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The John Scott/Buffalo Sabres Theorem

There will be plenty written about John Scott these days.  From his eight second first period the other night to why the hell is he even on the

ice any more arguments.  I figured I would sit down at the keyboard this morning and pen a few thoughts to clarify some things as the pro and anti John Scott arguments seem to be flaring up all over the place.

First off,  John Scott is not a Neanderthal.  He is actually very intelligent and holds a degree from Michigan Tech.  So he is not some sort of antiquated goon on skates running around clubbing people with his stick and fists randomly because it’s the only thing he knows.

He does however play in an antiquated style that despite push back from the old guard – is a style of play that is approaching extinction in the National Hockey League.  Sure there are plenty of fans longing for the days of “old-time hockey” and “they know the risks of their trade” – well as my friend Rich pointed out – advancements in science and medicine have proven that repeated hits to the head have long-term negative effects on people.

But anyways – back to my point.  I watched a gif of the hit from last nights game over and over – and I have a couple of points I would like to make on it.  You can see the gif yourself here.

1.  It wasn’t an elbow.  Stop calling it that.  I blame this on the media and the hatred for players like John Scott in the league.  I am a big proponent of taking out hits to the head as well, but this was not an elbow.  John Scott’s principal point of contact with Loui Eriksson‘s head was his shoulder.

2.  I am not one to be a fan of the officiating ever, but more so this year, but John Scott was whistled initially for a “charging” call at 5:49.  Te Sabres website has that listed against McQuaid, but regardless, there was no “charging” as defined by the NHL rule book.  Charging is defined as requiring a great distance travelled in order to level the hit.  I may be wrong on this one since Scott was skating along the red line while Eriksson was advancing the play.

3.  Eriksson didn’t see Scott coming.  He had his head down – and he was admiring his pass just a little bit.  He could have avoided the collision by having a little situational awareness.

Now before you jump down my throat – I am not trying to blame Eriksson or alleviate any blame off of John Scott – but Eriksson could have avoided the hit or at least the trip to the hospital.  Kevin Porter was also penalized in the game for hitting Terry Krug in the numbers with a cross check.  Porter could – and should – have let up on that play, but Krug turned and saw Porter coming; and turned his back needlessly to the play to take the hit.

Regardless of the situation, Scott deserves to be suspended – and why – well that gets back to the title of my article – The John Scott Theorem.

For anyone who thinks that John Scott did nothing wrong and that it was a clean hit, I offer you to put the skate on the other foot.  John Scott is 6’8″ – Eriksson stands much shorter at 6’2″.  Naturally, given the fact that there is a six-inch difference, the should have John Scott would naturally come into contact with Eriksson’s head.  Say it was Milan Lucic (bad example from the Miller incident, but here me out) who stands at 6’4″ hitting Tyler Ennis in the exact same manner?  Everyone in Buffalo would be calling for his head just as they did in 2011.

Claude Julien was very upset with the Buffalo Sabres bench, and glared down Ron Rolston immediately after the event.  Would he have responded differently?  When Lucic hit Miller – Julien was calm cool and collective – and pointed out the difference between a collision and a hit, and that if Lucic wanted to hit Miller – he would have never got up.

With Scott coasting – you could almost call that  collision last night couldn’t you?  And just because a goalie is out of the crease does not make him fair game – and Lucic made no attempt at “avoiding” a collision with Miller.

Every city is going to handle incidents different, and there will always be a difference of opinion.  There were some that thought that Lucic was given his just deserts with a  two-minute penalty for hitting Ryan Miller.

Eriksson remained in Buffalo overnight for observation, and John Scott will face his disciple.  I hope Loui is alright – and recovers quickly and its nothing serious, so he is back on the ice for the Bruins in short order.  I hope John Scott is removed from the Buffalo Sabres lineup for some time.  It will make watching them easier.

It may not have been pretty – but for fans of old school hockey – the Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres rivalry is very much alive.


Tags: Buffalo Sabres John Scott

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  • keepereg

    It is a clear cut case of elbowing:

    45.1 Elbowing – Elbowing shall mean the use of an extended elbow in a manner that may or may not cause injury.

    Watch that gif again, he loads up the elbow and extends it. The principal point of contact of his shoulder is the head yes, but the elbow lands somewhere just below it making it yes, an elbow. Your attempts to legitimize a completely illegitimate hit are comical.

    What’s worse is your critique of the Krug hit. He had to turn to make a hockey play. A stick to the back in the numbers is not a hockey play, it’s a penalty.
    And next time, try spellcheck.

    This is just an awful post

    • Timothy Redinger

      I wasn’t trying to legitimize the hit – I am all for suspending John Scott – but when the shoe is on the other foot – its funny how Bruins fans and some Sabres fans have reacted to this.
      Scott was coasting, and Eriksson had his head down – its a penalty yes – and it could have been avoided on all accounts.
      To paraphrase Claude Julien “If Scott really wanted to hit him, he wouldn’t have gotten up”.

    • Justin Tosczak

      If Scott wanted to really hit Loui, he wouldnt have gotten up.

      Use Claude’s logic.. Because it does make sense, it could have been a lot worse. Illegal? Yeah, Bad timing? Terrible! no good to a hockey team? incorrect.

      Intimidation is still very much part of the game, and even if Scott didn’t step on the ice, he keeps the other team in check. Prevents people from taking runs at our guys, so, lay off the worthless comments and everything else.

      Scott could have ended Eriksson’s career, but he did coast his elbow into the side of his head.

  • [email protected]

    Sit at the keyboard and pen some thoughts…I like that lmao

  • qwicwted

    I understand the point your trying to make Tim, but this year the league has decided to come down on hits to the head. Unfortunately, Buffalo has two guys that are known for their “enforcing” style and aside from that – it seems Buffalo is the whipping boys for the NHL. So, Kaleta and Scott and most likely Porter are under a magnifying glass and will be made examples of. When Bflo plays Boston, the league and media expect something to happen, especially since Lucic’s run…I mean collision with Miller, that is why the game was broadcast on the NBC sports channel as a “extreme rivalry”.
    I kind of have to blame Rolston for what happened and not keeping his players in check. Why is he playing Scott? I don’t consider Scott a goon and he does have some skill – but a hit like last night and on a player like Erikkson just doesn’t make sense. I know we are a young team and Rolston wants to “protect” our youngsters, but the hit wasn’t necessary as Erickkson had dumped the puck and the hit had nothing to do with “protection”. In all honesty, I hope to see a coaching change soon because Rolston is a disappointment.

    • Matt N

      “I don’t consider Scott a goon and he does have some skill”

      What skill is that? He has ONE goal in his entire career, he can barely skate, and he can’t stick handle worth a damn. I’ve been reading quite a few articles about this hit, and you’re literally the first person I’ve seen to claim he isn’t a goon and has any sort of skill aside from utilizing his bulk to hurt people.

      • qwicwted

        You know Matt, Scott has never been suspended before and he really doen’t have a reputation as a dirty player – he is known as an “enforcer” type of player and is willing to drop the gloves in order to protect a team mate. Based on what I have Scott is shocked himself and has reached out to Erickkson. You know I am disappointed with Ralston, but I am even more disappointed with the announcers at NBC – Milbury who in particular hates the Sabres and needs to think before he speaks.

        • Andrew

          Milbury is an idiot and a homer.

        • Matt N

          I suppose one could consider his enforcer role a skill. I on the other hand would prefer that players on the ice be able to do more than just hit and intimidate people. Most enforcers I’ve seen have better stats than Scott to bolster their resumes. Agree to disagree on the skill part, I guess.

          What I saw the other night was an unskilled hulk (my opinion of Scott) take out a highly skilled goal-scorer indefinitely with a cheap shot to the head. Buffalo won’t suffer much without Scott in their lineup (they may even be better off). Boston on the other hand is now without one of their top tier players. Even if Scott was to be suspended until Eriksson gets back on the ice, it is a hugely lopsided tradeoff in Buffalo’s favor.

      • Dano

        “What skill is that? He has ONE goal in his entire career ”

        Its one goal that *I* never scored in the NHL. What say you? How many do you have? Do you even have a single second of Icetime? Can you even skate? Maybe played for a college? High School team? Friends on a pond?

        Your going to sit here and talk about ‘ skill ‘, what do YOU have?

        And thats a SERIOUS problem with this whole discussion.

        Ive seen comments like Neanderthal , Goon, ‘ no skill ‘, from people that have never even played any form of hockey on ice and claim to be these grand experts.

        The other side of it is people like Mike Milbury whom assaulted fans while playing for the Bruins and has even been charged with assaulting a 12yr old at a youth hockey game crying ‘ foul ‘ when they have no grounds to stand on.

        If Scott has ‘ No Skill ‘, does that make you ‘ useless ‘ as a commentor or just someone with an opinion that holds no merit as you havent achieved half the things Scott has?

        Yes, I am being a bit unfriendly towards you in this instance because theres too many ‘ twits ‘ out there talking about ‘ skill ‘ and other subjects when they arent even qualified to present an example for their ‘ opinion ‘.

        Should I listen to your ‘ opinion ‘ or even Milburys and even take them in any serious regard or just wash it off as ‘ unintelligent opinion? ‘

        Go score a Goal in the NHL Matt N. I’ll buy the beers for the celebration afterwards out of my own funds! Until then, dont judge ‘ skill ‘ when you havent proven yours.

        • Matt N

          What do my capabilities have to do with Scott’s? Is it a requirement that I be a professional hockey player before I can voice an opinion? I’m an avid hockey fan, but no, I don’t play myself, and I don’t claim to be a “grand expert”. What I can do as a FAN is watch how other players skate and stick handle, and I can draw comparisons between them and Scott. I didn’t realize one must be competitive on the NHL level before voicing an opinion on the matter.

          I asked a simple question. You’re avoiding the answer by questioning my credibility. Weak.

          • Dano

            See how laughable your comment was? No, just more sarcasm, right?

            “What do my capabilities have to do with Scott’s?”

            Look what you said. Scott has no ‘ skill ‘. The guy is on the ice playing the game! Your criticizing someone when by your own admission :

            ” Is it a requirement that I be a professional hockey player before I can voice an opinion? I’m an avid hockey fan, but no, I don’t play myself, and I don’t claim to be a “grand expert”.”

            You dont even play the game yourself! All you do is become defensive.

            Your an Armchair General! If you played a game of 3pipe against Scott, how bad would he absolutely embarrass you?

            Lemme guess, you dont even know what 3pipe is, Fan.

            It would be one thing if you stated ” Look, I dont have any skill and never played the game, but I think Scott should improve upon his if he wants to stick around ‘.

            Your one of those ‘ entitled fans ‘ where you should flame and criticize all you want without being held accountalke to what you say. How dare anyone question your unskilled ‘ opinion ‘.

            “What I can do as a FAN is watch how other players play the game, and I can draw comparisons between them and Scott. I didn’t realize one must be competitive on the NHL level before voicing an opinion on the matter.”

            What I would say is if your going to say someone has no ‘ skill ‘, prove it by example, not just preach it to others like your an example to follow. Your the ‘ grand expert ‘ on opinions with no skill here.

            Do you like such being said about yourself? Do you like when wise-assed comments are leveled at you showing you how you can make a fool of yourself?

            Instead, you cant even recognize such and your ‘ opinion ‘ just HAS to be heard like your someone important.

            YOU have no skill and its an embarrassment to the whole Buffalo fan base, moreso then the team itself , that YOU speak what you do. Get it? I bet ya dont. ;)

          • Matt N

            You’re (not “your”) telling me that I can’t have an opinion without being a professional hockey player myself. That’s bull. I think you’re (again, not “your”) the one who doesn’t get it, Dano. I’m done, not worth my time anymore.

          • Dano

            Im not saying at all you cannot have an opinion. What I pointed out was how unintelligent yours truly is.

            You stated Scott had no skill. Im stating your opinion is wrong as you cannot present a better example *yourself*.

            Word your example better and people might not think less of you. You might even gain ground and have others RESPECT what you have to say.

            Again, you ‘ dont get it ‘. You never will. Thats the problem with the Sabres ‘ fan base ‘.

            ‘ Thats bull ‘, no, you present a shining example. If you wish to be seen as ‘ bull ‘ ( your term, your standard ) so be it. Add it to having ‘ no skill ‘ on your resume.

            Fact is, theres MANY players in the NHL whom have a LOT of skill yet are looked down upon because someone doesnt like them or the way they play. While You and I are here having this conversation, they are playing NHL level hockey. Your ‘ opinion ‘ ( mine included as well ) wont take that away from them.

            Thats reality. You should welcome it.

    • Andrew

      The fact that NBC glorified the Lucic hit only magnifies the entire issue.

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  • Matt N

    A couple things-

    Regarding your point #1: I’ve attached a still shot taken from another angle. Tell me again how it wasn’t an elbow? He was clearly lifting his arm as he approached. The principal point of contact was between the gorilla’s elbow and Eriksson’s chin, with secondary contact to the shoulder due to the violent jerking of Loui’s head. You need to get your eyes checked, Tim.

    Regarding your point #3: Situational awareness goes both ways. Eriksson got rid of the puck well before the hit. Since Scott was just “coasting” as you put it, he should have had plenty of time to ease up and, I dunno, maybe not extend his arm into Loui’s head? He clearly had no intention of playing the puck, probably because he knows he’s incapable of making a play with it.

    As far as Eriksson’s “admiration” of his own pass, what the hell does that mean? He was keeping an eye on the puck, yes, because that’s kind of how you win hockey games. Is he supposed to ignore it once it’s off his stick?

    • Timothy Redinger

      I like this shot – but the elbow never actually connects if you watch the hit – the principle points of contact are shoulder and face. Scott is not a strong skater and the force of the collision propels both players into a semi spin – there was no intent to elbow – I don’t disagree with the fact that someone pointed out rule 45.1 that would call that an elbow (see keeperegs comment) – but there are written efforts out there that are straight out calling it an elbow to the head – that’s what I was getting at – his elbow never made contact with his face/head. The perception here is the same as the “hey coach ive got a sliver” commercial…
      As far as admiring his pass – that’s a common thing to hear… admire a pass, your going to get it….a good hockey player knows where he is delivering the puck….you don’t need to watch it to its source….hockey is played at a fast pace – situational awareness and knowing where everyone on the ice is just as important as making sure the pass hits its intended target.

      • Craig Tollting

        You’re so full of it, Tim. “elbow never actually connects” ??? Look, be a fan of the Sabres all you want, but when you let your fanatical obsession with supporting everything done by every guy in a Sabres jersey trump common sense and basic eyesight, you’ve really gone off the deep end.

        Get a grip on reality.

        • Timothy Redinger

          Your obviously reading what parts of this you eant to read. I have not condoned the hit what so ever. I posted immediately following the hit that John Scott serves no role and there is no place in hockey for this..and that he shoild get at least 15 games.

          I will also engage in debate with people on all opinions…but offer this warning..the continued use of four letter words in comments will get your comments deleted. Bring your passion to the table…leave the language out.

          • Craig Tollting

            Oh no, you’re going to delete my comments off of a website that’s written by a middle manager/writer-wanna-be in between Solitaire games that 8 people read! Please, don’t hurt me, Mr. Scary Blogging-For-Free hack!

        • Andrew


          I’m sorry, but Tim is right on this one. Scott’s elbow never touches Loui’s head.

          Watch the replays.

          • Craig Tollting

            I watched them. Clearly your vision is affected by your homer-like qualities. Maybe some surgery would help. See if your doctor knows how to remove “douchebag-itis”.

          • Andrew

            I’m guessing you don’t have a doctor to recommend, since you aren’t cured.

  • Dano

    “Say it was Milan Lucic (bad example from the Miller incident, but here me out) who stands at 6’4″ hitting Tyler Ennis in the exact same manner? Everyone in Buffalo would be calling for his head just as they did in 2011.”

    No, a great number of people would be calling for John Scott to go after Lucic.

    Fact is, its the same damn thing. Theres no minimum or maximum size/height requirements for the NHL. Smaller players are run all the time without ANY suspensions being called.

    The reason this is such a ‘ terrible thing ‘ is you have new-aged fans whom dont like the roll Scott plays laying a hit on a goal scorer.

    You have Mike Milbury, a Boston Homer like no other out there screaming about this.. Yet Milbury participated in going into the stands after fans when he played for Boston. He also was charged with hitting a 12 year old kid at a youth hockey game.

    People will jump onboard with him going after Scott! What a shining example of a guy to listen to!

    • Timothy Redinger


      Unfortunately your new age fans are who the nhl is courting. Owners invest millions in the salaries of these players and the hockey that you are clamoring for is going the way of extinction as they are going to want more protection for those assets.

      • [email protected]

        The days of Rob Ray, and “enforces” like him is over. I don’t know if it is a fact, but it seems like they have dished out more suspensions in the first part of this season than any seasons past.

        • Lloyd M. Jr.

          Shanahan, Milbury, and Bettman can all F THEMSELVES.
          From here forward, any hit like that on ANY Bruins player = FAIR HIT!!

      • Dano

        Keep courting those ‘ new ‘ fans and the seats will empty more and more.

        Buffalo had bad teams in the past and I dont remember the Aud being empty like FNC is now.

  • Craig Tollting

    By claiming this was a shoulder hit and not an elbow, you lose all credibility and you look like a total homer. We’re not blind. We can all see the elbow come up and strike Eriksson in the head.

    WTF video are you watching?

  • Dano

    Heres some comments I’ve pulled from out and about..

    “There’s no accountability anymore. When guys were policing the game it was different and as soon as the league started policing the game, now you’re getting a lot of injuries.” Tie Domi.

    “I coach squirts 8-10yrs old and you can tell them til you’re blue in the face to keep their heads up, they won’t do it. Every one of them sees the crazy goals being scored between the legs, lifting the puck onto their blade and handling it like a lacross ball, toe dragging, dangling etc.

    You cannot do all of the above with your head up it’s impossible. Watch those Bauer puck handling videos on youtube with guys like Toews and Kane. Sure they handle the puck going around obstacles like a madman, but each of them is staring at their blade while they handle. Todays game is a polar opposite of yesterday’s. Today’s game is start at the goal line and skate as fast as you possibly can down the ice with the puck and toe drag, dangle around every obstacle. And they can do it because nobody body checks, they sweep, and stick check. They slash at your ankles and hook the body but rarely hit in open ice. Removing the red line only made it that much easier to bury your chin and pump the legs even faster.

    Nobody to blame here again except the NHL for trying their hardest to make a game less than 2 hours in length and feature 10 goals or more each game.”

    “Eriksson has the puck and Scott is skating towards him, Eriksson passes the puck and Scott finished his check. It is clear as day. The difference now, is the NHL has become soft & instead of asking why Eriksson had his head down (because that is one of the FIRST things taught, not to do, when hitting starts) they vilify a “once upon a time” clean hit.”

    While the majority of Twits vilify what Scott did, the majority of those whom have been watching the game for decades are scratching our heads saying ” That was suspension worthy? “.

    Its 2 different reflections that represent 2 different generations of people from 2 different Eras.

    Fact is though, Rats are taking over the league and the number of injuries are growing. The League can keep on suspending people but its only going to be a matter of time till the NHL becomes a ‘ no hitting ‘ league. The cards are already in play.

  • tom

    rivalry? your team sucks so bad that’s like calling scott vs. kessel a fight.

    • Timothy Redinger

      Disagree…rivalries are entrenched…when the Sabres were good 05-07 – the Bruins were last place in the division – it was still a rivalry then too. Good/bad teams don’t dictate a rivalry – have a deep down hatred for one another is a rivalry. That still exists.