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SCOTT FACES HEARING WITH NHL TOMORROW

Wednesday, 10.30.2013 / 3:21 PM
By Chris Ryndak - Sabres.com / BEYOND THE BOARDS
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BEYOND THE BOARDS
SCOTT FACES HEARING WITH NHL TOMORROW
       John Scott

The NHL is cracking down on hits to the head and Sabres forward John Scott will find out first-hand how severely he will be penalized for a hit he put on Boston’s Loui Eriksson on Oct. 23.

Scott faces a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety in New York City on Thursday. The in-person hearing allows for the League to suspend Scott for at least five games. He's already sat out three games.

Since the start of the season, eight players, excluding Scott, have been suspended by the League for a combined 35 games. Four of those suspensions are a result of illegal hits to the head and total 18 games, including a 10-game suspension to the Sabres’ Patrick Kaleta for hitting Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson on Oct. 10.

Kaleta has served nine games of the suspension so far. He will miss his 10 th game on Thursday when the Sabres take on the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden at 7 p.m.

“The emphasis right now across all athletics is just the concussion part of things, so that’s been a major focus – any contact to the head, and that comes from the NFL,” Sabres coach Ron Rolston said after practice at First Niagara Center. “The NHL now has put a huge focus on that. It’s kind of been the major topic right now so when it is an emphasis, you’ll see a lot of those calls. They’re trying to get rid of those and also, obviously, the hits from behind along the boards.”

Rolston said that a lot of new systems that have been implemented by teams have led to the increased number of hits that players could be suspended or fined for making. Youth hockey programs are beginning to implement additional penalties for hits to the head and Rolston sees the NHL eventually following suit.

“I think it’ll happen more at our level, too is things get stricter, he said. “And we’ve already see how many guys suspended early on in this season, and the number of games players are missing. Same with the visor now – all the players have to have visors that are coming into the League, so that’s going to change things.

“You hope that over the course of whatever it is, five, 10 years that you’re going to see some of those changes really affect the game in a positive way.”

He also said rule changes made after the lockout that canceled the 2004-05 season brought attention to obstruction, but those penalties aren’t called as much anymore.

“Probably right after the last lockout, the emphasis was a lot on what obstruction, hooking, holding and now that’s back in the game,” he said. “You watch today’s game, it’s completely different from that emphasis coming out of that lockout. So it really becomes what is emphasized and then at that point you see a lot of calls from that emphasis.”

The Sabres are currently fourth in the League in hits with 372. Forward Cody McCormick plays a physical game and likes to see that some of the team’s younger players aren’t afraid to throw the body around either.

“For me, every shift I want to play physical, I want to finish all my hits and just have the other team looking over their shoulder, I guess,” he said. “You see it with the young guys, they’re finishing their hits. They don’t care who they’re playing. They’re finishing their hits on their best players and that’s the best things for us.”

One of those young players, 18-year-old rookie Nikita Zadorov, has been a physical presence for the Sabres. He has 17 hits in five games. Rolston cited some of Zadorov’s play as an example of how players, particularly defensemen, can still make open ice hits without crossing the line.

“I think in Florida there, Zadorov had a couple that were out in the middle of the ice, taking the rush. Again, I think a lot of the system stuff has caused a lot of situations like that,” he said.


26 Matt Moulson – 19 Cody Hodgson – 63 Tyler Ennis
9 Steve Ott – 82 Marcus Foligno – 23 Ville Leino
28 Zemgus Girgensons – 25 Mikhail Grigorenko – 65 Brian Flynn
22 Johan Larsson – 8 Cody McCormick – 21 Drew Stafford
78 Corey Tropp – 36 Patrick Kaleta

10 Christian Ehrhoff – 3 Mark Pysyk
20 Henrik Tallinder – 57 Tyler Myers
4 Jamie McBain – 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
61 Nikita Zadorov – 32 John Scott .

30 Ryan Miller
1 Jhonas Enroth

Power Play

First Unit
Moulson – Hodgson – Ennis
McBain – Ehrhoff

Second Unit
Leino/Grigorenko – Ott – Foligno
Myers – Pysyk/Ristolainen

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82