Even though the New Jersey Devils came back and surprised the Boston Bruins on Saturday night, Jaromir Jagr is feeling the pressure to perform better.
Jagr is tied for the team lead in points with nine (with Marek Zidlicky) but has just two goals. Rich Chere of The Star-Ledger shares the future Hall of Famer’s take of his own play that centers around his apparently poor equipment.
“I have to start scoring,” Jagr said. “I don’t score as many goals as I would like to or have as many chances. It might have something to do with my sticks. I had to change my sticks this year. The company I (got) my sticks from went into bankruptcy. It’s not easy when you’re 41 to change all of a sudden. The game is so quick, a little difference and you lose the puck.”
They always say a good craftsman never blames his tools, but after scoring 683 career goals we can give Jagr a little bit of leeway here. Besides, after helping spark the Devils comeback with two assists against Boston maybe he’s found a new career as a set-up man.
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 (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.