You might say the Chicago Blackhawks are in a bit of a desperate situation. They’re down 2-0 to Vancouver and with Game 3 tonight in Chicago, they need to do a bit more to try to get through to Roberto Luongo and make him uncomfortable.
Enter 6’8″ defenseman and part-time forward John Scott.
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville is putting Scott into the lineup for Game 3 in place of Bryan Bickell (out with a cut wrist) and his reason for getting him in there is simple: “Size.”
As for Scott himself, he’s of course excited to get the chance to play in the playoffs and potentially play the same kind of role that Dustin Byfuglien did the last two years for Chicago in that he makes life uncomfortable for Luongo and creates enough of a distraction so the Canucks get off their game. Ben Kuzma of The White Towel hears it from Scott about what he’s looking to do tonight.
“I’ve got to go and throw the weight around. I’m going to hit as much as I can but I’m not going to be crazy. We’ve got to throw everything we have at the net. We’ve given him [Luongo] too many easy saves. We kind of let him off the hook a bit.”
Scott has a reputation as a guy unafraid to throw off the gloves and throw punches instead, something Vancouver fans might recall a bit too well. Scott’s well aware that he can provide that spark if needed as well.
“Yeah, we go back to Minnesota days and I beat up a couple of their guys a couple of times,” said Scott. “If they want to go tonight, I’ll be happy to oblige.”
Someone please hide Alexandre Bolduc in a safe house so he doesn’t start having flashbacks to the time when Scott pummeled him playing for Minnesota. Suffice to say, I don’t think anyone wants to drop the gloves in the playoffs, never mind with a monster like John Scott.
The real analysis on this move though is that Chicago is desperate to change things up a bit and they want to get Vancouver to get really uncomfortable one way or another whether its through John Scott casting shadows on Luongo or punching everyone’s lights out. It’s a curious choice by Chicago but if it works out and Vancouver goes back down the rabbit hole and melts down psychologically, it’s absolutely worth it.
That said, if John Scott is the key to beating Vancouver, we give up on the Canucks. We’re betting that Vancouver is loving this lineup change because Scott isn’t exactly a world beater on the ice and they’ve got Chicago on the ropes. That could all change though if Chicago pulls off a win.