Quick Strikes: Brian Boyle gets a hatty, and the Ottawa Senators need a new cabbie

I, too, haven’t listened to my boss in over 3 weeks.

The Bolts

Tampa Bay Lightning MVP for 2018-19 Brayden Point has been named last week’s Third Star of the Week. Number two or one would’ve been nice, but it’s okay to be behind Elias Pettersson. The rookie is pretty good. [NHL dot com]

Point led the NHL with six assists and ranked second overall with eight points to lift the Lightning (10-3-1, 21 points) to three wins in four contests and into first place in the Atlantic Division. He collected 1-4-5 in an 8-3 victory against the New Jersey Devils Oct. 30. At 22 years, 231 days, Point became the youngest player in Tampa Bay history to record a five-point game.

Some more on Point while we’re on the subject. Managing Boss in Charge Alan wrote a really interesting piece on the disparity between Point’s production rates and his actual counting stats. It’s perplexing to think about and I think Alan did a great job working the problem and finding an explanation. [Raw Charge]

The initial response to seeing an unexpected result like this in hockey is to blame the randomness inherent in the game and expect it to correct itself. But this trend persisted for the entirety of last season and continued this year. And while one season isn’t enough to say with certainty that an outlier is a trend and not a blip, his lack of production has continued for long enough that it makes sense to try to see what might be driving it.

Mr. Alan Boss Man also jumped on Pension Plan Puppet’s podcast “Back to Excited” to talk... mostly William Nylander. But that discussion included some great linkages between Nylander, Point, and Nikita Kucherov’s contract past, as well as this current era of Tampa’s contract management. I listened to it on the bus to school and it was very good. [Pension Plan Puppets]

Mathieu Joseph’s story of getting to the show has his family all over it. This is a great read by Joe Smith on the Joseph family. [The Athletic]

Now in the family area, Joseph, 21, made a beeline for his father, Frantzi, and gave him a huge hug. It seemed like just yesterday that Frantzi and his wife, France, would watch their sons Mathieu and Pierre-Olivier battle one-on-one on their backyard rink in Laval before school. Frantzi would make hot cocoa for the neighborhood kids on weekends. Now he’s criss-crossing the country to follow Mathieu’s first foray in the NHL.

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You saw Louis Domingue’s special goalie mask from Sunday night, here is the story of how it was made! Tissue warning.

The Prospects

The Syracuse Crunch are last in the North Division, but have begun their slow climb up the standings. The Crunch weekly update is here! [Raw Charge]

Hooray! For the first time all season there are no new names to add to the injury list. In fact, an injured player even returned to the line-up as Ben Thomas skated in his first two games of the season following a hip injury that plagued him at the end of last season. He made an impact as he picked up 3 assists and lent a veteran presence to a very young blueline.

Carter Verhaeghe had three points in three games last week to lead the Crunch to back-to-back wins over the Belleville Senators.

The Orlando Solar Bears made a trade.

The Ottawa Senators

Yeah, so the Ottawa Senators can’t catch a break.

The Sens are bad. We know the Sens are bad. We know the team knows that they’re bad. BUT WE NEVER EXPECTED TO EVER SEE THE GUY THEY POTENTIALLY TRADED JACK FREAKING HUGHES FOR TO SAY IT! [The Ottawa Citizen]

“Marty Raymond, the only coach in NHL history to have the worst power-play and the worst PK within a calendar year,” says Sens forward Matt Duchene, in reference to Martin Raymond, an assistant coach in charge of the team’s penalty-killing this year and power-play last season.

Then Duchene can be heard replying: “Here’s the other thing, too. We don’t change anything, ever. So why do we even have a meeting? I haven’t paid attention in three weeks.”

As soon as the story broke, the internet went nuts. Of course it’s the Ottawa Senators. Of course its yet more major off-ice drama. Of course the little bit of dignity the team has scraped together in the past few months is gone once again. How will this be resolved? Who goes first? Matt Duchene or the coaches? Do they make up? Questions never stop writing themselves with this team.

And now, some formalities.

The coaches and players were forced to release a statement at 11:25 in the evening.

Another thing to mention is that this Uber driver who leaked this video should definitely be fired. What he did was against the company’s policies plain and simple. You can read the Canadian General Manager of Uber’s press release regarding their policies for matters such as this.

Of course, more will be known both legally and visually in the coming days and weeks, and of course we will be here to tell you every little tid-bit. Wow, Ottawa. Wow.

The League


On Hockey Fights Cancer Night in Pittsburgh, Brian Boyle (who has previously kicked cancer’s ass) kicked hockey’s ass, scoring a hat-trick in a 5-1 New Jersey Devils victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. [All About The Jersey]

The thing about Boyle is that his role is typical for a fourth-line player. His goal is to win some battles, win some draws, do not be a liability in 5-on-5 or special teams play, and chip in here and there. He is not fast, he is not young, and so he is sort of against the type of roster Ray Shero has been aiming for through his rebuild. But that does not mean he is unable to contribute and tonight was a great example of why.

Two tips and a snipe. Not bad, Boyler, not bad.

Annie from Pension Plan Puppets wrote an amazing breakdown of the fashion seen around the NHL in October. We think it’s going to be a monthly feature, and we cannot wait. [Pension Plan Puppets]

For what it’s worth, I actually like the vest look. When you’re six foot three and a professional athlete, you can get away with that kind of playing with proportion, and the all white color scheme with that shot of vivid green is great. Not all the outfits in the shoot are winners—the gray Hermès turtleneck with the chartreuse trim has an aggressively high-school-geometry-teacher look to it not helped by the olive drab pants (and also looks itchy! It’s got a very itchy vibe)—but none of it is boring, and that’s really what matters.

Highlight of the Night: It was Brian Boyle, but for the sake of something different, here’s Connor McDavid scoring the 97th goal of his career. It’s fun because that’s the number on his jersey, too!