John Scott said ‘you can’t write this stuff,’ but John Scott kinda did


NASHVILLE — Coming into the 2016 NHL All-Star Game, there was one central theme at play:

Nobody knew how this was going to play out.

Nobody knew how the league’s new initiative, a 3-on-3 mini-tournament, would go.

Nobody knew how a weekend without superstars like Alex Ovechkin and Jonathan Toews in attendance would go.

And nobody — nobody — knew how this John Scott thing would go.

Including the man himself.

“I never, in a million years, believed I would’ve been in an All-Star Game,” Scott said, after capturing the most improbable MVP award in the event’s history. “To have the fans get behind me like that, to score two goals in a game, you can’t put it into words.

“You can’t write this stuff. It’s unbelievable how it happened.”

Unbelievable, yes. The lead-up certainly was.

First, Scott had to endure an online ballot-stuffing initiative from fans that seemed interested in both laughing with him… and at him.

Once voted in, there were cries to get him out. He’d ruin the integrity of the contest. Five goals in 285 career games? Players of his ilk didn’t belong.

They called him a goon — and, as we learned this week, there’s hardly a term more derogatory in his lexicon — and said he’d be embarrassed. Worse, his kids might be.

Then he was sent packing from Arizona to Montreal in a trade that reeked like Limburger.

“Enforcers don’t get traded midseason when their team is winning,” Scott said in his explosive Players’ Tribune piece. “If you know the league, you know that it just doesn’t happen.”

But then, the tide turned. The NHL said he was welcome to participate in Nashville, even though he was plying his trade in the American League.

And not long after Scott literally wrote his own story in the Tribune, he took control of how others penned the narrative.

Friday’s media availability at Bridgestone was a masterclass in public relations, in that it wasn’t a masterclass at all. None of it felt calculated, or planned — Scott was genuine, earnest, honest and funny, and it was all on display, in front of a massive media contingent that got to hear all the complexities stashed in his 6-foot-8, 270-pound frame.

He said he hated that people saw him as “an animal,” instead of “a family guy that’s worked his way up.”

He said he’d stay up nights worrying about his next fight.

He acknowledged the enforcer role he’s filled for the last eight years is going the way of the dodo. Yet he remained steadfast in his support of the tough guy, the grinder, the guy that’s willing to stick up for his teammates.

After winning the MVP, he re-iterated as much.

“You just work with what you have,” he explained. “I was given a few tools — my size, my strength, and I’ve worked on those. I worked my tail off throughout my career. I’ve been cut many times, sent down, this and that.

“If you’re a grinder or a fighter or a checker, go with it. Things will work out.”

Things certainly worked out this weekend.

One of the points Scott re-iterated throughout this event was that, y’know, he could actually play hockey — and on Sunday, it certainly looked that way, bagging a pair of goals while taking regular shifts against the best players on the planet.

And with that, the narrative around John Scott shifted once again.

He’s now forever immortalized among the elite, joining a list of All-Star MVPs that includes the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr and Mario Lemieux. His helmet is off to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Endorsement deals are starting to come in.

For a guy that claimed you can’t write stuff like this, John Scott sure did a good job of telling his own story.

Bruins set NHL record with 12 straight home wins to start season

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

BOSTON — The Boston Bruins set the NHL record for most home victories to start a season with their 12th straight, topping the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime with a power-play goal from David Pastrnak.

The Bruins broke the mark of 11 that was set by the 1963-64 Chicago Blackhawks and equaled by the Florida Panthers last season.

“That felt awesome,” Bruins first-year coach Jim Montgomery said. “We talked about it after the second (period) going into the third. There’s been a lot of great teams in this league and you’re able to set a precedent, break a record. It’s pretty special and it doesn’t happen if those guys don’t believe in themselves like they do.”

Boston, which trailed 2-0 late in the second period, tied it with 9:33 left in regulation when David Krejci scored his second of the game on a shot from the right point.

“It’s never fun being down going into the third, you’re sitting in here (in the locker room) trying to figure it out,” Krejci said. “You want to come out and do the job, something special on the line. It’s hard to win in this league. To get 12 in a row at home is pretty special.”

In overtime, Carolina was playing shorthanded after being called for too many men on the ice when Pastrnak one-timed a pass from Brad Marchand inside the far post from above the left circle.

“It was a big win for us, obviously, coming from behind,” Pastrnak said.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Stefan Noesen each scored a power-play goal for Carolina, and Pyotr Kochetkov made 38 saves. The Hurricanes lost their fifth straight.

In a rematch of last spring’s opening-round playoff series that the Hurricanes won in seven games, Carolina shutout the NHL’s highest scoring team for nearly two periods and jumped ahead a pair of power-play goals in the opening period.

“We took too many penalties. That’s hurting us right now,” Kotaniemi said. “I think 5-on-5 we’re doing a really good job. We started good tonight and couldn’t keep that up.”

Boston’s tying goal was originally disallowed because of goaltender interference on Nick Foligno but overturned on a coach’s challenge after it was ruled that he was nudged into the crease by Carolina defenseman Brett Pesce.

Boston starting goaltender Linus Ullmark made 28 saves but had to leave with 13:03 left in the third period with an undisclosed upper-body injury. Teammate Connor Clifton had jumped on him to block a shot during a scramble. Jeremy Swayman made six stops in relief.

Carolina’s Noesen scored at 6:34 in to make it 1-0. And with five minutes left in the period, Kotkaniemi collected the puck near the side of the net after Seth Jarvis‘ shot bounced off the back glass and slipped it inside the post at 15:05.

Krejci scored for Boston with 31 seconds left in the second.

Boston came in with a league-high 82 goals in 20 games (4.10 per game), but it was held to relatively few chances despite getting a 5-on-3 power-play advantage early on.


The Bruins honored captain Patrice Bergeron, who recorded his 1,000th career point when the team was on the road against Tampa Bay, with a message on the Jumbotron. The crowd gave him a standing ovation.

Bergeron became just the fourth Bruin to reach the mark, joining Hall of Famers Ray Bourque (1,506), Johnny Bucyk (1,339) and Phil Esposito (1,012).


Hurricanes: Host the Calgary Flames.

Bruins: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Predators postpone 2 games due to Nashville water main break

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

NASHVILLE, Tenn. —  The Nashville Predators postponed two home games because of a water main break that soaked their downtown arena.

Hours after the Predators decided they couldn’t play against the Colorado Avalanche, the team announced it also postponed the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Makeup dates for the two games will be announced later.

The NHL said the water main break that occurred “significantly impacted the event level” of Bridgestone Arena. Team locker rooms and the ice surface are on the event level.

Predators President and CEO Sean Henry told reporters that the water in the event level ranged from 3 inches to 3 feet.

“We’re assessing it right now. We’re remediating it,” Henry said. “The good thing is, the water got shut off, the city responded in a pretty fast manner. I don’t think anyone is ready for things like this the Friday after Thanksgiving.”

Video posted by a WTVF-TV reporter shows the water puddled up on the main floor’s concourse area and the team store. The team was forced to close the store until further notice, pointing shoppers online for Black Friday specials.

The Predators’ next home game is now scheduled for Tuesday against the Anaheim Ducks.

The water issue also resulted in a switch to a different venue for a college hockey game between Northeastern and Western Michigan. They also had been scheduled to play at Bridgestone Arena, a game that was moved to Ford Ice Center Bellevue.

Rangers trade Ryan Reaves to Wild for 5th-round pick in 2025

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The New York Rangers traded enforcer Ryan Reaves to the Minnesota Wild for a 2025 fifth-round pick.

Reaves had been a healthy scratch for eight of the past 12 games for the Rangers. He gives struggling Minnesota some extra muscle and a veteran presence.

The 35-year-old is signed through only the rest of this season at a $1.75 million salary cap hit. He has no points and 12 penalty minutes in 12 games of his second season with New York.

Reaves has played in 869 NHL regular-season and playoff games for the St. Louis Blues, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vegas Golden Knights and Rangers. He was with the Golden Knights during their inaugural season in 2017-18 when the reached the Stanley Cup Final.

Toronto’s Morgan Rielly placed on long-term injured reserve

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs placed defenseman Morgan Rielly on long-term injured reserve with a knee injury.

Rielly was hurt in a collision with with New York forward Kyle Palmieri early in the third period of Toronto’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Islanders at home.

Rielly has no goals and 16 assists in 20 games this season and is averaging 23 minutes of ice time.

Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said following practice that the 28-year-old Rielly doesn’t need surgery, adding there’s no firm timeline for his return beyond the minimum 24 days and 10 games required for going on long-term injured reserve.

Toronto’s defense is also missing Jake Muzzin with a neck injury and T.J. Brodie with an injured oblique.