesday, as he’s struggling almost as much as the Nashville Predators.

Perhaps some of that has to do with health?

Whether that’s the case or not, Ennis is out for the Sabres tonight, as the team announced that he’s dealing with an upper-body injury.

The Buffalo News discussed Ennis’ struggles in this article.

“I’d say he’s pressing too much. You can’t make those plays in every situation and in every point you touch the puck,” Dan Bylsma said to the Buffalo News. “ … He’s just got to simplify his game. He is a special player who can make those plays, but he can’t be trying to do it every time he touches the puck.”

He’ll need to wait a while to start getting things together, anyway.

WATCH LIVE: Wednesday Night Rivalry (Flyers-Islanders; Blackhawks-Sharks)

Ryan White, Matt Martin
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You can check out tonight’s Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader on NBCSN, and you can also stream them online.

Here are the handy links for the two contests.

First, the New York Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers.


After that, the Chicago Blackhawks visit the San Jose Sharks.


Braun out with upper-body injury; Zubrus to make Sharks debut

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The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.

Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.

“Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”

Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.

Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.

Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.

Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer

Johansen calls trade rumblings ‘weird,’ says relationship with Torts is ‘great’

Ryan Johansen
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One day after reports surfaced of Ryan Johansen being at the center of trade talks, all parties involved from Columbus did what they’re supposed to do — downplay the situation.

You can read the denials in full over at the Dispatch, but here’s the gist:

— Johansen said the rumors were “weird” and that he’s “never seen it before.” He also said there were no issues between him and head coach John Tortorella, calling the relationship “great.”

— GM Jarmo Kekalainen wouldn’t address the report, nor would Johansen’s agent, Kurt Overhardt.

— Johansen added he hasn’t spoken to any of Columbus’ management about the trade rumblings.

So there’s that. What’s next?

At this stage of the game, it’s hard not to think about another Overhardt client, Kyle Turris.

Turris, you’ll recall, spent four (mostly) stormy years with the Coyotes before his trade out to Ottawa was orchestrated. Turris eventually told GM Don Maloney “this is not going to work out” with the club, and he was gone.

So, consider the similarities now:

— Turris was 22 at the time of the trade, with four years and 137 games under his belt.

— Johansen is 23, with five years and 291 games.

— Both had contentious contract holdouts with their respective clubs.

— Both are Overhardt guys.

— The Turris trade happened after the Coyotes went from Wayne Gretzky to Dave Tippett as head coach.

— Johansen is already on his third head coach (Scott Arniel, Todd Richards, Tortorella).

For now, these are all coincidences (or a forced narrative, depending what you think of the author).

And, of course, the one big — big — difference between the two is that, at the time of his trade, Turris wasn’t as good or established a player as Johansen currently is. Therefore, logic suggests any Johansen trade would be a lot more blockbuster-y and, therefore, probably more complex.

And as we know, complex deals aren’t easy to pull off.