|01.31.16 at 11:30 pm ET|
(That lede was dreadful, but in celebration of John Scott it’s only fitting to embrace the bad.)
Yet after all the sides went through — Scott getting voted into the All-Star game as a joke given his status as one of the league’s worst players, then getting asked not to go, then getting sent to the minors, then getting traded and sent to the minors, during which he and his wife were nearly nine months into expecting twins — Scott persevered and proved to be the best thing about an event that is constantly trying to find ways to make itself exciting.
Playing without any team logo on his uniform, Scott scored two goals in the Pacific Division’s first game, which served as a treat for everyone given that Scott has scored five goals in 285 NHL games since debuting in 2009. The Pacific Division team he captained ended up winning the 3-on-3 tournament, and when the event’s MVP finalists were announced as Taylor Hall, Roberto Luongo and Johnny Gaudreau late in the final game, boos filled the Nashville crowd, forcing the voting fans to “right” something that wasn’t necessarily a “wrong,” but was clearly the best and funniest thing to do. When all was said and done, Scott was the new owner of a Honda Pilot as the game’s MVP.
The NHL, which has had to try its darnedest to save face throughout this whole process, ended up getting what it wanted — actual interest in its All-Star festivities — thanks to the man it tried to push away. He’s not a good player, but he was certainly the most valuable despite the NHL‘s previous behavior.
Scott had previously never been known as more than an enforcer who lacked the talent to be in the NHL, but he’s been able to kick around at 33 thanks to his 6-foot-8 stature. In Boston, he was only known as the guy who concussed both Loui Eriksson on a hit that got him suspended seven games and Shawn Thornton in a fight.
Yet after Sunday, Scott is a cult hero. If last week’s piece in the Player’s Tribune wasn’t enough to win him fans, Sunday was.
Who knows what’s next for Scott? He should be given some sort of made-up award at the NHL Awards, or he should present. Scratch that. He should host. It’s not like it would be much worse than it usually is. Maybe he can save that, too.
|01.31.16 at 2:37 am ET|
Sunday Skate has its final one-hour show of the season before moving back to two hours next week. Call in at (617) 779-7937 and chat with Pete Blackburn, DJ Bean and Joe McDonald starting at 8 a.m. Click here to listen live.
|01.30.16 at 1:13 am ET|
PROVIDENCE — While Boston’s hockey team was off duty due to the All-Star break, Boston’s AHL farm club in Providence put on an NHL-type show.
Featuring a top line of Frank Vatrano – Seth Griffith – David Pastrnak, the P-Bruins blitzed the Springfield Falcons on Friday night at the Dunkin Donuts’ Center by a final of 8-1. Vatrano and Griffith each had five points, with Vatrano’s hat-trick stealing the show, while Pastrnak added a goal and two assists.
And while the 19-year-old Pastrnak is almost assuredly on a short-term loan to Providence as he continues to sharpen his game after missing time due to injuries, the 21-year-old Vatrano and 23-year-old Griffith are making strong cases that they should be working back in Boston soon, too.
With Griffith’s goal-and-four-assist night Friday he took over the AHL scoring lead, having compiled 46 points (14 goals and 32 assists) over his 35 games of action. And that’s having played some 10-to-12 fewer games than many other players close behind him on the AHL points’ leaderboard.
Vatrano, meanwhile, has already seen 30 games on NHL ice this season. Since being demoted on January 21 due in part to a Boston numbers-crunch, all Vatrano has done is light up AHL stat sheets to the tune of six goals and four assists over a four-game stretch. In 15 total AHL games this year, he has now scored 16 times.
“I just feel more and more confident on the ice,” Vatrano said of his second stint in the AHL this season. “Plays are coming quicker to me, I feel like I have more time and space. I came down here to make a statement when I got sent down from Boston, and I’m feeling really great out there. Playing with some good guys down here has helped me build confidence.”
|01.27.16 at 11:50 pm ET|
The Bruins released an update on Jonas Gustavsson Wednesday night, revealing that the goaltender’s departure from Tuesday’s game and trip to the hospital was indeed heart-related.
“Jonas Gustavsson was removed from Tuesday’s game for precautionary reasons due to an elevated heart rate,” Wednesday’s statement read. “He was taken to Mass General Hospital and remained there overnight for testing. All preliminary tests came back negative and he was discharged Wednesday afternoon. Jonas is expected to rejoin the team after the NHL All-Star Break pending clearance from the Bruins medical staff.”
This is not the first time Gustavsson has dealt with heart issues in his career, as he has had three different heart procedures since coming to the NHL from Sweden in 2009.
The 31-year-old goaltender allowed two goals on 16 shots against the Ducks Tuesday before leaving the game. On the season, he is 9-3-1 with a .915 save percentage and 2.38 goals-against average.
|01.27.16 at 7:07 pm ET|
The Bruins announced Wednesday that forward David Pastrnak was assigned to AHL Providence. The move was made so the 19-year-old can see some action during the NHL All-Star break, as he’s missed most of the season due to injury. He is expected to rejoin the Bruins next week, before their first game back Tuesday.
Pastrnak was sidelined two months with a fractured foot suffered in late October. He then had a brief stint with Providence before joining the Czech Republic for the World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland. Since rejoining the B’s on Jan. 8, he has three goals and two assists in eight games.
Providence hosts Springfield on Friday.
|01.27.16 at 2:15 am ET|
The Bruins’ final game before the All-Star break didn’t go their way, a 6-2 loss to Anaheim that dropped the B’s home record to a lousy 11-13-2.
However, the players in the Boston dressing room seemed content with their lot in life as they packed up for a week’s furlough, a 26-18-5 season mark in tow that was holding them third place in the Atlantic Division with 33 games remaining on the season.
“We’ve surprised a lot of people,” said defenseman Torey Krug. “We’re not surprised in here where we [are]. We had a goal to be in the top three [of our division] before the All-Star break and we’re sitting right there.”
“At the beginning of the year there were a lot of people that probably thought that we wouldn’t be in the playoffs,” echoed forward Ryan Spooner. “You kind of heard that stuff, and that we would be a younger team. But we’ve shown that we can play with the top teams. We’ve proved a lot of people wrong and we just have to keep that up.”
The Bruins have indeed exceeded many preseason prognostications to this point. The team’s 21-10-2 record against the Eastern Conference shines bright, as does its 12-6-1 mark within the division. The latter includes a 4-0 performance against the two teams ahead of Boston in the Atlantic (Florida and Detroit).
That said, despite winning five of their last seven games, players also are willing to admit that their current playoff perch is a tenuous one.
|01.26.16 at 11:40 pm ET|
The Bruins offered no update on the status of goalie Jonas Gustavsson, who left Tuesday’s loss to the Ducks after the first period and was taken to the hospital.
The only word that the Bruins offered was during the game, when they shared that Gustavsson was ill and taken to Mass General. Gustavsson has a history of heart procedures, which led to speculation that the goaltender could have had another such issue.
Asked specifically whether Gustavsson’s situation was heart-related, Claude Julien said he had ‘no idea.’ The Bruins said afterwards that they would not have any update for at least the rest of the day.
Tuukka Rask replaced Gustavsson for the final two periods. He too said he was unaware of Gustavsson’s status.
“He just went to the trainer’s room after the period and that was it,” Rask said. “That’s all I know.”