Coyotes use special teams to tie series 3-3

Coyotes1.jpgI have to say I’m impressed with the Phoenix Coyotes. After the first period, even though the Red Wings were down 1-0, I just had this feeling that Detroit would fight back, keep doing what was working in the first period and then eventually take the lead.

Yet the special teams play of the Phoenix Coyotes was the difference in this game, as they used some brilliant play by Ilya Bryzgalov and steady defense to kill off three early power plays by the Red Wings. It as Lauri Korpikowski who ultimately supplied the dagger for the Coyotes, getting a nifty shorthanded goal on Jimmy Howard to stun Joe Louis Arena and give the Coyotes a lead they would never relinquish.

It was another concerning effort for Mike Babcock, as his Red Wings once again started with some jump but faded as the game wore on. He worked his team after flying yesterday in an effort to keep them focused and energetic, but it was just another lackluster afternoon game for his team.

Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk combined for just four shots on net, and were largely invisible for long stretches during the final 40 minutes. When Brad Stuart and Patrick Eaves are the leaders in shots for the game, it’s a clear sign the execution was severely lacking.

So now we head back to Glendale for a Game 7, with the Coyotes securing the chance to advance to the second round for the first time as a franchise since 1987.

Cocaine in the NHL: A concern, but not a crisis?

Montreal Canadiens v Minnesota Wild
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Does the NHL have a cocaine problem?

TSN caught up with deputy commissioner Bill Daly, who provided some fascinating insight:

“The number of [cocaine] positives are more than they were in previous years and they’re going up,” Daly said. “I wouldn’t say it’s a crisis in any sense. What I’d say is drugs like cocaine are cyclical and you’ve hit a cycle where it’s an ‘in’ drug again.”


Daly said that he’d be surprised  “if we’re talking more than 20 guys” and then touched on something that may be a problem: they don’t test it in a “comprehensive way.”

As Katie Strang’s essential ESPN article about the Los Angeles Kings’ tough season explored in June, there are some challenges for testing for a drug like cocaine. That said, there are also some limitations that may raise some eyebrows.

For one, it metabolizes quickly. Michael McCabe, a Philadelphia-based toxicology expert who works for Robson Forensic, told that, generally speaking, cocaine filters out of the system in two to four days, making it relatively easy to avoid a flag in standard urine tests.

The NHL-NHLPA’s joint drug-testing program is not specifically designed to target recreational drugs such as cocaine or marijuana. The Performance Enhancing Substances Program is put into place to do exactly that — screen for performance-enhancing drugs.

So, are “party drugs” like cocaine and molly an issue for the NHL?

At the moment, the answer almost seems to be: “the league hopes not.”

Daly goes into plenty of detail on the issue, so read the full TSN article for more.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.