Loui Eriksson

Scores

Ottawa 6
Detroit 1 (Recap)

Boston 5
Buffalo 2 (Recap)

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Notable Numbers

* New captain of the Ottawa Senators Jason Spezza stole the game story away from Daniel Alfredsson (much to the chagrin of the hockey media) by scoring twice. He now has seven goals in eight games, 10 total points. The Senators are a pretty good hockey club overall – Bobby Ryan also scored twice (nine points in nine games), and the defending Norris Trophy winning Erik Karlsson picked up two apples (eight points nine games).

* Y’know how the Senators and the Red Wings are both good? I think some proof is that every single player who dressed for both teams saw double digit ice time. No slugs left on the bench who can’t hack it, just depth depth depth.

* Five players tallied two or more points for the Bruins last night – Iginla, Soderberg and Krejci all had two assists, while Torey Krug scored twice from the back-end, and Milan Lucic had two goals and an assist, because EAT THAT Ryan Miller (I imagine he’s thinking).

Here’s a beauty goal by Lucic off an Iginla pass, which the former scored shortly after taking a puck to the face:


By the way, after Lucic got smoked with the puck, Ryan Miller’s ladyfriend apparently tweeted “karma,” which kind of makes Lucic’s offensive outburst more funny.

* Cody Hodgson scored once and had three shots, which normally wouldn’t blow you away, but he plays for the Sabres, who mustered 16 total shots last night.

* Nikita Zadorov, a Buffalo Sabres rookie defenseman (or possibly the name of a jewelry company?), scored the first goal of his NHL career.

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What Happened

John Scott injured Loui Eriksson with an illegal hit

First and foremost, today’s conversation piece: John Scott hit Loui Eriksson in a questionable manner. I’ll leave it at that until you see it, then we’ll meet below and talk about it, okay?

Hi, thanks for joining me.

There’s a number of issues at play here that make this hit feel grimier than your average cheap shot. The deets:

Eriksson was pretty badly hurt on the hit, as attested by the fact that he couldn’t leave Buffalo after the game. He was forced to stay in New York for surveillance.

*John Scott is the gooniest of the pure goons. And that’s not hyperbole – James Mirtle has dug up a stat that’s pretty simple: one player in the history of hockey has played over 150 career games without surpassing five total points, and it’s Scott (who has played 187). So there’s no confusion over this guy’s role. As Claude Julien said in post-game:

“The guy who did it, did his job. He’s out there for two reasons: Either to fight, or to hurt. He did his job.”

And as I noted:

So that plays a role in evaluating the play, whether that’s fair or not. You can’t deny that a borderline non-player hurting a valued goal-scorer is going to factor into this.

* The hit itself was almost like the league had two players act it out to show the illegaliest of all illegal hits – from the blindside, head is the principle point of contact, possible elbow, possible charge, it’s just…a mess of a hit.

* Fun fact: John Scott has never been suspended before, so he’s not a “repeat offender.” I do think they’ll remember the pre-season incident with Kessel when making a decision, however.

John Scott has an in-person hearing with the league. If you judge the hit as a stand-alone moment between two nameless players, it’s still bad, and probably worse than Ryan Garbutt’s on Dustin Penner, which resulted in a five game suspension (Garbutt was also without prior incident).

All told, I think we’re looking at 7-9 games for Scott. (More on this in the section “An Opinion.”)

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Daniel Alfredsson was on the wrong end of the first Sens/Wings game

Really not much to add here other than the Sens slapped the Wings around something fierce last night, and Alfredsson only managed to muster two shots. He said the game “didn’t feel too crazy.” Right on then.

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Coulda been worse

Well, coulda been worse for the Sabres. Loui Eriksson had a rough night overall, as Ryan Miller all but stole this goal out of the G category on his stat sheet:

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An Opinion

What blows my mind most about the reaction to the Scott-on-Eriksson play: yesterday we saw Mike Milbury go on TV and say Ron Rolston should be fired over this (Rick Tocchet took to Twitter after that to call the comments “out of line.”) Then Steve Simmons, a Toronto columnist, tweeted that he agrees with Milbury – this means Rolston officially has to go.  Which is utter f***ing nonsense.

You’re allowed to think the Sabres being crap is on him and want him out, but you simply can’t axe a guy that uses a player his GM has chosen to put on the roster. There’s no logical reason to hold him accountable because he puts a players – again, a player his GM bought and paid for – on the ice in an innocuous situation. If you want to start firing coaches based on using goons, you’re going to have a lot of vacancies behind NHL benches. Randy Carlyle has to go (Colton Orr has four shots and no points in six minutes a night). Dallas Eakins has to go (Gazdic plays five mins a night, has two shots all year and over 20 PIMs). Boot Ken Hitchcock too (Ryan Reaves: 29 PIMs, 6:52 a night, two shots total).

Those relative non-players haven’t hurt anyone – as Scott hadn’t prior to last night – so their coaches keep playing them for whatever reasons they individually choose to (and for the record, if I’m ever dressing John Scott, it’s when we play Lucic, Chara and the Bruins). If one of those other thugs throws a bad hit are we suddenly calling for the jobs of the coaches on those benches? No, because it would make no sense to do that, and we’re savvier observers of the game than that.

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Other News

* A Bon Jovi banner hanging in the ACC? Hahahaha please let this happen.

* Maybe not for the squeamish here: John Tavares pulled out a tooth or two on the bench the other day. He apparently doesn’t want to be That Hockey Guy, so he decided to get implants, and he also decided to tweet a pic of the process:

…You don’t have to look at this…

…You can still bail…

…Too late.

If I’m not mistaken, implants are permanent, so I’m surprised he’s getting them during his playing days. What most guys do – myself included – is wait until they hang up the skates to get anything beyond temporary fixes. Let’s hope he doesn’t need implants for the implants down the road.

* You can check out yesterday’s Backhand Shelf Podcast on Lars Eller/Dallas Eakins, helmetless fighting, Olympic players trending up and down, and teams trending up and down here. It’s a pretty decent show, I think.

* I mention the Ryan Garbutt suspension earlier – here’s his suspension video, which results in him getting five games:

Comments (31)

  1. so how many games? based on the early precedence of this year, Scott could be looking at 15-20 games. elbow, repeat offender, late and to the head!

    • Scott isn’t a repeat offender though. Never been fined or suspended from what I can tell and certainly hasn’t in the past three seasons.

    • He’ll get extra games for all the debatable reasons. He’s not a hockey player, not a sympathetic character, there was an injury on the play, he targeted a star player. Any player could have delivered this (terrible) hit, but it makes it all the more frustrating that it was who it was.

      Justin’s right in that he’s just a symptom of a bigger problem, which is why the hell teams in this league insist on having Neanderthals on the roster that serve no purpose other than to mostly fight other Neanderthals in staged fights that have no impact on the game. I’m not an anti-fighting guy but goon vs goon fighting culture is an idiotic sideshow.

      • It’s funny how many people have gone from “yeah, I’m okay with fighting” to “yeah, I’m okay with fighting, but the goon v goon sideshow is officially pointless” in the last couple years.

  2. Spezza is forcing his way into the “oh, crap, we probably should look into putting this guy on Team Canada” conversation. Good for him, as even speaking from someone with no real opinon on the Sens, I’ve always thought he was overlooked as a quality player.

    Besides, someone has to hold the Iggy torch as the vet from a small market Canadian team who’s kept around primarily to shut that fanbase up.

  3. Scott has historically been a face-punching goon, not a injure-guys goon. His elbows were down for the hit. I don’t see this as being any worse than the hit on Hertl, which got 3 games.

    • You did see the photo, yes? Of Scott’s arm, at a right angle to the ice? Hmm.

      • Elbows down during the hit, elbows raised when trying to keep his balance after the hit:
        http://imgur.com/a/VziCh

        • Alternately elbow raised during hit to ensure maximum damage

          • What, in some alternate universe? The pic shows his elbow down and his shoulder hitting the chin. You can make up scenarios where Scott sat in his basement sharpening his elbow pads muttering to himself, or you can look at the photo. Of reality. Where his elbow was down and shoulder dropped.

          • The elbow is down at the point of contact. No doubt.

            However, the argument that the arm was extended as balance is just as reasonable as the argument that the arm was extended to follow-through on his delivery. Both are assuming intent.

    • I completely disagree with the your assessment of the elbow. While he doesn’t lead with his elbow Scott clearly starts to raise the elbow into Ericksson’s head as the hit starts to ,I assume make sure he gets all of him, as he completes his illegal hit.

      Scott is obviously related to the guy in the Planet Fitness commercial who says; ” I pick things up and put them down.”

    • One major difference between the two hits is that the puck was right there for Hertl. He had to be expecting contact in that situation (though not that type of contact) while Eriksson had already passed the puck and should have been free from contact at that point.

      The lateness of the hit dramatically changes the optics on the play, as it should.

      • @Doh

        How late was it though? I mean, if you watch the video he passes the puck at 0:08, and gets hit at 0:08. So it was less than a second. I’m not sure what the standard for ‘late’ hit is, but that seems fairly quick.

        Furthermore, there’s the old “keep your head up” saying. You’ve got to expect to be hit at any time, but especially right after you pass it.

        • NHL defines a late hit as half a second. I can’t say whether this fits or not.

          That old saying is just that… an old saying. It’s not a rule and it’s definitely outdated. The NHL now has rules that specifically outlaw the very hit Scott made. As the article above lays out, it was a textbook illegal hit.

  4. on implants

    he may not be getting the crowns and external hardware. Getting the posts and bone work done ASAP prevents bone loss and more extensive grafting after his playing days are over. I think you’ll start to see more of this going forward and less waiting for the posts.

    • I for one waited until after my playing days to have mine looked at. just had my consultation ($350 half hour meeting) and found out my bone thickness had reseeded, better than having the height of your jaw bone reseed. therefore as mike stated i require bone grafting to build it back up to support my implants ($2,000 +). however what i did learn from my consultation is that when i had my roots removed from getting them knocked out by a puck they should of filled the holes with cartilage than to prevent the recession of my jaw bone. All and all i think its up to the players on what they want to do, pretty sure duncan keith had his done after they won his first stanley cup, i’d recommend getting it done sooner than later for those of you not making 4 mill plus a yr. also karlsson is a former Norris winner not defending.

  5. Reaves has 1 goal. A complete snipe as well. In his defense.

    • Thank You! I hate adding Reaver to the goon category. Yeah, he’s hired muscle and doesn’t have a ton of skill, but he plays a regular shift on a very effective fourth line.

  6. The picture from the reverse side pretty well sums up the Scott hit. I agree with 7-9.
    Also, on a night with two games, couldn’t we have briefly mentioned Sean Monahan staying with the Flames this year which isn’t typically the Burke way of doing things?

    • “Damn the rebuild; we want to be mediocre NOW.”

      Yeah, definitely doesn’t sound like Burke’s M.O.

  7. You know why Rolston has to go? Because you’re down 2 in the 3rd and have shown that you can claw back twice already in the game, and he sends out John Scott. Sabres fans deserve better.

    • I was going to call out the argument that Rolston is just playing what the GM gave him since Rolston chose to dress Scott at all. Then I realized that they are running at the barebones 12 forwards which is just foolish when you have 5M in cap space and a forward suspended for 10 games. This one lies with the GM for not calling up reinforcements to allow Rolston to sit Scott.

      Is Buffalo’s farm system so depleted that they don’t have a youngster who can actually help the team while Kaleta is suspended?

      • Dressing Scott and playing Scott are different things. Rolston may not have a choice on whether he’s in the lineup, but he certainly has a say on whether he hits the ice. Sending Scott out while down 2 in the 3rd is Exhibit A in the case of ‘Competent NHL Coaching v. Ron Rolston’. Either he believed that Scott could help his team win in that situation, or he had given up on the game and shifted his focus to sending a message through thuggery. Either one demonstrates a coach who has no business being behind an NHL bench.

        • You gotta play him… if you don’t it’s too big of a hit to the rest of your squad. It’s horrible coaching to only skate 11 forwards.

          As for playing him at that junction of the game, good teams roll all 4 lines all the time. Got to get some shifts in to keep the top 9 freasher. Granted, good teams don’t employ outright plugs like him on their 4th line either.

          • Sorry, but with 14 minutes left in a 2 goal game that you’ve shown the ability to claw back into rolling Scott out there is just plain idiotic. The ONLY potential outcomes are negative. He provides literally no positive impact in that situation. Nobody on Boston is going to fight him, and his ability to fight is all he brings. He’s either going to be exposed for the garbage player that he is, or he’s going to take a penalty. After last year Scott was going to be in the lineup last night regardless of the roster situation the Sabres were in, but it was Rolston’s choice to put him out there in that situation. I’m not blaming Rolston for Scott’s actions, I’m saying that he demonstrated some horrendous coaching by putting him out there in a game that the Sabres had a chance to come back in.

            I’d also like to see Scott beat over the head with a tire iron, but that’s a whole different story.

      • I think what this really shows is that the Sabres fired the wrong guy. It was the GM, not the coach, who should have been sent packing.

  8. This is copied and pasted from the article: “and the defending Norris Trophy winning Erik Karlsson picked up two apples (eight points nine games).” Forgive me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the defending Norris Trophy not Karlsson, rather some other player… I mean, I do understand that last year wasn’t a full season, but at least give the real defending Norris Trophy winner his dues (if not, does it mean that Karlsson didn’t suffer a real injury last year, being not a full schedule?). Oh yeah, and not too mention that Subban not only matches Karlsson in the offensive categories, he absolutely outdoes him in the defensive side of things as well. I’d love to see Karlsson hit 1 player with half of the ferocity (not too mention clean hits) that PK delivers.

    • I’d take Karlsson on the defensive side of the puck any day over Subban. Subban is a wild card in the defensive zone, running out of position to make these huge hits. Leaves his teammates to cover for him quite often.

  9. What will John Scott’s WWE name be?

  10. Taro says: Two-ply Scott is for sanitary wiping, not hockey.”

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