Bryan Altman, CBS Local Sports
Five career goals and 542 penalty minutes in 285 games along with a -18 +/- and a trade from the Western Conference (where he was playing with the Coyotes minor league affiliate) to the Eastern Conference (Montreal Canadiens) will not be enough to keep NHL enforcer John Scott from the All-Star game in Nashville, Tennessee on January 31st.
Today the NHL confirmed that it will allow Scott to play in the game even though his trade took him out of the Western Conference’s Pacific division, where Scott is set to play as a fan-voted captain.
So now that the incomprehensible has become the inevitable, it’s time to start dreaming about what we might see when the 6 foot 8 inch John Scott takes to the ice against the NHL’s best in less than two weeks.
1. A Gordie Howe Hat Trick
For the uninitiated, a Gordie Howe hat trick consists of one player registering a goal, an assist and a fight in one game. Scott, as we mentioned, has only scored five career goals, but the All-Star game is known for being chock full of goals with no fights to speak of. So what’s more likely, a Scott fight or a Scott goal? Hard to say. Either way, I want to see all of the above.
No, we don’t want to see a real fight, but it would be awesome to see Scott and someone like Patrick Kane throw down in jest at the All-Star game. It might make for the most horrifying 30 seconds or so of every Blackhawks fan’s year, but the game has plenty of levity in it already and this would just add to the fun. Oh yeah, Dustin Byfuglien will be at the game as well, so fisticuffs are definitely not out of the question there as well.
2. A Breakaway
I searched the interwebs and found documentation of one John Scott breakaway and it’s everything I thought it would be and more.
The disappointment in Sam Rosen’s voice when Scott chips it wide of the net on what may well be his only breakaway ever is prominent, because everybody wants to see the big guy get a goal once in a while.
So what would be more fun than seeing the not-so-fleet-of-foot Scott on a breakaway at the All-Star game?
3. Accuracy Shooting In Skills Competition
Maybe Scott has an insanely accurate shot. Since he doesn’t get the chance to shoot that often because he’s slow and plays limited minutes on the fourth line, we don’t really know how accurate his shot might be under a controlled setting where he doesn’t have to compete for a puck or an open look.
Clearly the clip above doesn’t support that argument but hey, who knows, maybe he beats Ovechkin some how. Don’t think it can happen? Scott is actually playing in the All-Star game. Anything can happen from here on out.
4. A Win
Let’s not forget, there is actually some incentive for players to win the All-Star game this year. This year’s new 3-on-3 All-Star game format will award the winning team a $1 million prize. Split between the 11 guys making up each team, that’s about $91,000 per player, which for most NHL players isn’t a ton of money, but for a career fourth liner like Scott is actually a really nice pay day.
Not to say the other players don’t need the cash, but it would be nice to see Scott get rewarded at the end of the day.
So here’s hoping for the Pacific division team lead by Scott. If he can lead his team to an improbable victory – well, it won’t quite be on the level of the 1980 miracle game – but it would be an upset the likes of which the All-Star game hasn’t seen before.
Bryan Altman is, for some reason, an unabashed fan of the Rangers, Jets and Mets. If he absolutely had to pick a basketball team it would be the Knicks, but he’d gladly trade them for just one championship for any of his other three teams.