New Jersey Devils v Philadelphia Flyers - Game One

James van Riemsdyk’s playoff mentor makes a lot of sense


While Martin Brodeur doesn’t think very much of James van Riemsdyk’s skills, his monster play in Game 1 has everyone thinking back to how well he did last year.

While it’s just one game, seeing van Riemsdyk come up big in a postseason game again has everyone wondering if he’s got a “playoff mode” he activates and becomes a force of nature. As it turns out, he’s just got the right people to look up to when it comes to stepping up in big moments.

Sarah Baicker of finds out there’s another big playoff performer in the Flyers’ room van Riemsdyk draws inspiration from.

“I always love playing those big games,” van Riemsdyk said. “I’ve had a lot of great players to learn from. I remember my first year, I was talking to Danny Briere a little bit about what to expect in the playoffs, and he went out there and put out an absolute show out there, taking us to the Cup finals there.

“And I think I learned a lot from him and that definitely helped me in the next go-round.”

Drawing on Briere to inspire your play in the postseason is about as good of a pick as it gets. Briere’s been nothing but huge since joining the Flyers and he’s more than made his mark each year in the playoffs in Philly. It’s no wonder that the two found a way to pair up on yesterday’s game-winning goal.

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