Discuss: Blackhawks grind out 3-2 series lead


Patrick Kane’s hot start ended up being just enough for the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, as they edged the Boston Bruins 3-1 to take a 3-2 series lead. The Boston Bruins find themselves down for the second time in this 2013 Stanley Cup Final series.

Let’s discuss the game and the future of the series.

  • Let’s assume that Patrice Bergeron and Jonathan Toews are both out for the rest of this round. Which team “benefits” the most from this situation? How would you juggle lines if you were the coaches? Which players shoulder the most pressure on each squad?
  • Kane now has four points in his last two games and seven goals in his last seven contests. He finished the 2010 Stanley Cup Final series on fire, too. Could he win the Conn Smythe with a strong finish to this series?
  • Speaking of Kane, whose facial hair/general playoff look is more amusing: his or Jaromir Jagr’s Wolverine/”Hollywood Hulk Hogan” routine?
  • Corey Crawford allowed another goal to his glove side, the only puck that beat him on Saturday. So add one more to this cool infographic. But does it matter? Is it an overblown problem or something that could get Boston back into this thing?
  • Zdeno Chara has received some criticism and seemed to struggle in the first two periods before playing big in the final frame, including scoring the Bruins’ goal. Can he carry Boston to two straight wins?
  • Any officiating beefs? Air your grievances.
  • Do you think Chicago will wrap the series up in Boston on Monday? They won their 2010 championship in Philadelphia in Game 6.

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.

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.