Flyers blow 4-1 lead, Caps win in shootout


The Philadelphia Flyers saw a 4-1 lead evaporate over about eight stunning minutes against the Capitals on Sunday, as Washington eventually won 5-4 via a shootout.

Halfway through the third period, it seemed like the story of Sunday’s Flyers – Capitals game would be all about Michael Raffl’s emergence, as he collected three assists today. Instead, Steve Mason & Co. couldn’t hold off a mad rush by the Capitals.

Mike Green gave the Capitals a shot with this 4-2 goal 11:20 into the third period:

Dmitri Orlov scored his first goal of 2013-14 with about three and a half minutes left, as things started to get a little anxious:

Finally, Alex Ovechkin collected his league-leading 27th marker of the season* to tie things up with less than a minute remaining in the game:

The Capitals continue to ride Ovechkin’s ridiculous scoring, Nicklas Backstrom’s underrated work (two assists, shootout-winning goal) and Philipp Grubauer’s continued competence to another win. They’re now 18-12-3 on the season as they’ve won six of their last nine games.

The Flyers flubbed a chance to return to .500, as they’re now 14-15-4 and have dropped four of their last five games. At least they’ll get a chance for quick revenge against the Capitals, as the two teams meet again in Washington on Tuesday.

* – Scorekeepers seemed to go back and forth on Washington’s first goal either going to Ovechkin or Marcus Johansson, so Ovi either finished Sunday with 27 or 28 goals.

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

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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.