Detroit Red Wings v Chicago Blackhawks

Blackhawks beat Red Wings, lose Saad to injury


All the way back in April 2011, the Detroit Red Wings nearly ended the Chicago Blackhawks’ season in a huge game. The Minnesota Wild bailed the ‘Hawks out in an odd scenario, yet it still showed that the veteran Red Wings could foil the upstart ‘Hawks.

Even the powerhouse 2012-13 Blackhawks had trouble finishing off an underdog Detroit team in last year’s playoffs.

On Sunday, the role reversal seemed truly complete, with Chicago making life a little more miserable for Detroit this time around. The Blackhawks won 4-1 in an increasingly rare rivalry game between two teams now in different divisions and conferences.

Chicago improves its chances of wrestling the Central Division’s second spot from the Colorado Avalanche (another Detroit rival), while things are far more dire for the banged-up Red Wings. This loss keeps them at 73 points in 67 games played, leaving an increasingly small margin for error for a team desperately fighting to keep an outstanding playoff streak going.

It wasn’t all good news for the Blackhawks, however, as rising forward Brandon Saad left the game with an injury and didn’t return. On a night in which Marian Hossa looked fantastic in his return from an upper-body issue, that’s a little disappointing for the defending champions.

These two Hossa-powered goals should soothe those wounds, however:

Chicago and Detroit won’t meet as often going forward, but if Sunday is any indication, the two teams could still keep this rivalry alive.

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

Montreal Canadiens v Minnesota Wild
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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.