Report: Irbe likely to join Buffalo coaching staff


Sounds like one of the new members of Ted Nolan’s coaching staff will soon be in place.

Per the Buffalo News, longtime NHL goalie Arturs Irbe is a frontrunner to come on board. Irbe, 47, has a long history with Nolan thanks to their time together with the Latvian National team — at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Irbe served as Nolan’s assistant; the former Shark, Canuck, Star and Hurricane also has NHL goalie coach experience from a two-year stint with the Capitals.

Nolan and new GM Tim Murray cleaned the Sabres’ coaching house back in mid-April, removing goalie coach Jim Corsi and assistant coaches Jerry Forton, Teppo Numminen and Joe Sacco. Forton was a Ron Rolston hire and Sacco had ties to the former Buffalo bench boss as well, serving as an assistant with Rolston at the 2010 World Hockey Championships; Corsi was well-regarded but had been with the organization for a long time (14 seasons); Numminen was finally let go after surviving two coaching changes (he was originally hired as part of Lindy Ruff’s staff.)

As for Irbe, it remains to be seen in what capacity he’d serve the Sabres. He could replace Corsi as the club’s goalie coach — Buffalo has two relative youngsters to work with in Jhonas Enroth and Michal Neuvirth — but could come aboard as Nolan’s assistant.


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