Brian Burke

Maple Leafs might be modest in trade market

Blustery Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke doesn’t love making moves during trade deadline, but he loves making splashy ones almost any other time of the year. TSN’s Bob McKenzie believes that Burke’s wish list might be too specific to land a big move this time around, though.

McKenzie reports that the Maple Leafs’ big wish is “a top six forward with size who can score.”

After reminding us that few players match that description – at least ones who seem conceivably available – McKenzie knocked names such as Bobby Ryan, James van Riemsdyk and Jeff Carter off the list for reasons ranging from prohibitive contracts to worrisome injuries.

Interestingly enough, McKenzie didn’t mention the power forward trade target du jour, Tuomo Ruutu. It’s unclear if McKenzie omitted him from the list because the asking price for Ruutu is too high or some other factor.

A more promising reason to stay put

Then again, Burke might just want to keep things the way they are because Toronto is starting to pick up its play. James Reimer and the Buds are on a three-game winning streak, placing them seventh in the East and just a tantalizing four points away from the fourth seed (and home ice advantage for at least one round of the playoffs).

The Maple Leafs keep scoring at a great rate this season (167 goals scored places them third overall in the East), but it’s really Reimer’s return to form that bodes well for a team that tends to live and die by the sword.

Check out highlights from Toronto’s 6-3 win over the Oilers below.

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Video: Mike Fisher ends Nashville’s nasty goal drought

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No, the Nashville Predators did not forget how to score goals … or at least they were lifted from that amnesia on Wednesday.

Mike Fisher lifted the curse 13:52 into the first period of tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. You can watch that rare beast in the video above.

They had been shut out for three straight games and pretty close to four in pure game time.

On this subject, PHT’s Jason Brough asked Predators GM David Poile if he was considering moving a defenseman to improve in another area earlier today.

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