Wings win

NHL on NBC: Wings go for 23 straight at home versus struggling Sharks


Happy Hockey Day in America! Be sure to check out PHT throughout the day as we bring you features and previews of all the events, including a nine-hour NHL block of programming across NBC and NBC Sports Network.

Sunday at Joe Louis Arena, Hockeytown celebrates Hockey Day in America with a must-see – you guessed it – hockey game (12:30 p.m. ET, NBC). It’s the Detroit Red Wings, seeking their 23rd straight home victory, versus the team that’s eliminated them the last two postseasons, the San Jose Sharks.

While Detroit already owns the NHL record for most consecutive home victories within a single season, they can break the multiple-season mark of 22 that’s held by the Boston Bruins, who won the last 20 games of the 1929-30 season then won their first two the following year.

To put that record in perspective, when the Bruins set it, the Detroit team had just changed its name from the Cougars to the Falcons; there was a team from Philadelphia called the Quakers who had just moved from Pittsburgh, where they were called the Pirates; and Neil Armstrong had just been born.

So yeah, it’s a fairly long-standing record.

Friday at the Joe, the Wings earned their 22nd straight home win after Pavel Datsyuk took a brilliant no-look pass from teammate Henrik Zetterberg, weaved his way through the Nashville defense, and ripped it past Pekka Rinne with five seconds left in regulation to beat the Predators, 2-1.

“I kind of took a look and saw Pavel over there,” Zetterberg said, “so I knew there were just a few seconds left so there was nothing to lose so I tried to get him the puck and got lucky as it went through a lot of sticks before it got to him and he did the rest.”

The Sharks, meanwhile, won’t only be out to end Detroit’s historic run, they’ll be hoping to turn things around in the fifth game a daunting nine-game road trip.

Friday in Carolina, San Jose dropped its second straight in a 3-2 loss to the Hurricanes.

“I thought we lacked a lot of energy and jump and determination in the first two periods,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. “We didn’t win a lot of races to pucks. We didn’t establish body position around them. They were bigger and stronger than we were, quite frankly, and all of a sudden in the third period, we found it. … That desperation has to be there earlier.”

Cocaine in the NHL: A concern, but not a crisis?

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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.