Brett Connolly in a celebration huddle with Washington teammates at the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals | Photo Courtesy of the Washington Capitals & the NHL

Although they lost 6-0 Thursday night in New Jersey, there doesn’t appear to be a Stanley Cup hangover for the Washington Capitals.

The Caps are 2-1-1 after four games and when Braden Holtby is in net, they have outscored the opposition by a 2-1 margin (18-9).

Washington’s little-known back-up, Phoenix Copley, a 26-year-old from the North Pole (no relation to Santa), allowed the six goals against the Devils on 36 shots.

Okay, Copley is technically from North Pole, Alaska with a population of approximately 2,100, depending on the time of year.

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Brett Connolly of Prince George has been filling in for the suspended Tom Wilson on the Capitals big line with Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov.

The 26-year-old Connolly has three assists in four games but he is averaging 17:02 of ice time, by far the most he’s had since entering the NHL.

Last season with Washington, Connolly averaged 12 minutes a game over the course of 70 games.

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Have you wondered what former Prince George Cougars defenceman Josh Connolly (Brett’s younger brother) has been up to?

He’s back playing hockey for UBC.

Click here for a featured story in The Vancouver Province.

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Now they are playing like an expansion team.

The second-year Vegas Golden Knights are 1-4 out of the gate having scored just 10 goals while allowing a Western-Conference leading 19.

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Can we just calm down a bit on the Toronto Maple Leafs and their puck-moving defenceman Morgan Rielly?

It sounds impressive that Rielly has moved past Bobby Orr for the second-fastest points start by a defenceman, but the sample size is only five games or just over six percent of the season.

The Leafs can boast about having the four top scorers in the NHL, Auston Matthews and Rielly with 12 points each followed by John Tavares and Mitch Marner with 10, however, starting goaltender Frederik Andersen is sitting with an .893 save-percentage (SV%).

Toronto does lead the league in goals with 25 but the 4-1 Leafs have also surrendered a league-high 20 (alongside Ottawa).

Winning high-scoring games in October is not the recipe for success come the spring when it counts.

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Because of long-standing success, the Rockets won’t be getting any sympathy outside of Kelowna for the worst start in team history.

Not only are they 1-8, but the Rockets have allowed a league-high 38 goals while racking up a league-high (along with Portland) 159 penalty minutes in just nine games.

All BC Division teams in the WHL, except Kelowna, have a clear number-one netminder.

The Rockets tandem of James Porter (4.26 GAA and .867 SV% in five games) and Roman Basran (4.29 GAA and .873 SV% in five games) are not even delivering numbers that would warrant them being the back-up.

Kelowna is fortunate to get a mulligan in the 2018-19 season because it is the following year when they need to be competitive since the Rockets host the 2020 Memorial Cup.

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The Prince George Spruce Kings are 5-2 in home games at the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena (RMCA) this season, but when they lose in front of their own fans, it’s not because of a lack of chances.

The Spruce Kings won their first five in P.G. before falling 4-3 to the Victoria Grizzlies and 5-2 to the Powell River Kings.

Prince George outshot Victoria 58-22 last week and they outshot Powell River 37-22 last night.

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This is week three of ‘Hartley’s Cat Scan.’

The new podcast predominately features the Prince George Cougars.

My guest this week is Cougars head coach Richard Matvichuk.

Topics include the final year of his contract, the ups-and-downs of the job, his new boss, expectations for the team, his Stanley Cup ring and who has influenced him the most as a coach.

LISTEN:

 

FROM THE QUOTE RACK:

Seahawks linebacker Mychal Kendricks has been suspended indefinitely after pleading guilty to illegal stock-market moves. Coincidence? ESPN’s NFL Insiders got the scoop.

*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com/author/dwight-perry/

 

On Thursday night, the New York Giants officially went from “Eli’s Coming’ to ‘Mama Told Me Not To Come.’

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

 

Brooks Koepka says he is motivated by a pair of daily messages. The first is his list of annual goals. The second is “jab left, right cross.”

*Comedy writer Jim Barach http://jokesbyjim.blogspot.ca/

 

From Saturday ALDS – new October game show – The Price Isn’t Right.

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Three things that were watched for in the Eskimos-Roughriders Thanksgiving Day game:
3. Wishbone formations;
2. Major fowls;
1. Gobblehead dolls.

*Comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

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Hartley Miller is the sports director and morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT.
He also is the 94.3 radio colour commentator for P.G. Cougars home games.
His column appears Fridays on myprincegeorgenow.com.
Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to hmiller@thegoatrocks.ca.
Follow him on Twitter: @Hartley_Miller