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.

Eichel makes everyone look silly, Varlamov gets the early hook

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You know, with Connor McDavid hogging so much attention, it’s about time that Jack Eichel provided us with another awesome goal.

That tally came at the Colorado Avalanche’s (and especially Semyon Varlamov‘s) expense as that was the Buffalo Sabres first shot of the game.

Patrick Roy apparently felt like this just wasn’t Varlamov’s afternoon, as Colorado’s head coach decided to pull him after Varly allowed two goals on as many shots. Evander Kane nabbed the other goal for Buffalo.

You can watch the goal in the video above, which reminds us that “Eichel Tower” might not be a unique pun.

Another shot of it:

Check out Kane’s goal, too:

To be fair to Varlamov, Calvin Pickard has already allowed a goal as well. The Sabres are currently off to a 3-0 lead, and maybe a small roll considering how well they played against Montreal on Friday?

NHL on NBC: Red Wings, Bruins fight for Atlantic positioning

Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin (71) keeps Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara (33) from the puck in the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015 in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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Both the Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins are finding new ways to win these days, and while they might not be as obvious contenders as they once were, each team can still be dangerous.

Sunday’s NBC game proves enticing for plenty of reasons, yet the most obvious is that if the postseason began today, these two squads would face off in an intriguing first-round matchup.

The Bruins have taken the first two games between these teams in 2015-16, but they might be forced to face the Red Wings without crucial forward Patrice Bergeron, who may have been injured during an unlikely fight with Blake Wheeler.

Detroit features Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk as usual, although Dylan Larkin is a new, ultra-speedy forward who is worthy of plenty of attention in his own right.

While Jeff Blashill continues to establish himself following up Mike Babcock, Claude Julien recently hit a milestone with his 500th win and earned plaudits from CSNNE.com as one of the best coaches in the league.

(Speaking of milestones, Brad Richards is expected to play in his 1,100th game.)

Boston currently holds the second spot in the Atlantic with 66 points in 55 games played, but Detroit is right behind them with 65 in as many contests. With the Tampa Bay Lightning hovering nearby, each team likely recognizes this as an important game.

Goalie nods: Backups battle as Kinkaid faces Enroth

Los Angeles Kings goalie Jhonas Enroth, of Sweden, deflects a shot off the stick of a Colorado Avalanche player in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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The New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings prefer to lean on workhorse goalies Cory Schneider and Jonathan Quick respectively, but Sunday presents a change of pace.

In the Kings’ case, Jhonas Enroth is playing in part because of (what Los Angeles hopes is) a minor injury to Quick.

It’s true that the under-sized goalie sports a mediocre 4-4-1 record, but he’s given the Kings legitimate chances to win games considering his impressive (especially for a backup) save percentage of .925. Perhaps he can earn a few more reps if he plays well in what may be a tight game?

Speaking of earning more reps, Keith Kinkaid must continue to work to prove that he’s able to make the jump from AHL goalie to at least an NHL backup. The Kings aren’t likely to make it easy for him, either.

Elsewhere …

Avalanche at Sabres: Semyon Varlamov vs. Robin Lehner

Bruins at Red Wings: Possibly Tuukka Rask vs. Petr Mrazek

Blues at Lightning: Best guess – Brian Elliott vs. Ben Bishop

Flyers at Rangers: Steve Mason vs. (possibly) Henrik Lundqvist

Fight video: Someone other than Evander Kane beats up Alex Petrovic

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Bummed out on this holiday? Look on the bright side: at least you’re not as sore as Florida Panthers defenseman Alex Petrovic likely is right now.

Not long after suffering three defeats at the hands/fists of Evander Kane, Petrovic likely lost another bout to Nashville Predators tough guy Anthony Bitetto.

(Note: some might consider this more of a draw, for what it’s worth. You can watch that latest fight in the video above.)

Hey, at least Bitetto didn’t taunt Petrovic after their fight …

It was a rough night for the Panthers overall, as they suffered a gruesome injury or two and fell to the Predators by a score of 5-0.