* 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.
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:
I played John Scott in college. 126 games, 19 points, 347 PIMs. *In college*. Not a hockey player.
— Justin Bourne (@jtbourne) October 24, 2013
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.
Buffalo News photographer Harry Scull gets John Scott’s impact with Bruins’ Loui Eriksson. pic.twitter.com/S1bsgNcrNj
— John Vogl (@BuffNewsVogl) October 24, 2013
* 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.”)
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.
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:
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.
* 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…
— John Tavares (@91Tavares) October 23, 2013
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: