Jimmy Hayes tosses imaginary monkey off back after first point in 35 games (Video)

Jimmy Hayes screen shot.
Jimmy Hayes screen shot.

Against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday, Boston Bruins forward Jimmy Hayes notched his first point in 35 games and celebrated by pretending to toss a monkey off his back.

Hayes deflected a pass by Bruins forward David Krejci past Ben Bishop for a goal at the 17:33 mark of the second period. It was Hayes’ first point since Feb. 24 of last year against the Pittsburgh Penguins when he scored a goal.

“It feels really good. It’s been a while,” Hayes said after the game. “To be able to contribute and get a goal and start moving in the right direction, that’s what the plan is.”

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Here is the video of the goal, and Hayes’ celebration.

Hayes did score the shootout winner for the Bruins in early November against the Lightning, but such tallies don’t count towards overall goal totals. The Bruins acquired Hayes – a Boston area native – in a 2015 offseason trade that sent the contract of Marc Savard and forward Reilly Smith to the Florida Panthers. Smith has scored 29 goals in 103 games with the Panthers – including 25 last season. Hayes has struggled with 14 goals in 95 games since joining the Bruins.

In his final season with the Panthers in 2014-15, Hayes had 19 goals and 16 assists in 72 games played.

Recently, WEEI tried to explain Hayes’ issues.

This is one of the biggest questions surrounding the team this year. In simple terms, I’d say Hayes is suffering from a total lack of confidence out there. He looks lost at times out there and isn’t doing much of anything. It almost feels like picking on him at this point but his futility has to be noted. He has yet to tally a point in 18 games this season and has gone 34 straight games over two seasons without one. You could have literally added a child to your family since the last time he tallied a point (Feb. 24). Reilly Smith, the guy the Bruins unwisely dumped for Hayes, has 10-11–21 totals since the last goal from Hayes. He’s been on the ice for the most 5-on-5 goals against while only out for one Bs goal. Claude keeps giving him ample opportunity to get off the schnide, including time on the power play, but there’s absolutely nothing to show for it. You have to think it’s only a matter of time before the Bs try to stash him down Providence. Like when Frank Vatrano is ready to re-join the team. Hayes’s homecoming has been nothing short of a disaster so far.

The Bruins also got goals from David Backes, David Pastrnak and Dominic Moore to beat the Lightning 4-1. Hayes was a plus-2 in and played 11:19 in the contest.

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!