Scott Howson

Howson gets four big question marks for Nash


Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson is already taking heat for trading Rick Nash to the Rangers for Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Tim Erixon and a first-round pick.

After repeatedly promising to hold out for a return befitting “an elite player,” what Howson got were four question marks.

1. Dubinsky – a 26-year-old center coming off a 10-goal, 24-assist season; signed through 2014-15 with a $4.2 million cap hit.

2. Anisimov – a 24-year-old center that had 16 goals and 20 assists in 2011-12; set to become a restricted free agent next season.

3. Erixon – a 22-year-old defenseman with just 18 NHL games under his belt; drafted 23rd overall in 2009.

4. A first-round pick that’s likely to come late in the round.

Not that Howson didn’t acquire potential. Dubinsky is a two-time 20-goal scorer that may benefit from a change in scenery and an increased role in the offense. Anisimov had 10 points in the playoffs, tied for fourth on the Rangers. Erixon is still young, and defenseman often take longer to develop. And there have been plenty of impact players drafted late in the first round.

But no matter what Howson says in the wake of the trade, you can bet he wanted – and expected to get – more.

According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, who broke the trade, “Howson managed this trade his way, but the components of this deal were available at the deadline and again at the draft.”

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