Daniel Briere’s first year in Montreal nearly bottomed out on Tuesday, when he received just 4:27 in ice time during a 3-1 win over Phoenix.
To hear head coach Michel Therrien explain it, the decision was all about getting a W.
“On our side we’ve got to make decisions — I’ve got to look at the big picture with the team and make adjustments during games to make sure that we’ve got a chance to win the hockey game,” Therrien told the Montreal Gazette. “We made those decisions (Tuesday), and adjustments and it was good for the team because we end up making a comeback and won against a team that are really tough to play against.”
Briere, the Habs’ big summer signing, received just seven shifts against the Coyotes — four in the first, two in the second and just one in the third — for his lowest TOI total of the season (save the 4:20 he played against Nashville on Oct. 19, when he was hurt midway through the game.)
Briere has just five goals and 10 points through 26 games this year and is averaging 12:38 per game — his lowest average since the 2000-01 campaign in Phoenix, when he was 23 years old.
“Danny is a great person and we want things to happen,” Therrien said. “And we gave him an opportunity. But I’m sure he wants to produce more, wants to get involved more.”
The Habs will take on the Blues tonight in St. Louis.
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.