John Scott leads Team Pacific to All-Star victory

You know what?

The NHL All-Star Game was fun this year. It was worth watching. With the NHL’s introduction of 3-on-3 overtime, introducing a mini-tournament was the perfect way to shake things up, and it ended up actually being a genuinely entertaining product.

Of course, the 3-on-3 aspect was only half the story. If it continues, that’ll be great; however, what really made this weekend was John Scott.

He, along with teammates Johnny Gaudreau and Mark Giordano, led the way to Pacific Division glory, and wrapped up a storybook weekend in perfect fashion.

Pacific 9, Central 6

This was the game I think we were expecting to see out of the 3-on-3 tournament. Fifteen goals over 20 minutes? With the Pacific – aka the division Gaudreau plays in – kicking ass? Yeah, that sounds about right. 

Gaudreau was one of his team’s leaders with a goal and two assists, while Giordano racked up one assist – on a 2-on-0 with Gaudreau, as a matter of fact.

That was the only goal Gaudreau would score all weekend, but it certainly wasn’t for lack of trying. Seriously – Gaudreau probably had more chances than anybody else, including multiple breakaways (which has to be a frightening sight if you’re an opposing goalie) – but he was just unable to bury the puck more than the one time. Hopefully that’s as far as his 3-on-3 shooting percentage regression goes! (In real hockey, he has three goals on 11 shots on 3-on-3 for a shooting percentage of 33.33%.)

We didn’t get to see much of little Johnny Hockey with big Johnny Hockey, so sadly, he didn’t assist on any of his captain’s two goals. We did learn something a little disquieting, though…

Turns out Gaudreau has really awesome chemistry with Taylor Hall.

Former Flames Head Coach Darryl Sutter decided to have Gaudreau and Giordano play most often with Hall, and it paid off in the form of two goals and several other chances.

(Sportsnet, meanwhile, are NOT All-Stars for their complete inability to properly broadcast a game. Gaudreau is going on a breakaway? Better cut to some country singer!)

Hey, when you’re both two of the top players in the worst division in hockey, you gotta stick together, don’t you? Now imagine where the Battle of Alberta could be with competent coaching and management groups.

Pacific 1, Atlantic 0

Yes. Surely, when the 3-on-3 tournament was announced, everybody was anticipating a 1-0 game. Twenty minutes of some of the most insane-paced hockey imaginable, and… one goal to show for it.

And it was genuinely exciting to watch. Players weren’t necessarily trying, really, but they were trying much more than we’ve ever seen them in the past. Corey Perry got the lone winner for the Pacific, though again, Gaudreau had a handful of breakaways he simply couldn’t bury the puck on. 

So yeah – we’re still going with Gaudreau being the most threatening player at 3-on-3, regardless of everything else that happened this weekend. He’s more than proved it time and time again.

But I have to say: watching the Atlantic do their best to tie the game up in the dying minute was genuinely nerve-wracking. It likely wouldn’t have been nearly as intense were the perfect ending for Scott not on the line, but that just played into the beauty that was the entire weekend.

And in the end, it wasn’t Gaudreau riding on anyone else’s shoulders, as would have been easiest – but Scott resting as king. (Not on Gaudreau’s shoulders, thankfully, but he was sitting on one of Giordano’s!)

In spite of the NHL’s best efforts, it was a fantastic weekend.

  • KiLLKiND

    “(Sportsnet, meanwhile, are NOT All-Stars for their complete inability to properly broadcast a game. Gaudreau is going on a breakaway? Better cut to some country singer!)”

    Missed a Jagr breakaway, a couple goals… They have broadcasters that critique the players, they should get someone to critique their broadcast. That was an absolute horrendous broadcast!!

    Also, Healy remains the most annoying personality on air. I simply don’t like the man

      • piscera.infada

        You did actually watch the play, not just watching the Country Music singer looking nervously as the play progressed? Johnny did a little drop to your savior Taylor Hall. Some players actually pass instead of always just trying to score themselves.

        • KiLLKiND

          How hard would it be to click on both goal videos above? You’d see Hall bring the puck end to end on the 1st one and pass to #13 who passes back to #4.

          Passing? That’s why they were so good together. On the tape you can clearly hear them both saying. Here’s the *spits* puck for you too.

      • Cfan in Vic

        So you didn’t watch the game, but still feel entitled to troll. Atta guy…

        This was the best ASG I’ve seen. Great entertainment value and heaps of character out there. It was a very refreshing change!

  • It Was In!

    John Scott didn’t really even look out of place too often, although to be fair he was probably giving 110% to every one else’s 70%. Hilarious watching Bettman shake his hand at the end, and his fight with Kane.

  • beloch

    The whole John Scott thing just came up roses. I especially enjoyed when Kane and Scott dropped the gloves. You almost have to wonder if the league planned for things to turn out as they did.

      • RedMan

        exactly, the media was also so hypocritical – spending weeks saying how he shouldn’t be there and what a mockery, eyc., then turning around and zeroing in on him every chance they got. the NHL came out smelling bad on this one, and the media even worse.

        • piscera.infada

          Don’t forget the fans. The hyperbole surrounding this “affront to the purity of hockey” sure looks ridiculous in hindsight.

          I find most people honestly lose sight of the primary focuses of an all-star game: for the fans to have fun, for the players to have fun, and for the fans to see the players’ personalities outside of their typical rehearsed media scrums. Look, everyone can badger the coverage, the quality of the game, and so-and-so not showing up, but frankly, this weekend went off extremely well for the league. It showed exactly what I’m sure the league wanted: a bunch of relate-able stars playing the game they love. There was fan interaction, there were other celebrities, the people doing the coverage were also having a good time, the reporters were enjoying themselves. I’m not sure what everyone wants here. If you watched that disgrace to football called the Pro Bowl, you would have seen polar-opposites–the NFL still tries to brand it as a competitive game, and it detracts from any of the personality the game might otherwise have.

          Perhaps sometimes we all just need to take sport a little less seriously.

  • Christian Roatis

    Major props to the rest of the all stars; I think they all made an effort to showcase Scott and set him up as much as possible.

    Made a silk purse out of a sow’s ear…….

    Stuck it to the bureaucracy of the NHL at the same time

    • piscera.infada

      I enjoyed this weekend. People hum and haw about the generic answers often given by players. They are a tight league and part of a fraternity, one of respect. The players looked to genuinely be having fun and and respecting each other. You don’t see the same in MLB, NBA and especially the NFL.

  • Crazy Flames

    Props to whoever chose to play Scott with Brent Burns (I’m presuming it was Daryl Sutter – great call). Burns was a beast out there. All over the ice making things happen, setting up Scott, covering his mistakes. Without Burns I am skeptical Scott would have been All-Star MVP. Great work Burnsie

  • Crazy Flames

    No that the silliness of the All Star or should e call it Selection weekend is over maybe the GM’s can get back to work. I am wondering if BT is waiting for the next stretch of 5 games before he shows his hand.

  • slapshot444

    Three on three was pretty good. Still no where near real game effort. The broadcast has not yet learned that the play would be stepped up and focused on every thing but hockey. The game would have been a lot better if the broad cast had of done even half a job. Healy is possible the worst we have seen in a while.

  • Derzie

    You can’t help but be happy for John Scott and his family. A once in a lifetime experience and the best was made of a bad situation. That said, the whole thing leaves you feeling dirty. Scott was voted in simply to make a mockery of the game. The players and the fans reversed the script and righted a wrong by treating Scott with respect. Where it feels dirty is the whole thing is condescending. It’s like over-praising a slow learning child for counting to 10. “good for him”, “god bless him”, “he’s a beauty”. It implies that he (Scott) is inferior and weak. Not to mention the fact that not once was it brought up that John Scott has pummeled and concussed dozens of players in his career. Would spoil the underdog entertainment value. Seeing Daly and Bettman shake Scott’s hand made me physically ill. Hypocrisy of the highest order.

    What was lost in the circus sideshow of patting Scott on his tussled head was the game itself was enjoyable. Too long, in that they ran out of gas (1-0 three on three), but it was the first time in decades that actual hockey was played at an all-star game.

    • piscera.infada

      I’ll bite. I said “he’s a beauty”. Not because I was expecting anything less then he delivered, but because he was extremely affable throughout the entire “bad situation”. Granted, I never bought into the notion that it was a “bad situation”, but a player shows up that was (for all intents and purposes) the butt of a joke, and did exactly what the NHL mandate was for an all-star game. The players enjoyed him being there, the fans did to. Get off your high horse, and realize that’s all that matters here. When the league’s best don’t care enough to show up for the fans, I’ll take a guy that wants to be there one-hundred times out of one-hundred.

      • Derzie

        Scott is a prop. It could have been anybody that ‘doesn’t fit’. McGrattan for example. As for guys who “want to be there” there are thousands of those. It’s not about want, it’s about earning it. People enjoying watching is only part of the story. Some people enjoy watching others get hurt or patronized as well. Doesn’t make it OK.

  • KiLLKiND

    Everyone is saying Scott made the best out of a bad situation, but if he had done the right thing and stepped down the whole situation whould have been far better. Arizona could have had a player at the game which they deserve to OEL is an all-star or Domi could have gone with the way he has been playing.

    Scott could have made a simple very classy press conference ” Thank you all very much for voting me in, but I feel that there are far more deserving players on our team that should be allowed to go to the All Star game instead”

    Easy as that, but he had to be selfish and think he should be allowed to go to the all star game. I don’t care if he was voted in and I bet neither does Domi, OEL and the entire Arizona Coyotes organization. He didn’t create the situation, but I disagree with the way he handled it. Hopefully next year the “fan” vote doesn’t ruin it again.

    I think next year the NHL should implement a player vote. Each team votes in 1 player off their team and then votes in other players only for their division. This wold eliminate the fan vote which never works well and allows teams to pick players that not only want to go to the game but deserve to as well.

    • Derzie

      For the 1st time in 15 years I watched the festivities/games of ASG. I watched because of John Scott. As a fan I also voted for him, not because I was trying to make a mockery of the league, but because Mr. Scott is the best in the business at what he does.

      The days of Mr.Scott’s role within the league are soon to be gone and it is a great tribute to all of the enforcers who have contributed in that role. Many of these enforcers were not always willing participants to that role & in order to stay in pro hockey that is what they had to do.

      Let us not forget that several of these men have had serious concussion issues as a result of the job they do, never mind the depression issues that they have suffered.

      Rik Rypien, Wade Belak, Derek Boogaard may you Rest In Peace. Hope Mr. Scott represented you all well.

      Several weeks ago Mr. Scott did ask fans to vote for players more deserving of being chosen. We, as fans still chose to select Mr Scott. I believe he represented himself accordingly. Thanks for the memories John.