The Ottawa Senators have lost another key player to injury.
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before.
This time, it’s defenseman Marc Methot, who limped off the ice during Ottawa’s 5-3 win over the Islanders on Tuesday following a big hit from Brad Boyes — and wasn’t at Sens practice on Wednesday.
Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen reports Methot suffered an “apparent right leg injury” on the play, though the Senators were describing it as a lower-body injury following the game, without and specifics as to severity.
Normally we’d say losing Methot would be a crushing blow for the Sens — he averages 23:09 per game and leads all defensemen in hits — but the team has shown remarkable resilience following the loss of key players this season.
Methot’s defensive partner, Erik Karlsson, is gone for the year after suffering a lacerated Achilles.
Starting goalie Craig Anderson (ankle) hasn’t played since Feb. 21.
Last year’s leading scorer, Jason Spezza, has missed 25 games and last year’s leading goalscorer, Milan Michalek, has missed 15 with a knee problem (and will be out another month after undergoing surgery.)
Despite all this, the Sens are 16-8-6 this year, sitting fifth in the Eastern Conference, and are just five points back of Montreal for top spot in the Northeast Division.
As for Methot’s injury?
The Sens are going to take a wait-and-see approach.
“We’re going to take our time and evaluate the injury and we’ll have a time frame in further notice,” head coach Paul MacLean told the Ottawa Sun. “Leadership is character. Coming back in this league isn’t easy, but we find a way to do it.”
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.