2010 Stanley Cup Finals, Game 4: Flyers mum on van Riemsdyk's status

JVR.jpgSeeing the demeanor of both James van Riemsdyk and Dan Carcillo after
this morning skate — combined with the fact that Carcillo was benched
in the third period Wednesday night — speculation was
fueled that JVR would be back in the lineup tonight.

Just don’t ask Peter Laviolette about it.

“Good try. We don’t talk about any lineups, you guys know that.”

was just as mum about the situation.

“You’ll have to speak to
coach, I’m not even sure,” he said, when asked if he was playing. “If
you do get that chance to get in there though, you have to make the
most of it and it’s going to be an exciting game and going to be another
one of those games where it’s a must win for us. It’ll be the biggest
one of the season and we’re going to have to come
out flying.”

Carcillo wouldn’t answer any questions about his
playing status, and while he certainly didn’t appear to be too pleased
after the skate I doubt that either player knew whether they were
playing or not at that time. Laviolette normally waits until after the
skate and after talking to the media about what changes he might be

What was interesting was seeing how forthcoming JVR was,
practically gushing about Carcillo’s performance in the past two games.

done a great job in there,” van Riemsdyk said. “He’s been skating,
being physical and getting under their skin and those are the three
things that he’s always been known to be great at. So he’s definitely
done a good job doing that.”

Carcillo has certainly focused on
getting under the Hawks’ skin, but the Flyers have proven to be at their
most effective when their skill players and scorers are throwing
endless shifts of offensive pressure at Chicago. Perhaps Carcillo helps
with the team’s psyche early in the game, but you would think a player
like JVR might be more effective the deeper into the game the Flyers

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.