Another big step on Tuesday in Dennis Seidenberg’s improbable in-season comeback from a torn ACL — he took part in a full Bruins team practice, the first time he’s done so since suffering the injury in late December.
Update: Tap the brakes ever so slightly — Seidenberg isn’t partaking in contact drills…
The German rearguard was put on a pairing with Andrej Mezsaros in place of Corey Potter, who had been manning the unofficial No. 8 d-man role (Potter made just one appearance versus Detroit in the opening round.) It’s the latest in what’s been an accelerated return from a serious knee ailment — on Apr. 9, Seidenberg skated for the first time since surgery and, less than a month later, he’s partaking in practice.
The Bruins have been very guarded about Seidenberg’s chances to return this postseason, saying they weren’t ruling it out but also adding they weren’t optimistic about him coming back. Though they’ve played well without him, the B’s could certainly use Seidenberg’s services — he’s emerged as a terrific shutdown defenseman and, during last year’s Stanley Cup run, averaged nearly 27 minutes a night.
In October, he as rewarded for his efforts with a four-year, $16 million extension.
Without Seidenberg — and fellow blueliner Adam McQuaid — in the lineup, Boston has relied on youngsters like Dougie Hamilton (20), Torey Krug (22), Matt Bartkowski (25) and Kevan Miller (26) extensively this season, and has managed to squeeze some decent minutes out of trade deadline pickups like Potter and Meszaros.
As for the likelihood of Seidenberg returning to the lineup in the second round — there’s no set date on when the Boston-Montreal series will begin, though logic suggests it could start on Friday at TD Garden.
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.