You see this, internet? This is why we can’t have nice things.
Given the chance to elect a captain for each of the four divisional teams set to take part in the NHL's three-on-three All-Star tournament in Nashville on Jan. 31, fans have made Alex Ovechkin the favorite in the Metropolitan Division. Patrick Kane is in front in the Central. Jaromir Jagr is leading in the Atlantic.
Yes, that John Scott.
The one who passed unclaimed through waivers back in October.
The one who has skated less than 40 minutes total over six games for the Arizona Coyotes this season.
The one who has taken three shots and earned one assist and 18 penalty minutes on the year.
The one whose career highlight was threatening to beat up Phil Kessel.
This wasn’t supposed to happen. Not after the whole Rory Fitzpatrick thing back in 2007. That debacle was predicated on a system that allowed fans to vote as often as they wanted ... or as often as their automated voting programs could fill in another ballot. This year, fans are limited to 10 ballots a day, a rule designed specifically to prevent another Fitzpatrick-style hacking of the process.
It hasn’t worked. It appears that an online voting push, possibly originating on Reddit, is behind Scott’s bid and not the efforts of a few dedicated programmers. And now that the goof ball is rolling, anything is possible.
Have to think the NHL is sweating just a little bit at the possibility of a fringe player winning the contest ... or maybe not. Maybe this is all part of a brilliant marketing ploy by the league to generate publicity ahead of its big All-Star gamble. After all, we’ll be paying closer attention to the vote if Scott is in the race than we would if a predictable name like Daniel Sedin was leading the pack, right?
Stay tuned ...
The numbers game
• On Tuesday night the Penguins beat the Sharks in San Jose for the first time since Oct. 22, 1997, snapping a 12-game skid (0-9-3) at the Shark Tank.
• Patrick Kane (12-20-32) is now the fourth player to reel off a point streak of 20 or more games since the 1997-98 season. The others: Sidney Crosby of the Penguins, 25 (Nov. 5 to Dec. 28, 2010; 26-24-50); Dany Heatley of the Senators, 22 (Oct. 5 to Nov. 29, 2005; 17-21-38; and Paul Stastny of the Avalanche, 20 (Feb. 3 to March 17, 2007; 11-18-29).
• Joel Quenneville of the Blackhawks has become the seventh bench boss in NHL history to coach 1,400 games milestone. He’s now tied Pat Quinn, Quenneville (767) ranks third all-time in wins, behind only Scotty Bowman (1,244) and Al Arbour (782).
• There’ll be a discussion on the expansion bids of Las Vegas and Quebec City at the upcoming Board of Governors meeting, but don’t expect a vote.
• It’s already time to look ahead to the draft for one NHL team.
• An NHL coach says the future of American hockey is set thanks to these two players.