Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Was John Scott 'just doing his job?'

11/02/2014 at 3:57am EST

The Boston Globe's Fluto Shinzawa spends the first part of his weekly notebook discussing the evolution of the Department of Player Safety from the Matt Cooke-on-Marc Savard hit some four years ago to the implementation of rules against hits to the head and the most recent example of the league punishing a player for a hit to the head in the John Moore-on-Erik Haula hit, but then he goes on to launch a rather passionate defense of John Scott's decision to leave the San Jose Sharks' bench to fight Tim Jackman.

It's a curious contradiction, and I'm curious as to what you think about this:

John Scott is out $17,073.18 after the league suspended him for two games following his fight last Sunday with Anaheim’s Tim Jackman. The Sharks should do the right thing and get that cash back in Scott’s pocket. On the play, the San Jose tough guy did exactly what his employer hired him to do. Scott and Jackman had tangled earlier in the game.

Scott didn’t have issues about that fight. But the ex-Sabre didn’t appreciate Jackman’s third-period engagement of Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Jackman had 10 scraps last season, according to www.hockeyfights.com. Vlasic, the Sharks’ ace defenseman and one of their best players, has one career fight: a hiss-and-scratcher against Daniel Briere in 2009.

Jackman’s tangle with Vlasic mushroomed into a Ben Lovejoy-Joe Pavelski fight. It didn’t end well for Anaheim and Lovejoy, who broke a finger in the fight. Jackman’s attempt to go with Vlasic also guaranteed a future dance with the most dangerous fighter in the league.

Scott thought he did it right. He didn’t leave the bench immediately. Later in the third, when Matt Nieto came off for a change, Scott rolled onto the ice, pursued Jackman, gave his opponent a chance to drop his gloves, then started the fight. Scott’s violation of Rule 70.2 — starting a fight after a legal line change — triggered Rule 28, an amorphous catch-all that allows the league to issue supplemental discipline on any incident.

In reality, the notion that a tough guy serves as a deterrent is a myth. This was no different in Anaheim. Jackman already had committed the crime of targeting Vlasic. Had the concept been true, Jackman wouldn’t have dared jab Vlasic because of Scott’s presence on the bench.

But Scott did his job. He made sure that such nonsense would be addressed. Actions like Scott’s bring teams together. That’s worth more than $17k.

Shinzawa continues, discussing the Bruins' start, Kings' cap issues, the situation in Buffalo, Thomas Vanek and other topics...

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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