Following the Minnesota Wild’s amazing (and first-ever) comeback from a 3-0 third period deficit, Head Coach Todd Richards entered his club’s locker room and bestowed John “Hey You” Scott with a makeshift heavyweight belt.
The belt was awarded as a result of his third period KO of Anaheim Ducks heavyweight, George Parros. But the most important result from the fight was a Wild win, and Richards and Wild players credited Scott’s fight with turning around what could have been a nightmarish home opener, into arguably the most memorable Xcel Energy Center opener.
Trailing 3-0 early in the third, Scott lined up opposite the veteran Parros during a neutral zone faceoff. The puck dropped and gloves did too, meaning they had obviously come to an agreement to go.
“You’re looking for momentum shifters,” said Richards. “And they come in a lot of different ways.”
to see the bout.
What was surprising, especially to Scott, was that Parros was willing to engage with his team comfortably ahead in the third period. Then again, this is the Anaheim Ducks we are talking about, and they haven’t been known to hightail it away from a fight.
“Usually you have a hard time getting someone to fight in the third period, and there’s 15 minutes left,” said Scott. “But he’s a good guy. We had a talk and he said next time, you got to get me if you guys are winning. I was like, ‘fine, sure, sounds good.’
Scott is 6-foot-8, but he’s more known for being a great guy than a great pugilist. Last year, he even went so far as to admit to Star Tribune writer Mike Russo that he isn’t a big fan of punching people in the noggin.
His feelings appear to have changed, especially after a confidence builder like last night. Right away, Scott landed a jab, and after a bit of posturing, he landed another vicious jab that sent Parros down in a heap.
Perhaps his offseason training with Wild super enforcer Derek Boogaard (out with a concussion) had something to do with his early success.
“Definitely,” he said. “(Boogaard) and his trainer taught me a lot this summer, so it’s paying off so far.”
Shortly after Scott landed in the penalty box, the Wild erupted for three third period goals and ended up winning in overtime, on Andrew Brunette’s power play tally.
While his coach heaped praise on his effort, Scott said he owes a lot of the credit to his opponent, Parros.
“I’m a new guy and he gave me a shot so I appreciate it.”
What he didn’t appreciate was an unknown teammate stealing his belt before Wednesday’s practice at Xcel Energy Center.
“It’s already gone,” he exclaimed. “Missing in action!”