If you told John Scott that you voted for him to get into the All-Star Game because you thought it was a funny idea, he probably wouldn’t be surprised.
He’s well aware that, as he put it, “at some point, without question, it was a joke” and he knows that he doesn’t deserve the title of All-Star, but that doesn’t mean he feels like he’s deserved the treatment the league has given him as a result of the fan vote.
Scott opened up about those feelings and shared firsthand insights about his hockey journey to this point in an article for The Players’ Tribune. It’s a detailed and great read that you really should check out, but here’s a small excerpt that’s at the heart of why Scott ultimately decided to go along with the fans’ wishes to see him play:
But at the same time: this isn’t Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I’m not some random person off the street, and I didn’t win a golden ticket to “play hockey with the stars.” I won an internet fan vote, sure. And at some point, without question, it was a joke. It might even finish as a joke. But it didn’t start as one. It started with a very small pool, out of a very small pool, out of the very, very smallest pool of hockey players in the world: NHLers. That was the vote. A fan vote, an internet vote — but a vote from among the 700 or so best hockey players in North American professional sports.
And I’m one of them.
Scott in some ways literally fought his way into the NHL, but he’s not an NHLer because he likes to fight. He’s an NHLer because he’s passionate about the game and is willing to take on the role that he feels benefits his team.
The All-Star Game is ultimately there to entertain the fans and the vote is the fans’ way of expressing what they find as entertaining. And in picking Scott, intentionally or not, it’s created an underdog for a game that usually doesn’t have those and has allowed us to gain insight on a man that most only knew for the role he played on the ice.
Related: NHL shop runs out of John Scott All-Star shirts
Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman knocking linesman Don Henderson to the ice during Wednesday’s game caused the official to be hospitalized until 5 am, according to Sportsnet’s Eric Francis.
Henderson went through the concussion protocol and was dealing with neck pains and nausea.
As you can see in the video above, Wideman was on his way back to his bench when he appeared to shove Henderson in the back. It is worth noting that Wideman had been hit awkwardly into the boards shortly before the incident with Henderson.
Wideman defended himself by saying, “I was just trying to get off the ice. And, at the last second, I looked up and saw him.”
Still, others like TSN’s Gary Lawless have argued that Wideman’s actions fall under rule 40.3, which would lead to him getting a 10-game suspension. Here’s an excerpt from his argument:
Officials in the field of play need to be protected. There can’t be any grey area here.
Wideman might be a good guy with a clean past. He might have been a little groggy from the hit he took in the corner. The first doesn’t matter and the second can’t be verified.
He didn’t just bump into Henderson. He put his hands on his back and shoved him to the ice.
Wideman wasn’t penalized as a result of the incident. As far as supplemental discipline goes, the NHL is expected to come to a decision today, per TSN’s Darren Dreger.
Thirty dollars is a small price to pay to own a John Scott All-Star shirt — actually, it was apparently too small a price to pay.
The NHL shop has run out of John Scott All-Star shirts, as Puck Daddy discovered.
To provide some context for that, shirts featuring Patrick Kane — who has 73 points to Scott’s one this season — are still available, albeit in limited quantities.
In a way it’s not really surprising as Scott certainly stands out from the crowd. The enforcer is far from the type of player you would expect to see participating in the All-Star Game. He got in because of the fan vote though and has an underdog quality to him, especially after Arizona traded him to Montreal and he was subsequently relegated to the minors.
If nothing else, his presence provides spice to the event and is a novelty that it seems some people would like to commemorate with a memento.
Related: Latest awkward facet of John Scott to 2016 All-Star Game: What he’ll wear
Chris Phillips doesn’t want his long career to close out because of an injury, but at the end of the day he might not be able to prevent that.
The Ottawa Senators defenseman, who will turn 38 on March 9, is not giving up, but he also hasn’t made much progress in his recovery from a cracked vertebrae that has sidelined him all season.
“It’s really, really unchanged from (September),” he told the Ottawa Sun. “I haven’t been skating a lot. It’s been frustrating and, right now, I’m at a point where I’ve taken that pressure off of where I’m skating and pushing to get back. Right now, I’m just trying to get healthy and then I’ll go from there.”
No matter what happens, he’s made his mark on the Senators. Phillips is their franchise leader in games played (1,179), surpassing longtime captain Daniel Alfredsson by a single game. That record will stand for quite some time as the closest active player on the Senators is Chris Neil, who has played in 943 career contests with Ottawa and will turn 37 in June. Aside from Phillips and Neil, no current Senator has played in 500 games with the club.
Of course, there will be a time for Phillips to reflect on his lengthy career, but it’s not going to change the fact that his current situation is frustrating for him. Phillips hasn’t lost hope in the idea that his recovery process could improve in a hurry, but as we get deeper and deeper into the season, it seems less likely that he’ll be able to return before his contract expires this summer.
Pittsburgh has surprisingly been one of the worst teams offensively this season, but every now and then they have a game that reminds you of the Penguins of old.
Tonight’s contest against Detroit certainly didn’t start off like an example of that as the Red Wings got off to a 2-0 lead. Despite that, the Penguins rallied back to earn a 5-2 victory, making this just the fourth time in 2015-16 that Pittsburgh managed to earn a win after going into the first intermission with a deficit.
Better still, it was a case of their superstars living up to that title. Evgeni Malkin played a big role with a goal and two assists while Sidney Crosby netted the game-winner as he continues to rally back after his slow start to the season.
Pittsburgh’s special teams also played a key role. The Penguins entered this game with the 26th ranked power play in the league, but Patric Hornqvist and Kris Letang both found the back of the net with the man advantage.
This all allowed the Penguins to close out the month on a high note, but it has still been a challenging time for them. The Penguins went 5-8-2 in December and will enter the new year behind in the Wild Card race.
Suffice it to say they’ll need to provide more examples of what they’re capable of going forward.