Monday, December 18, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

MVP John Scott leads team to NHL All-Star Game win

NASHVILLE — Fans sent enforcer John Scott to the NHL All-Star Game by voting him captain of the Pacific Division team.

Then they made him the game MVP.

Scott scored twice during the league's new 3-on-3 all-star tournament, bringing cheers from fans and smiles from teammates, and was voted MVP by fans as a write-in candidate after captaining the Pacific to a 1-0 win over the Atlantic in the championship game Sunday night.

The career journeyman was not listed among the three MVP candidates for a Twitter vote late in the final game, but fans took it upon themselves to select him once again, casting their vote for the 6-foot-8 forward with five goals in 285 career games.

"It's just another one on the list of stuff that I cannot believe is happening," Scott said of being picked as MVP. "You can't write this stuff. It's unbelievable."

Fans at Bridgestone Arena booed the MVP options given by the league's hockey operations department — Pacific forward Taylor Hall of the Oilers, Atlantic goalie Roberto Luongo of the Panthers and Pacific forward Johnny Gaudreau of the Flames — and yelled for Scott. Teammates lifted him on their shoulders after the game while fans chanted "MVP!" And then Scott was announced as the winner and presented with a Honda Pilot Touring SUV, which will come in handy because he and his wife, Danielle, have two young girls and are expecting twins soon.

Scott then posed with his teammates behind a big $1 million check, representing their championship winnings.

"He deserved it," said the Lightning's Steven Stamkos, whose Atlantic team lost in the final. "I think deep down everyone wanted to see him do well, and he did."

The NHL changed the game's format this season, inspired by the new 3-on-3 overtime. The game became a tournament pitting the four divisions against each other in three 20-minute games, two semifinals and a final.

Lightning goalie Ben Bishop was the loser in the final, allowing Corey Perry's goal with 6:22 to go. Bishop had an assist in the Atlantic's 4-3 semifinal win over the Metropolitan. Stamkos didn't have a point in two games.

Scott scored twice in a 9-6 semifinal win over the Central. "I jumped up when he scored his second goal, holding my two kids," Danielle Scott said. "And I'm like, 'Oh my God. I better stop and relax. We'd like to have the babies at home.' "

A fan voting campaign made Scott captain of the Pacific before the Coyotes traded him Jan. 15 to the Canadiens, who assigned him to their AHL team in St. John's, Newfoundland.

Before the All-Star Game, Scott and media reports said the NHL had tried to talk him out of playing. Scott said someone with the league called him and said, "Do you think this is something your kids would be proud of?" Commissioner Gary Bettman said Thursday that he met with Scott and told the forward he was welcome to play. Bettman eluded questions about whether the league asked Scott to back out.

After the game, Bettman presented that $1 million check to Scott at center ice. Scott said Bettman told him he was proud of him.

     
Comments
Lightning has goalie Peter Budaj’s back after near-collapse

Lightning has goalie Peter Budaj’s back after near-collapse

LAS VEGAS — After the Avalanche made a seemingly insurmountable Lightning lead shaky Saturday night, defenseman Victor Hedman was the first to skate toward backup goalie Peter Budaj and give an encouraging pat on the pads with his stick.Budaj’s stat ...
Published: 12/17/17

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Lightning-Avalanche

Could tell just how much Ryan Callahan meant in the Lightning dressing room by hearing teammates talk about his latest injury. Steven Stamkos said he was "sick to my stomach." Brayden Point called him a "heart and soul player." Teammates all saw how ...
Published: 12/16/17
Lightning journal: No easy answers on replacing injured Ryan Callahan

Lightning journal: No easy answers on replacing injured Ryan Callahan

The good news for the Lightning is that GM Steve Yzerman is hopeful RW Ryan Callahan will be ready to go in 3-4 weeks when his upper body injury is re-evaluated. The hard part, however, is finding someone to replace the veteran wing. "I don’t know if...
Published: 12/16/17
Lightning trying to replace ‘heart and soul’ Ryan Callahan

Lightning trying to replace ‘heart and soul’ Ryan Callahan

With veteran wing Ryan Callahan out at least 3-4 weeks with an upper body injury, the natural question is who will fill his shoes?"I don't know if anyone can," coach Jon Cooper said.That's not to say the Lightning (26-6-2) can't win without Callahan....
Published: 12/16/17
Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

DENVER — There might be one team in hockey hotter than the Lightning.It is Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate, Syracuse.The Crunch has won 10 straight after Friday’s victory over Providence. Why is this important? While the AHL is a developmental league, the ...
Published: 12/16/17
Ryan Callahan out at least 3-4 weeks for Lightning

Ryan Callahan out at least 3-4 weeks for Lightning

When Lightning wing Ryan Callahan took a nasty spill into the boards Thursday night, it didn't look good.Turns out, it wasn't. Callahan will be sidelined indefinitely with an upper body injury, evaluated after three to four weeks, per GM Steve Yzerma...
Published: 12/15/17
When you think you’ve got Brayden Point figured out, a surprise awaits

When you think you’ve got Brayden Point figured out, a surprise awaits

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Center Brayden Point is the Lightning’s calmest player, both on the ice and off, according to Victor Hedman.Point’s soft-spoken nature belies his baby face and 5-foot-10 frame. "I’ve never seen him angry before," Hedman said.That ma...
Published: 12/15/17
Ryan Callahan injury makes Lightning win ‘bittersweet’

Ryan Callahan injury makes Lightning win ‘bittersweet’

The Lightning's 4-1 victory over the Coyotes Thursday night still featured the usual post-game music in the dressing room.But there was more of a somber tone with veteran right wing Ryan Callahan's right arm in a sling. Callahan, who got hurt on a na...
Published: 12/15/17
Lightning routs Coyotes for sixth straight win

Lightning routs Coyotes for sixth straight win

GLENDALE, Ariz. — As much as the Lightning has been rolling, it remembered how it lost twice last season to the Coyotes.That included blowing a one-goal third-period lead at home down the stretch, with Tampa Bay missing the playoffs by a point."You l...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17
Lightning’s Mikhail Sergachev earns more minutes, praise

Lightning’s Mikhail Sergachev earns more minutes, praise

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Coyotes center Clayton Keller is very familiar with fellow rookie Mikhail Sergachev, the dynamic Lightning defenseman. They both were top 10 picks in 2016, Keller at No. 7 and Sergachev No. 9 to Montreal. They faced each other in th...
Published: 12/14/17