What’s Eating Paul Byron?

Coaches, fans and everyone else love players that they do not need to worry about.  The guys with the best reputations are the ones that leave little to mystery because everyone knows what they are going to do and the opposition is essentially powerless to stop them.  Everyone has known for a handful of seasons now that Paul Byron is going to display possibly the best wheels in the hockey world and use those to give himself all the daylight in the world to score some of the more thrilling goals that will be seen from the Montreal Canadiens all year long.


Much akin to a handful of Habs that carry such strong reputations, Paul Byron’s game is one that cannot be concealed nor hidden away.  Everyone notices the little buzzsaw flying up the ice with a glorious scoring chance that generally keeps his shooting percentage much higher than the league average and less subject to regression.  However, those numbers have yet to surface and any inherent stats relating to where his fortunes are trending do not show any sign of imminent improvement.  That said, it does not take a gander at the stat sheets to know this.  Paul Byron has been conspicuous by his absence this season, save for a five hole goal against Tuukka Rask but even that one came about in a manner other than his usual.


Paul Byron has not gone on a noteworthy run (literally) to date in the 2019-20 season.  The likelihood that he started the season injured and has not been looked at yet is nil but the evidence does suggest that he looks –in a word– disengaged.  Paul Byron’s game that has been come to be expected versus what is on display right now looks comparable to a marriage: early on there were plenty of thrills and exciting experiences but things have grown dull and listless.  Everything from his legs to what is written in his face, Paul Byron’s honeymoon looks to be over but this stretch is not long enough to suggest that the marriage between Paul Byron and the Montreal Canadiens is over; no single month of action (or lack thereof) could possibly erase years of good service and remarkable play.


Whatever is eating Paul Byron is something that needs to be handled by the coaching staff and those involved with player personnel if this is an off ice issue but any hypothetical details therein are best left without speculation.  Anything that slows such a high impact skater must be addressed and will hopefully be dealt with sooner rather than later.  After all, the penalty kill now being the end of special teams currently suffering for the Canadiens would benefit indescribably from Paul Byron’s return to form.


Most importantly, Paul Byron would benefit from his own return to form.  Here’s to hoping for those rockets in his skates to get the fuel that they so direly need.

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