NHL Playoffs, Flyers vs. Canadiens, Game 4: Tied after 1st period


There were more than a few close calls in the first period of Game 4, but it ended 0-0. Unlike the previous three games of this series, neither team built a clear and undeniable advantage.

Jeff Carter and Ian Laperriere returned for the Flyers in this one and seem like they’re fitting in well. Dan Carcillo was scratched in this one after his semi-typical shenanigans.

Like I said, there were definitely some close calls on partial odd man rushes, but possibly the most memorable moment happened when Hal Gill laid down to keep a puck out of Montreal’s net. It was a mad scramble in Jaroslav Halak’s crease that didn’t result in a penalty. While I haven’t had the opportunity to pour over the replay(s) over and over again, it looked like Gill never closed his hand on the puck, which is the telltale sign that a penalty shot should happen.

It’s not too surprising that this game is a lot more close-to-the-vest than the last three. Montreal only put seven shots on goal while Philadelphia only sent five Halak’s way. Considering the stakes in this one, expect some tight checking hockey. You never really know, honestly, but my guess it that it will be a low scoring affair.

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 ESPN.com 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.