BUFFALO – The joke is John Scott keeps receiving two minutes for, well, being Sabres tough guy John Scott.
The 6-foot-8 winger, who’s impossible to miss on the ice, is tired of the reputation penalties.
“Yeah, I guess that’s why you have a reputation,” Scott said last week inside the First Niagara Center. “But, yeah, it’s been a bad year for penalties like that. It seems like whenever there’s a scrum, I’m the one who gets an extra. Whenever there’s reasonable doubt, I never get that. I’m always guilty.
“If a ref sees someone on the ice and I’m there, I get a penalty. It’s something you got to deal with. I keep getting minors. It’s annoying. It’s frustrating. Yeah, I don’t like it.”
Scott has 66 penalty minutes in 24 games this season and 14 minor penalties, nine of which have come in the last eight games. He’s fought only twice this season.
“Oh God, it’s so frustrating,” Scott said. “Every game it seems like, yeah, I get two or four for doing absolutely nothing. I try to talk to them. I try to say, ‘Come one, give me a break.’ But it doesn’t seem to be working so far.”
The 31-year-old, of course, has been at the center of two high-profile incidents this season. He ignited a Sept. 22 preseason brawl in Toronto after chasing down Maple Leafs star Phil Kessel. Then Scott hit Boston’s Loui Eriksson in the head Oct. 24, earning a seven-game suspension.
In Thursday’s 4-1 loss in Minnesota, Scott received two roughing penalties. The Wild’s Clayton Stoner got one for a same mild scrum. In last Tuesday’s 3-0 loss in Winnipeg, Scott, who received a roughing call earlier in the night, was given 10-minute misconduct with 1:28 left, ending his night.
Can Scott say anything to the officials?
“What can I say?” he said. “They already have their preconceived notion. Some refs like me. Some refs who haven’t really seen me, I guess they think I’m just some goon and I’m going to take bad penalties. It is what it is. I just got to, I guess, be a little smarter out there and try not to run into somebody when the ref’s not looking.”