While the Buffalo Sabres didn’t exactly snap their losing streak last night, they managed to snap another streak of sorts, or should I say John Scott did. Surprisingly enough Buffalo Sabres tough guy, John Scott has never been suspended for anything, but after tonight he wont be able to cry innocent anymore.
By now I’m sure you’ve heard or seen the footage of the questionable hit delivered to the head of Boston Bruin’s forward Loui Eriksson by John Scott in last night’s 5-2 loss to the Bruins. The hit drew immediate backlash from the hockey world- many of our writers included- and earned Scott a 5 minute major and a game misconduct. Thankfully, although the Bruins were not pleased they did not retaliate after Scott was gone.
The hit immediately drew people calling for John Scott’s head and for his career to be over. Do I think his career should be over, no. But I really don’t think he serves a purpose being in the NHL, or at least on the Buffalo Sabres. Sure we brought Scott in to defend against the Bruins but aside from on the scoreboard the Sabres didn’t need defending tonight. Jarome Iginla may have kicked Ryan Miller but Miller handled it himself and it only took Mark Pysyk and a puck to get back at Milan Lucic. The Sabres were getting killed on the scoreboard, not in the physical play which makes one wonder why John Scott was on the ice in the third period of a fairly close hockey game. There was absolutely no need for John Scott to go and target Eriksson at that point in time.
Anyways back to the hit itself. This hit is a textbook suspension and there’s no doubt Scott will be sitting at least 5. He travels East to West, delivers a late hit and the principle target is the head. Not to mention Eriksson was clearly injured on the play. The NHL is trying to get rid of these careless, dirty hits in the NHL and considering the way Brendan Shanahan loves penalizing the Buffalo Sabres, John Scott may have just set himself up to have the book thrown at him.
To be honest, Scott deserves to have the book thrown at him for this hit and he can’t blame anyone but himself. It was a dirty hit and certainly not one that belongs in the game. You’ll have a hard time convincing myself, most hockey writers and Shanahan that this wasn’t a dirty hit. Whether he kept his elbow down or extended won’t be the debate with this hit, the head was the principle target of the hit and that’s a no-no. Considering Patrick Kaleta got 10 games for his head hit, it’s easy to think that Scott could be sitting for close to that.
John Scott has already been requested for an in-person hearing with Shanahan so we know he’ll at least be sitting 5 games, but if the NHL wants to make a point this is the perfect opportunity for them to do so. You want to get back at a team, do so on the scoreboard or by icing a decent team, not the way the Sabres have decided to do so.
Sound off in the comments your thoughts on the John Scott’s hit from last night or about John Scott in general. You’ve heard what I think, time to voice your opinion.