Artem Anisimov, Kris Letang

WATCH LIVE: Pittsburgh Penguins at Columbus Blue Jackets (Game 4)


The Pittsburgh Pegnuins entered the first round as the clear favorites against the Columbus Blue Jackets, but this series has arguably had more twists and turns than any of the other 2014 playoff matchups.

Both teams have won on the road and have overcome 2-goal deficits. While the Penguins hold a 2-1 series edge and can put the Blue Jackets against the ropes with a win tonight, it’s fair to say that neither squad should feel comfortable with the lead until the game is over.

The contest will start at 7:00 p.m. and air on NBCSN. You can also stream the game via the link below:


A homerun for the Penguins tonight would be a shutout. Since they won the Stanley Cup in 2009, the Penguins have allowed more than three goals per contest in the playoffs. They might be able to get away with that against Columbus, but it’s unlikely that they will get far in the postseason unless they can play a sounder defensive game.

For Columbus, a win would be huge in and of itself. It would be the franchise’s first playoff victory at home and keep the pressure on the Penguins.


NHL announces start times for Saturday’s playoff games

High-powered ‘Hawks, Pens look to cure power play woes

Get your game notes: Penguins at Blue Jackets

<a href="

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

Montreal Canadiens v Minnesota Wild
Leave a comment

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.