You know Biz Nasty, meet Biz Daddy; Paul Bissonnette and father Cam talk hockey and chirping

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If you’re not familiar with Coyotes enforcer Paul Bissonnette by now, chances are that means you’re not connected to Twitter. There, “Biz Nasty” has one of the NHL’s largest followings at over 61,000 people keeping tabs on what it’s like living the life of an NHL player, enforcer, and social icon.

If you’ve followed Bissonnette for a while, you’ve gotten to know his family in one way or another. His father Cam and his mother Yoli are virtually the NHL’s favorite parents thanks to Paul’s antics both at home and on the road. This week, Cam is in Phoenix visiting Paul and, like you might expect, when these two get together the talk is lively.

I sat down for an interview with both Paul and Cam Bissonnette to see what the two think of their virtual cult hero stardom. This exchange was better broken down in this format so you can get an idea of how this father-son combo handles each other.

PHT: Are you surprised at how big of a star you’ve become just from chirping your way through Twitter?

Paul: Yeah, I was kinda the first hockey player to take that approach to it. Other guys will tweet about charity and other things and just kind of stay under the radar. I’ve kind of taken it to the next level and people have kind of embraced it. It’s taken off.

PHT: One guy you’ve helped bring into the spotlight is your dad Cam. We’ve seen pictures of him all the time on there…

Paul: (laughs) Shirtless.

PHT: (laughs) Shirtless pictures. You’re good with chirping him, but do you mind needling him while he’s away at home like that?

Paul: Yeah, he doesn’t mind. He’s all for it. He was the same way I was when he was younger. I told him I was going to do it and he’s like, “Ahh whatever.”  He gives a few jabs to me when I’m not around about not playing and stuff.

Cam: It’s hard to keep up to his style. I do my best but I’m always three steps behind him.

Paul: He can’t tweet because he doesn’t know anything about it. He doesn’t even have a cell phone.

Cam: I do. I got one about three months ago.

Paul: It doesn’t even have pictures. It’s a joke.

Cam: I follow him on Twitter… I just don’t respond to him.

Paul: You can’t. You don’t have an account.

Cam: Well half the language I don’t understand.

Paul: It’s all lingo.

Cam: I’m too old for that lingo.

PHT: Is there a way we can get you to set up your dad with an account? Something like BizDaddy maybe?

Paul:  (laughs) Yeah maybe BizNasty6point2 because he’s 62 years-old. But yeah maybe BizDaddy should have an account. Yeah, that’s a good idea. I like that name too. Maybe. I’ll have to tweet for him though.

One way Paul’s made his impact on the game is to do the dirty work with his fists and helping to both keep the peace amongst the players and find a way to invigorate his team. It worked on Tuesday night in the Coyotes 2-1 win over the Blues as Bissonnette’s fights with Ryan Reaves and Tyson Strachan lit a fire under his team to get them back in the game. When it comes to breaking down the fights, Bissonnette breaks them down like a master of the sweet science.

“He (Reaves) took a run at Bods (Mikkel Boedker) he was just doing his job and I came right out and I saw it so I went right over. I literally hadn’t been on the ice for five seconds and he said, “yeah.” It wasn’t a very good fight and didn’t last too long. The next one was a bit better, but I like the lengthy ones where you get your shots in but it sparked the crowd and the team and it worked.”

As for what Cam thinks of his son doing his job as the enforcer out there, he’s straight to the point.

“That’s what got him here. It’s part of the game and every team needs one. I think he’s doing an excellent job of it here and I think it’s what’s keeping him in the league for now. I’m hoping to see him maybe later on get more ice time and kill penalties and…”

Paul interjects seriously, “Become a better player.”

“Yeah, become a better player for sure because as a fighter, your duration isn’t gonna last long in the league. So I think if he learns the game and he gets more ice time he can stay in the league. He can make his career last longer,” Cam concluded.

Getting that sort of serious change in tone from both guys made for an introspective moment. Bissonnette is still young (he’s just 26) and in the league in part thanks to fighting but also his dedication to learning a new role and position.

He came up through the Penguins system as a defenseman and not a fighter, but after learning the tricks of the trade in fighting from legendary AHL brawler Dennis Bonvie and getting moved to forward while in the Pens system, Bissonnette’s career has evolved in a new direction.

Thanks to Bissonnette and his ever-popular stream of thoughts, quips, and jokes on Twitter we’ll be able to keep up with him to see how his career evolves in Phoenix. We’re only hoping now that maybe his father will follow suit so we can see the two of them continue their fun back-and-forth via social media.

(Photo courtesy of @BizNasty2point0)

Talbot torments Ducks as Oilers take 2-0 series lead

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Those who vehemently argued for Cam Talbot being a Vezina finalist likely felt vindicated tonight (even if postseason results don’t factor into the voting).

In Game 1, Leon Draisaitl stole the show. Talbot was the standout of Game 2, snubbing a steady Ducks threat as Edmonton won 2-1 on Friday.

And, just like that, the Oilers are up 2-0 in their second-round series against the Anaheim Ducks. Better yet for this young group: the venue shifts to what’s likely to be a rowdy scene in Edmonton for Games 3 and 4.

The tone was set when Andrej Sekera scored just 65 seconds into the contest. That said, the Oilers could have sulked when a would-be 2-0 goal was called off (and they had to kill a penalty). Instead, they just kept battling, even after Jakob Silfverberg ended Talbot’s shutout bit with a laser beam on the power play.

Speaking of the power play, the Oilers managed to match the Ducks (1-for-4 each on the PP), even as Talbot faced 12 shots on goal during Anaheim’s power-play opportunities.

Talbot ultimately made 39 of 40 stops, and while the Ducks kept Connor McDavid from scoring, number 97 sure looked speedy and dangerous at times in Game 2.

Anaheim came into the second round with home-ice advantage through the West side of the playoffs, seemingly enjoying a golden opportunity when other conference powers fell. Instead, it’s looking like the Oilers might just have a chance to prove that they’re big-time contenders, too.

Game 3 airs on NBCSN at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday. You can watch online and via the NBC Sports App; click here for the livestream.

Latest goalie interference mess: Oilers get penalty, not goal

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Ah, goalie interference. Does the fun ever start?

Arguably the most irritating facet of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs reared its pesky head once again on Friday, as the Edmonton Oilers saw a would-be 2-0 goal disallowed in the first period of Game 2 against the Anaheim Ducks.

The goal wasn’t just disallowed, either, as Mark Letestu was given a minor penalty.

One would imagine that there are opinions for or against the goal (and penalty counting); there are also many who are just getting a little worn out by the uncertainty surrounding such calls. Tomas Holmstrom is nodding his head so hard right now, everyone.

Here’s one unhappy take:

Moments after this post went up, the Oilers made it 2-0 for real this time. Check out the game here.

Math may help build Vegas Knights, but biggest aim is not being boring

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Unlike Pierre Dorion, it sounds like Vegas Golden Knights GM George McPhee would rather listen to analytics-minded people rather than … you know, hit them.

As McPhee readies for the expansion draft, he told The Star’s Kevin McGran in Q&A that they’ll at least be factored into decisions.

I’ve been really fascinated by how revealing that data can be. You have these kids speaking a different language. But I’m convinced it has a really important place in this game. You have to pay attention to it, and you have to use it.

Naturally, the real question with McPhee and other executives comes down to how much they will lean on analytics. Some teams seem to pick and choose when to listen to such voices, ending up with an odd mix of moves that please and unnerve the “fancy stats” community.

Owner Bill Foley gave a good idea of how much they’ll lean on stats vs. more traditional approaches in an interview with the Vegas Hockey Hotline back in February, which was transcribed by The Hockey Writers’ Keith Scheessele.

“Analytics is not going to drive how we draft,” Foley said. “Analytics are going to supplement what the scouts are seeing. We’re going to rely on the scouts and what they recommend.”

(Foley also spoke of rating players in 10 different categories, which started to make one think about how old sports video games could only quantify skills in so many ways. Anyway …)

So, it sounds like McPhee & Co. will take a modern approach – a mixture of the old and the new – rather than going full-on bold and revolutionary like, say, the Cleveland Browns or Golden State Warriors.

Considering the mystery of roster quality one faces with the Vegas Knights, it honestly might be most important that McPhee is repeatedly stating that he doesn’t aim to put together a boring hockey team.

Hey, if it takes a while to be good, at least the Vegas Knights might fit with their environment and put on a show.

Tarasenko’s two goals help Blues tie series with Predators

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One of the (many) remarkable things about the St. Louis Blues dispatching the Minnesota Wild was that they didn’t need a ton of production from Vladimir Tarasenko. He didn’t score a goal until the clinching game of that series.

The Blues needed more from him tonight, and he responded with two huge goals to help St. Louis win 3-2 in Game 2, tying the second-round series at 1-1.

Tarasenko scored the opening goal on that major power-play opportunity from the Vernon Fiddler knee on Colton Parayko, while Joel Edmundson wisely got out of the way to let Tarasenko nab the game-winner.

That ended up being the decisive factor as the Nashville Predators finally lost their first game of the postseason.

St. Louis must be breathing a sigh of relief for a number of reasons. The series shifts to Nashville for Games 3 and 4, so going down 2-0 might have been lethal.

Even beyond that, the Blues had some breaks go their way that likely won’t repeat to the same degree in future contests. The Predators didn’t receive a single power-play opportunity while St. Louis spent significant chunks of the contest on the man advantage, going 1-for-5 (but again, that includes a major).

The Blues also won despite what must have been a frustrating start. They only managed a 1-1 tie after the first 20 minutes despite holding Nashville to a mere three shots on goal.

The Predators also managed leads of 1-0 and 2-1, yet the Blues kept fighting to get back in this series. Game 3 will air on NBC at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday. You can watch online and via the NBC Sports App (Click here for the livestream link).

* – That said, he made a lot of commotion to set up Edmundson’s overtime game-winner from Game 1. That connection continued on Friday, as you likely noticed.