Jan Hejda

Colorado’s Hejda: We’ve lost confidence


Thanks to their current four-game losing streak, the Colorado Avalanche find themselves stuck in the Western Conference  basement, two points back of 14th-place Calgary.

Clearly, the losses are starting to affect the team’s psyche.

That’s what defenseman Jan Hejda told the Denver Post on Monday, saying the team has struggled mentally since losing 4-0 at home to Edmonton on Mar. 12 — a loss that began the current winless streak, during which the Avs have been outscored 20-9.

“Everything starts with that loss to Edmonton,” Hejda explained. “We lost confidence. Everybody is trying (not) to make a mistake.”

As you probably guessed by the 20-9 scoring discrepancy, defense is an issue in Denver.

The Avs have allowed four goals in each of their last four losses and are getting manhandled at even strength (the penalty kill has actually been decent, killing off nine of the last 11.)

Unfortunately for Colorado, Hejda has no answers on how to fix the solution.

“D-zone coverage, we have no rhythm right now,” he said. “Four games in a row we’ve allowed four, five, six goals against. Not acceptable. I don’t know. We have to simplify it, probably.”

Looking for a silver lining, Avs fans? Here’s Mike Chambers of the Post with something…

On a positive note, the Avs are on the road to getting a high percentage on the No. 1 draft pick in June, and bringing projected all-world defenseman Seth Jones back to Colorado.

Seth, Popeye’s kid, grew up playing for the Littleton Hawks and Colorado Thunderbirds until age 12, when he moved back to Dallas, where he was born.

So there’s something, I guess.

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