Pavel Kubina, Dominic Moore, Simon Gagne

Lightning won’t have Pavel Kubina or Simon Gagne for Game 2

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It’s turning out to be a really good thing that the Lightning won Game 1 of their series with Washington because they’ll be working at quite the disadvantage in Game 2 tonight. We saw Simon Gagne leave Game 1 after hitting his head on the ice after taking a hard check and while that scene was scary, the assumption was that he’d miss some time. The same was the case for Pavel Kubina after taking a hit from Jason Chimera in Game 1 that put him out of the game.

Both of those players will be out of tonight’s Game 2 in Washington and in their place a pair of Joneses will help fill their spots as Randy Jones will slot into Kubina’s place on the blue line and Blair Jones will take Gagne’s spot. For both Randy and Blair Jones (they’re unrelated) it will be their first appearances in these playoffs.

Tampa Bay’s style is a tight-knit one that allows for holes to be filled seamlessly but clearly the Joneses are a step down from what Kubina and Gagne can bring to the lineup. Gagne’s had seven points so far in the playoffs (2 goals, 5 assists) good for fourth on the team. Thankfully for the Lightning they’ve been getting big production out of their third line with Dominic Moore and Sean Bergenheim as well as stunning production from Steve Downie. Lightning coach Guy Boucher is hopeful that both Kubina and Gagne can play in Game 3.

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.