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)

Thompson nets 4 in 1st, 5 overall, as Buffalo tops Columbus

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Tage Thompson matched an NHL record by scoring four times in the first period and finished with five goals and an assist as the Buffalo Sabres won their third straight road game, 9-4 over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday night.

Thompson is the second U.S.-born player to score five goals in a game. He is the fourth player in NHL history to record four goals in the first period of a regular-season game, joining Peter Bondra (1994), Grant Mulvey (1982) and Joe Malone (1921). He is also the fourth active player to score five goals in a game, joining Timo Meier (Jan. 17, 2022), Mika Zibanejad (March 5, 2020) and Patrik Laine (Nov. 24, 2018).

“It’s definitely a rewarding feeling,” Thompson said. “You’ve spent a lot of years working to get to this point and to be rewarded for it is a pretty good feeling and it just leaves you hungrier.”

Thompson’s outburst helped Buffalo score six times in the first 16:40.

“That was an amazing performance by Tage, and really, the whole group set the table,” Sabres coach Don Granato said. “I thought the energy, the collective effort, the focus to start was really good and enabled that to happen.”

Alex Tuch had a goal and three assists, Dylan Cozens added a power-play goal and two assists and Rasmus Dahlin finished with a goal and two assists. Peyton Krebs also scored. Jeff Skinner picked up four assists and Jacob Bryson had two. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 20 shots.

Patrik Laine and Gustav Nyquist each scored twice for Columbus.

Joonas Korpisalo stopped two shots before being pulled in the first in favor of Elvis Merzlikins, who stopped 15 shots through the second period. Korpisalo returned in the third and finished with six saves.

Columbus has lost six straight home games and five of its last six overall.

“We didn’t have an answer for that one line,” Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen said. “Tage Thompson just tore us up tonight.”

Buffalo dominated from the puck drop, scoring four goals on its first six shots.

Cozens put the Sabres on the board at 3:21 of the first, 53 seconds into a Blue Jackets penalty, and Thompson made it 2-0 just 2:09 later. Dahlin scored Buffalo’s third goal at 7:28 of the first, driving Korpisalo from the net in favor of Merzlikins, who gave up Buffalo goal No. 4 to Thompson 32 seconds later.

Thompson’s third career hat trick and second of the season came on a power-play goal at 12:22 of the first. He followed with his fourth goal, also on the power play, at 16:40.

Columbus scored two goals in just over a minute, with Laine at 10:49 and Nyquist at 12:04, before Buffalo reeled off three straight in just over three minutes to end the period, including Thompson’s fifth, and goals by Krebs and Tuch.

Laine and Nyquist scored in the third period for Columbus.

STREAKING

Cozens has 12 points in his last five games and is riding a career-best, five-game point streak. Thompson has eight goals and five assists in his last five games and 10 multi-point games. Dahlin has a five-game point and assist streak, and Gaudreau stretched his points streak to six games.

NOTES: The Sabres joined the Kraken as the second team this season to score nine goals in a game. … Thompson is the second player in Buffalo history to have five goals in a game, joining Dave Andreychuk, who had five goals and an assist on Feb. 6, 1986.

UP NEXT

Buffalo: Hosts Pittsburgh on Friday.

Columbus: Hosts Calgary on Friday.

Ovechkin, Strome lead Capitals past struggling Flyers 4-1

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PHILADELPHIA — Alex Ovechkin scored two empty-net goals, Dylan Strome had a goal and an assist and the Washington Capitals defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 on Wednesday night.

T.J. Oshie also scored for the Capitals, who finished 3-3 on a six-game trip. Charlie Lindgren made 29 saves.

Kevin Hayes scored for Philadelphia, which has lost 13 of 15 games. Carter Hart made 23 stops.

Strome broke a 1-all tie with 10:41 remaining when he deflected John Carlson‘s shot from long range past Hart.

Hayes had a golden opportunity to tie it on a Philadelphia power play, but Lindgren made a great right pad save on a try from close range with 8:20 remaining.

Ovechkin iced it, scoring into an empty net with 1:35 left and adding another empty-netter with 8.2 seconds left for his 15th of the season. Ovechkin has 795 career goals, good for third all-time. He is six goals away from tying Gordie Howe for second place. Wayne Gretzky, with 894 goals, tops the list.

Hayes scored his ninth goal of the season for his team-leading 28th point with 4:14 left in the first period to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead. Hayes rushed to the bench after breaking his stick on a slap shot attempt, and scored on a wrist shot from the high slot with his new stick.

The Flyers had a power-play goal for the third straight game and have four overall in that stretch. Philadelphia, which began play ranked 30th in the NHL in scoring on the man advantage, now has converted 16.7% (14 of 84) of its chances.

Oshie tied it 3:51 into the second on the Capitals’ fourth power play as the Flyers continued to take sloppy penalties. This time, James van Riemsdyk committed Philadelphia’s third tripping minor of the game. Oshie made them pay with his fifth goal of the season when he finished a nifty passing sequence with Strome and Evgeny Kuznetsov with a perfectly placed one-timer over Hart’s left shoulder.

NOTES: Van Riemsdyk returned after missing the last 20 games due to a broken right index finger. . Flyers forward Tanner Laczynski was placed on injured reserve after departing midway through the third period of Monday’s 5-3 win over Colorado with what looked like an injury to his left leg. . Washington was without several injured players, including starting goalie Darcy Kuemper (upper body). Kuemper was with the team, but missed his second in a row. . Carlson had two assists. . Philadelphia’s Cam Atkinson, out all season with an upper body injury, has been practicing and is close to returning.

UP NEXT

Capitals: Host Seattle on Friday night.

Flyers: Open four-game trip at Vegas on Friday night.

Penguins prospect Sam Poulin taking leave of absence

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PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Penguins forward prospect Sam Poulin is taking a leave of absence from the club’s American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Penguins general manager Ron Hextall announced on Wednesday that the 21-year-old Poulin, Pittsburgh’s first-round pick in the 2019 draft, is stepping away due to “personal reasons.”

“The Penguins support Sam’s decision to take time away from hockey to focus on himself,” Hextall said in a release. “As with all of our players, our priority is them as individuals first. We look forward to having him back with the team when he is ready.”

Hextall said Poulin will return home to Quebec and continue to work out on his own.

Poulin made his NHL debut in October and had one assist in three games before heading back to the AHL. Poulin had four goals in 13 games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at the time of his decision.

Nathan MacKinnon sidelined about a month with upper-body injury

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DENVER — The injury-riddled Colorado Avalanche will be without leading scorer Nathan MacKinnon for about a month after he suffered an upper-body injury in a loss to Philadelphia.

The team announced the news on social media.

MacKinnon has eight goals and 26 assists for a team-best 34 points this season for the defending Stanley Cup champions. He joins a long list of banged-up players, including Valeri Nichushkin, Evan Rodrigues, Bowen Byram, Kurtis MacDermid, Josh Manson, Darren Helm and captain Gabriel Landeskog. Forward Artturi Lehkonen also missed the game in Philadelphia.

The 27-year-old MacKinnon signed an eight-year extension in August. He was coming off a postseason in which he tied for the league lead with 13 goals, helping the Avalanche raise their third Stanley Cup in franchise history.