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.Tags: Bieksa, Blackhawks, Canucks, featured, fighting, NHL playoffs, Torres, trash talking