After winning their 2009 playoff series 4-3, the Montreal Canadiens bested the Pittsburgh Penguins once again, going 3-1-0 in the two teams’ 2010-11 season series. This time around, Carey Price turned aside all 26 shots to spoil Pittsburgh’s 200th consecutive home sellout.
Montreal 3, Pittsburgh 0
The Habs only needed 20 shots to score those three goals. Michael Cammalleri scored a goal and an assist while Travis Moen and Tomas Plekanec also generated tallies for the Canadiens.
While it was a nice afternoon for Price (who recorded his eighth shutout and 33rd win of the 2010-11 season), it wasn’t so great for Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury was pulled from the game about seven minutes into the second period after allowing three goals on only 12 shots. Brent Johnson made eight saves in relief work for the Pens.
The Canadiens find themselves only two points behind the Boston Bruins for the Northeast Division lead, although Boston holds one game in hand. Still, the B’s have lost four games in a row, so Montreal has a legitimate chance to catch up on their now-even-more-hated rivals.
Meanwhile the Penguins remain four points behind the Philadelphia Flyers for the Atlantic Division title and Philly also has two more games remaining. Pittsburgh is also in risk of losing home ice in the first round, as the Tampa Bay Lightning could move into a fourth-place tie with the Pens by beating the Florida Panthers tonight.
Then again, maybe the Penguins should just stop wearing those questionable Winter Classic duds, as they’ve apparently only scored three goals in the three games they’ve worn them.
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.
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.