Hockey is a team game. An entire team wins and loses together. In most cases, one person cannot be blamed for a loss.
But in the case of the Blackhawks, I’m pointing the finger directly at John Scott.
It isn’t that Scott is failing on the ice at this point. He hasn’t backflopped and watched an opponent score a goal since the home opener, so it isn’t what he’s doing on the ice that’s killing the Blackhawks right now.
It’s what someone else isn’t doing on the ice when he’s sitting on the bench that is murdering this team.
The Blackhawks have scored 11 goals in their last five games (not including the shootout winner). In their last two games, both 2-1 losses at home to bad teams, the Hawks biggest problem became magnified: the team can’t score.
There have been dozens of good chances around the net, but the team hasn’t put the puck in the net. Jack Skille and Tomas Kopecky have been especially brutal around the net, but they’re at least contributing in other ways. Skille tried to jump start the team with a solid fight on Wednesday night, and Kopecky has been decent taking faceoffs when asked. Both have provided something, at some point, to the team this year.
The same can’t be said about Scott.
How does a team that can’t score justify wasting an active forward spot on a guy they won’t skate more than eight or nine shifts?
Scott is now averaging only 7:15 per game, and hasn’t been on the ice for more than eight minutes since Oct. 22nd in St. Louis. In 16 games, Scott has ZERO goals, ZERO assists (yes, that adds up to ZERO points), is plus-one and has 16 penalty minutes.
If he was brought to Chicago to be a physical force on the ice, the theory has failed miserably. He has 19 hits in 16 games, and if he isn’t on the ice why would someone be scared of him?
He has done NOTHING to contribute to the Blackhawks this season.
Over the summer, Scott signed a two-year deal with a minimal cap number. It’s time that he takes that two-year deal to Rockford and gets out of the way of someone who might make a difference on the ice, or at least warrant more than 10 shifts.
Because of his contract status, Scott would have to pass through waivers for the Hawks to demote him to Rockford. That would open the opportunity for any team in the league to take him. If that is seriously a concern for a team that isn’t even skating the guy five minutes at this point, they need to take another look at their priorities.
The Blackhawks now stand under .500 on the season with a 8-9-1 record. They’re struggling to score, but they’re playing short-handed every night because they’re only skating 11 truly active forwards. This team can no longer afford to give away shifts, or games. It’s time for Scott to disappear and someone who can make a play to be in Chicago.