More on Capitals steroid investigation

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laich.jpgBefore things get out of hand and the allegations start to fly out of
control, let’s clear some things up on the news from today that U.S.
Marshals and steroid investigators have gathered at the Washington
Capitals’ training facility.

According to sources, the Capitals’ facility
was not ‘raided’ or ‘descended upon’ by federal authorities looking to
tear the place upside down in a search for steroids. Far, far from that
in fact. A number of sheriff’s office investigators, assisted by U.S.
Marshal authorities, have met at the training facility merely looking
to talk with some players and team officials.

The investigation is
a carry over from last year’s arrest of Richard Thomas, who was charged
with possessing anabolic steroids with intent to sell. Thomas said he
was using the drugs so that he could ‘look like Arnold Schwarzenegger‘ and that he was selling steroids to
players for the NHL, NFL and MLB. He specifically mentioned the
Washington Capitals and the Washington Nationals.

More after the jump.

Investigators
for the NHL took action based on the statements, and nothing further
came from the allegations. No specific players were named and it seemed
as though Thomas was just looking to try and bring down anyone he could
as he was legally buried with over $200,000 in illegal steroids. He also
claimed to be ‘the largest steroid dealer in Central Florida’.

Today,
Dr. Douglas Nagel, a chiropractor in the Virginia and Washington, D.C.
area was arrested in connection with the case, with detectives saying
the he has been purchasing steroids from Thomas for at least a year.
According to Melissa Liberman of WTSP.com:

Thomas said Nagel told him that he worked with professional athletes
in
the D.C.
area and that the doctor boasted about supplying steroids to these
athletes. The teams Thomas said Nagel supplied steroids to are the
Washington Nationals and the Washington Capitals.

Nagal’s wife, Jan, said in a brief phone interview that her husband
did not sell steroids. She denied he ever treated members of the
Nationals, and declined to comment on whether he had treated any
Capitals.

According to the arrest affidavit for Richard Thomas, he had been
supplying steroids to clients all over the U.S. via FedEx and USPS.

Nagel has several patients on the Capitals and Nationals, but that
does not mean he had been supplying steroids to the players.

It’s certainly an incredible coincidence that a dealer stated nearly
a year ago, very specifically, pointed out the Capitals and Nationals
as teams that he had been indirectly supplying, and a chiropractor with
patients on both teams is then arrested for purchasing steroids from the
same dealer. It certainly seemed to be a baseless allegation last year,
but now there’s a possibility he could have been speaking the truth.

We’ll update you with the statement from the team as soon as we can.

Ducks cement Pacific lead as Getzlaf continues his mammoth March

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By the end of Sunday night, the Anaheim Ducks removed all doubt: they’re on top of the Pacific Division.

Now, it’s not the sort of substantial lead that the sliding San Jose Sharks squandered; Anaheim merely leads the Sharks and Edmonton Oilers by two standings points after beating the New York Rangers 6-3.

With everyone at 75 games played, it’s kind of nice to enjoy the clarity that comes with a clear lead (though the Sharks and Oilers will disagree):

Pacific top four (all teams with 75 games played)

1. Ducks – 93 points (38 ROW, 41 W)
2. Sharks – 91 poitns (40 ROW, 42 W)
3. Oilers – 91 points (37 ROW, 41 W)

Flames – 88 points (38 ROW, 42 W)

The Ducks are now on a four-game winning streak and managed an 8-1-1 mark in their last 10 contests.

With all due respect to Patrick Eaves‘ two goals, it’s Ryan Getzlaf who’s really playing outstanding hockey. He generated four assists in this one, giving him eight helpers in his past four games. He now has a whopping 20 points in March.

A lot going on – fight included – between Corey Perry, Brendan Smith (Video)

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If there’s one thing that’s undeniable from the clip going on, it’s that Corey Perry and Brendan Smith squeezed a lot of activity (carnage?) into a single shift.

Early on in Sunday’s New York Rangers – Anaheim Ducks game, both player delivered hits that were at least borderline dangerous. After that, they traded punches in a pretty solid fight (especially since they seemed a little tired because, again, this was a fairly elaborate sequence).

It’s way too messy a sequence to call neat, but there is something efficient about trading hits and then getting into a fight. That’s a mini-hockey feud in short order.

If you want a pretty moment to counteract all that, check out the great puck movement on this 3-on-1 goal for the Rangers:

Penguins lose to Flyers and lose another key player to injury

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PITTSBURGH — Even with a ridiculously long injured list that would be the foundation of a pretty good hockey team, the Pittsburgh Penguins still found a way to go 8-1-3 in their previous 12 games entering Sunday’s contest against the Philadelphia Flyers.

The injuries finally seemed to start catching up to them on Sunday in a 6-2 loss, extending their current losing streak to three games, matching their season long.

While the loss certainly impacts their pursuit of the top spot in the Metropolitan Division (they remain three points back of the Washington Capitals), and even their quest for home ice advantage in the first round, it is still not the worst thing to come out of Sunday’s game.

The worst thing for them would be the fact the Penguins lost yet another key player to an injury when forward Conor Sheary had to leave the game mid-way through the first period.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said after the game that Sheary is dealing with a lower body injury and that right now he is considered to be day-to-day. It was initially believed that Sheary was injured blocking a shot, but Sullivan insisted that was not the case and that it happened in the offensive zone at some point in the first period.

With Jake Guentzel still sidelined due a concussion he suffered in a recent game against the Buffalo Sabres, that means two-thirds of the team’s recently assembled top line (Sidney Crosby-Sheary-Guentzel) is now sidelined due to injury. Sheary’s injury is especially concerning given how good he has been on Crosby’s wing dating back to the 2016 playoffs. Entering play on Sunday Sheary was averaging nearly a point per game (50 points in 54 games) with almost all of that production coming at even-strength.

They had yet another scare in the third period on Sunday when defenseman Brian Dumoulin had to briefly leave the game and head to the locker room after he was elbowed in the side of the head by Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds.

On Sunday, all of the injuries finally seemed to be too much with the Flyers pretty much dominating the game over the final two periods.

The Flyers received goals from six different players (Jordan Weal, Valtteri Filppula, Dale Weise, Jakob Voracek, Radko Gudas and Shayne Gostisbehere) in the win and outshot the Penguins by a 24-15 margin over the final 40 minutes.

“That wasn’t a good effort and at this point of the season we can’t afford to have those,” said Penguins forward Matt Cullen after the game. “I don’t think that was a typical effort for us. I don’t think we had a lot of life, to be honest.”

Even more than winning games the rest of the way the biggest concern for the Penguins has to be getting their list of injured players healthy and finding a way to avoid adding to it, something that has proven to be difficult in recent weeks.

At this point, whether they win the Metropolitan Division or not, they know their path through the Eastern Conference playoffs is very likely going to have to go through both Washington and Columbus, and they are going to need their full complement of players to do it.

One of the biggest factors in winning a Stanley Cup is having all of your key players in the lineup come playoff time.

A year ago the Penguins did.

Right now they are not even close to having that.

Video: Dumoulin shakes off elbow, Sheary out day-to-day for Penguins

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Barring a major comeback, the Pittsburgh Penguins look like they’re going to lose to the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday. Their injury losses might be just as big.

On the bright side, it seems like Brian Dumoulin was able to shake off an elbow from Wayne Simmonds. You can watch the hit, which didn’t draw a penalty, in the video above.

Meanwhile, Conor Sheary has been missing since the first period with what might be a lower-body injury.

The Penguins’ list of injuries is already pretty ridiculous, so if one or both of these players miss significant time, tonight will sting deeper than a setback on the scoreboard.

Update after the Penguins’ loss: Seemingly good news, if very early and vague: