Today’s Starting Goalies – November 4

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Whether you’re interested for fantasy hockey reasons or just want to know which goalie your team is playing in a given day, we thought it might be helpful to share our best guesses (based on various previews from newspapers and Web sites plus our own instincts) on who might start each day.

7:00 PM ET games

Columbus @ Atlanta

Likely Columbus starter: Mathieu Garon – The Blue Jackets are hot, but their backup goalie is playing especially well. He’s coming off of a shutout so he should get the start, but don’t worry about Garon stealing Steve Mason’s job anytime soon. (Source: The Cannon.)

Likely Atlanta starter: Ondrej Pavelec – If any goalie can use a day off, it’s Chris Mason, who made 52 saves to help Atlanta win last night. Luckily, Pavelec is back in action so the team should have a solid one-two punch in net. (Source: Chris Vivlamore.)

NY Rangers @ Philadelphia

Likely NY Rangers starter: Henrik Lundqvist – The talented Swede apparently took a puck to the throat during a Wednesday practice but seems good to go anyway. (Source: Andrew Gross.)

Likely Philadelphia starter: Sergei Bobrovsky – He’s currently on a four-game winning streak, so why not give good old “Bob” another start? (Source: Tim Panaccio.)

7:30 PM ET game

NY Islanders @ Ottawa

Likely NY Islanders starter: Dwayne Roloson – Considering some of the things (justifiably) being written about Rick DiPietro, Roloson better get the start. (Source: common sense.)

Likely Ottawa starter: Brian Elliott – Pascal Leclaire is apparently ready to go, but Elliott has been playing well lately so they’re giving him the nod. (Source: Silver Seven Sens.)

8:00 PM ET game

San Jose @ St. Louis

Likely San Jose starter: Antti Niemi – He’ll receive his Stanley Cup ring tonight, so the troubled goalie will get a start. Maybe the ring will remind him of the form he’ll need to get back in the swing of things? (Source: Working the Corners.)

Likely St. Louis starter: Jaroslav Halak – Going out on a limb that after a lengthy layoff, the Blues will turn to their big name guy. (Source: my gut.)

9:00 PM ET game

Vancouver @ Colorado

Likely Vancouver starter: Cory Schneider – The much-touted backup will give Roberto Luongo a break tonight. (Source: Nucks Misconduct.)

Likely Colorado starter: Peter Budaj – Haven’t been able to find confirmation of this one way or another, but I’d guess Budaj is the best bet until the Avs announce that Craig Anderson is good to go again. (Source: my gut, again.)

10:30 PM ET game

Tampa Bay @ Los Angeles

Likely Tampa Bay starter: Mike Smith – It seems like Dan Ellis has the advantage in their goalie duel, but Smith will get a chance to prove himself against one of the best teams in the NHL tonight. (Source: Lightning Twitter page.)

Likely Los Angeles starter: Jonathan Quick – I actually got the chance to see Quick in person last week and he was truly amazing. My original impression was that Quick was one of those workhorse type “quantity over quality” goalies, but he’s playing amazing hockey right now. (Source: Rich Hammond.)

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.