Steve Ott, Loui Eriksson

Dallas desperate for a win vs Predators Thursday


The Dallas Stars have been fading lately with four losses in five games. For a team that was in a tight competition for one of the final playoff spots, going cold at this point of the season is simply unacceptable. Now, with two games remaining in every team’s schedule, the Stars are three points out of eighth place. That means the odds are heavily stacked against them in the battle for one of the final playoff spots, but if they want to at least keep pressure on the eighth place San Jose Sharks, the Stars need to beat the Nashville Predators on Thursday.

That will be a tough task for Dallas as the Predators are one of the most dangerous teams in the Western Conference. Nashville added Hal Gill, Paul Gaustad, and Andrei Kostitsyn in February and Alexander Radulov also returned to the club just a couple weeks ago. Those additions make Nashville a well balanced team with a handful of star players making up their core. The Predators have gone 4-2-0 in their last six games as they battle for the fourth seed with the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks.

For Nashville, a loss Thursday plus a Detroit win would mean that the Predators could finish no better than fifth place in the Western Conference, but a win keeps their seeding battle alive going into the final night of the regular season on Saturday.

The player to watch in this game is Dallas’ Loui Eriksson, who has no goals and two assists in his last seven games. It’s always painfully noticeable to a fanbase when their best player goes cold during the final stretch of the campaign, but with the Stars’ season on the line, he could break out tonight.

PHT Morning Skate: 10 years of Ovechkin; 10,000 days with Lamoriello

Leave a comment

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Looking back at 10 years of Alex Ovechkin with the Washington Capitals, in case the above video made you want more. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)

David Conte spent 10,000 days with Lou Lamoriello and lived to tell about it. (TSN)

Want to spot some contract year guys? Here are 32 pending restricted free agents. (Sportsnet)

NHL GMs are starting to sniff around with the 2015-16 season about to kick off. (Ottawa Sun)

Some backstory on Zack Kassian that was passed around on Twitter last evening. (Canucks website)

Hey, you can’t say Raffi Torres hasn’t literally paid for his ways:

This is some quality chirping between Jaromir Jagr and Matthew Barnaby:

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

Montreal Canadiens v Minnesota Wild

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.