The San Jose Sharks know how hard it can be to complete the sweep in the playoffs.
Mostly because they’ve never done it.
Nope, not one of their 13 series victories in franchise history has been done in four games.
They had a golden opportunity in 2011 when they took a 3-0 series lead over the Red Wings — just as they did over the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday — but Detroit fought back to force a seventh and deciding game.
San Jose won that Game 7, but still, the Sharks aren’t exactly famous for clutching up in the playoffs.
“That [Detroit series] reminds me a little bit of this one,” said head coach Todd McLellan, per the team’s website. “It was close all the way through. Vancouver is going to do the same thing. They have a lot of talent and a lot of veteran players that have played a long time. They are going to come and play. If we don’t, we’ll be in trouble.”
If Vancouver can somehow win Game 4, the Canucks will get to play Game 5 on home ice. And if they can win that…
The Sharks would prefer to avoid going down that road. But they don’t expect it to be easy tomorrow at HP Pavilion.
“They are going to give everything they have,” said Sharks center Logan Couture. “Their season is on the line. They’re going to be their best. We know that. We expect that. We are ready for a battle.”
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:
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.