Legend tells of one Canuck foolish enough to engage John Scott. That would be Alex “Howard Moon” Bolduc, who dropped the gloves with Scott when the giant d-man was still a member of the Minnesota Wild. In case you’ve forgotten how it went, not only did the brave but silly Bolduc receive a sound thumping, but he dislocated his shoulder and wouldn’t return to the Canucks lineup for the remainder of the season. Now his shoulder dislocates during faceoffs, canoeing trips, and games of Jenga.

Here’s a video of the fight. My favourite moment: when Bolduc asks Scott to take his helmet off. Good call, Duker — seven inches and fifty pounds aside, you’d hate for Scott to have any sort of unfair advantage. Scott is only too kind too oblige; Bolduc would need Krueger arms to reach his nose from down there. Knives for hands wouldn’t hurt, either.

Alex Bolduc hasn’t played in this series, but his fate remains a solid reminder of why you don’t fight John Scott: he will break you. And yet, Chicago fans are calling the Canucks cowardly for their unwillingness to engage him. Here’s Dave Rozner, of the Chicago Daily Herald:

John Scott had every intention of putting Torres in his place Tuesday night late in the game, but as he engaged Torres at the faceoff circle, referee Dan O’Rourke tossed them both, robbing the Hawks of a chance to set things straight.

[...] About 10 minutes earlier, Tanner Glass refused to fight Scott, and when he couldn’t get Glass involved, Scott waited too long to have a conversation with Bieksa, who feigned hearing loss and wouldn’t even look at Scott — the equivalent of going into the turtle.

The Canucks made the right decision. Fighting John Scott plays to his great strengths, which are his greatness and his strength, respectively. He’s hardly a hockey player; he’s a freaking Rancor. The Blackhawks lower his food down to him in a cage. He just wants to murderize you. Why give him the satisfaction?

Avoiding a fight with John Scott is about as wise as avoiding a fight with the guy who has spiked shoulder pads, the guy swinging a bike chain and holding a severed head by the hair, or the guy with the half-eaten baby hanging out of his mouth. (If you… are thinking…. of…. fighting…. John….. Scott…… don’t.)

What can the strategic value of agreeing to let John Scott bash your face in possibly be? There is none. Lost face aside, at least you won’t literally lose your face.

Conversely, there’s complete strategic value in just saying no. Everybody knows the best way to beat somebody is to play to their weakness, and John Scott’s weakness is using his hockey equipment to play hockey. Make him have to do that. Why give him an out by willfully entering a situation where he gets to drop his gear?

And why reward the Blackhawks for going down into the bowels of an abandoned Chicago house, luring a goon out of the cellar with a carton of Rocky Road, then putting a jersey on him? Don’t give them the satisfaction of losing a fight to their goon. Punish them by failing to dress a skilled player in his stead. Punish them by making him represent the Blackhawks for a full shift.

Plus, the longer he’s out there, the more likely someone will notice his skates are on the wrong feet.

So no, the Canucks aren’t cowardly. They’re smart enough to know when not to fight.

Meanwhile, Blackhawk fans want to blame Kevin Bieksa when Viktor Stalberg simply isn’t as smart. Viktor, Kevin Bieksa once punched out a teammate. He’s not that discerning. When you’re a li’l softie like Stalberg and Kevin “I will drag my knuckles across your face” Bieksa jumps you, don’t give him permission by dropping your gloves. That’s the equivalent of taking your seatbelt off before an accident. Had Stalberg kept his gloves on, Bieksa would have received an instigator penalty and, likely, a one game misconduct. Instead, Stalberg legitimized the attack and let Juice pulverize him.

So okay. The Canucks may be gutless, but at least they aren’t brainless.

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9 comments

  1. Tom
    April 21, 2011

    HM, one of the truly great posts – a rollicking jaunt down the road of hockey funniness.

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  2. Reece
    April 21, 2011

    “If a 6-foot-8 guy who can’t skate asks to fight, you say no, then skate around him and score a goal.”

    -Kevin Bieksa on John Scott.

    (Courtesy of http://forum.canucks.com/topic/301058-the-best-kevin-bieksa-quotes/
    Take a look if you want a laugh)

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  3. Steve Lockhart
    April 21, 2011

    I just checked. Stalberg has 2 inches and 12 pounds on Bieksa so why did Kevin face ridicule for “picking” on this guy?

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    • HawksChamps2010
      April 22, 2011

      Because Bieksa has made a career out of going after the non-fighters and skill players. He refuses to go after anybody else. I am not just picking on Bieksa because the whole team is gutless in that respect. Tanner Glass fights bears………very laughable!! Torres was crapping his pants in game 3 hoping to get a misconduct. I bet he pleaded to the refs to give him the gate before the puck was dropped.

      Final thought…..If you have bieksa playing 20+ minutes a game (as PuckWatch indicates below), that may be a problem for you. See Bickell’s goal in game 3 as evidence.

      Now, everyone on your feet because 12 times in two games is just not enough………da-da-da, da-da-da, da-da-da-da-da-da-da…….sing along – you know the melody by now…..

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  4. PuckWatch
    April 21, 2011

    I guess scrapping Ben Eager also counts as picking your spots?

    Pretty sure Bieksa will fight almost anyone. Fighting Scott also isn’t smart because he sucks. Bieksa plays 20+ minutes a night. Bad trade off.

    Milbury said it best on HNIC, if Stalberg wants to be one of the big boys, running around with moments left in a blowout, throwing hits and spearing, you should be ready.

    Poke a bear and you’ll incur the consequences

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  5. Laura Jones
    April 21, 2011

    I heard a sound byte of Bieksa this morning… something along the lines of, “when I was a rookie, I was told not to bother the regulars”

    that’s right Scott… don’t yap unless you play more than 5 min a game….

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  6. sooooooooooo
    April 21, 2011

    how;d that work out?

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  7. clay pigeon
    April 22, 2011

    Playoffs they survive
    Golfing April twenty-five
    Gutless but alive

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  8. John Andress
    April 22, 2011

    I agree that the Canucks have nothing to gain by fighting John Scott. The problem is, however, that he has been on the ice, not for long but on the ice, for two games now and has demonstrated on several occasions his lack of hockey skills and the Canucks have not been able to take advantage of him or punish the Blackhawks for using a player like him. I wish that Kevis Bieksa hadn’t tempted the hockey gods by talking about skating around him back after game 3. We now know who it is that is getting skated around. The good thing about momentum though is that when it shifts it shifts quickly. As quickly as it deserted the Canucks, it can embrace then again just as fast. Let’s hope that they can hang on long enough, work hard enough and get a timely lucky break and get mo back on their side. I suspect it has to be mostly work hard.

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