By Allan Muir
John Scott is the ultimate grocery stick. His sole purpose in the league is to intimidate the opposition, but it's hard to ask him to perform even that small service because he's a complete liability in every other way.
He's a wasted sweater on a Buffalo team that could desperately use an infusion of skill to try to salvage a season that's quickly slipping away.
The good news for Sabres fans is that his roster spot is about to open up. Hopefully for a very long time.
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Scott is going to be banished for several games after delivering a vicious elbow to the head of Boston's Loui Eriksson early in the third period of tonight's 5-2 win for the Bruins.
Sometimes these moments of dangerous contact are the result of a heated battle, a split-second change of direction. Maybe even an unfortunate bit of timing. This wasn't one of those moments.
Eriksson had just crossed the blueline and dumped the puck into the Buffalo zone when Scott's elbow crashed into his jaw, dropping him to the ice. He had no chance to see his assailant approaching like a missile from his blind side.
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Eriksson, obviously disoriented by the hit, was unable to leave the ice without the help of teammates and didn't return to action.
We've all seen guys shake off head shots in the past, but he showed all the signs of being concussed. Here's hoping that amateur diagnosis proves to be wrong.
Scott, meanwhile, was given a five-minute major for charging and a game misconduct for the hit, along with a major for fighting after he tangled with a vengeance-seeking Adam McQuaid. And if he hasn't already received a call inviting him to New York, it'll be coming soon.
This was an absolutely inexcusable hit, and one that will test the resolve of the NHL's disciplinary crew. A five-game suspension, similar to the one handed down earlier today to Dallas' Ryan Garbutt for an eerily similar violation, seems like the absolute minimum for an assault this gutless. Ten games seem more reasonable, but we've seen how loath this crew is to stretch the limits of their authority to make a point.
What do you think Shanny does here? And do you think Buffalo coach Ron Rolston -- who was fined once by the league just for putting Scott ahead of his preseason scuffle with Phil Kessel
-- should be liable for sending him out again with his team down two goals and with no clear purpose other than to cause mayhem?