October 07, 2009
Occasionally in the NHL, we can surmise tangible proof that fighting has, as the proponents say, "a place in the game" beyond the obvious sideshow aspects. Sometimes it's as a deterrent, and other times it's like this John Scott(notes) fight for the Minnesota Wild against George Parros(notes) of the Anaheim Ducks: It's a team-wide kick in the pants.
Whew ... a couple of very stout right hands from Scott there. He was probably picking mustache out of his knuckles like cactus spines in the penalty box.
As you can see, the score was 3-0 and the new-look Wild were a mess for the first two periods. (It was a good night to stink, actually, with the local fans marinating in the Favre/Twins double-shot of sports euphoria.) As Michael Russo of the Star Tribune writes, it was a guy with 20 career NHL games that got them going with his fists:
With the Wild somehow lacking any zip all night, 6-8 John Scott got things started early in the third by dropping the gloves with experienced fighter George Parros. Scott floored Parros with an uppercut, and the crowd loved it and his teammates got a jolt from it.
"You're looking for momentum-shifters, and it comes in a lot of different ways," coach Todd Richards said.
The Wild scored their first goal less than four minutes later, and outworked the Ducks in the final 20 minutes of regulation; consider that they drew three minor penalties in the first two periods and three in the third period alone.
Andrew Brunette(notes), our second star last night, scored the game-winner in OT. Ben Hankinson, John Scott's agent, tweeted that his client deserved the No. 1 star last night for the Wild after his fight. He may have a point.