Chicago Blackhawks v Vancouver Canucks

Report: Ex-Canucks asst. Brown may join Vigneault in NY


While we’re still waiting for confirmation of the actual Alain Vigneault hire, the soon-to-be new Rangers coach is already believed to be assembling his coaching staff, according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post.

One of those potential hires? Could be Vigneault’s former assistant in Vancouver, Newell Brown.

Brown, 51, had been an assistant/associate coach in Chicago, Columbus and Anaheim before joining the Canucks in 2010.

Primarily in charge of the power play, Brown initially achieved great success in Vancouver (had the NHL’s best PP in 2010-11, at 24.3 percent).

But, last season, the unit struggled mightily and finished a disappointing 22nd (15.8 percent) in the league.

Here’s more on the potential hire, from Brooks:

Brown offered an interesting observation/statistic regarding the power play in the aftermath of his dismissal by Vancouver, whicho also fired Vigneault and associate coach Rick Bowness. He told the Vancouver Sun that “77 percent of power-play goals are scored with at least two right-hand shots [on the ice].”

The Rangers currently have four right-hand shots on the roster who regularly worked (or not) on the power play — point men Dan Girardi and Anton Stralman and forwards Ryan Callahan and Derek Stepan.

The power play has been a sore spot for New York over the last few years. It finished 23rd in the NHL this season (15.7 percent), 23rd last season (15.7 percent) and 18th in 2010-11 (16.9 percent).

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