- Jesse Rogers, Chicago Cubs beat reporter
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COLUMBUS -- John Scott simply can’t find anyone to fight.
The Chicago Blackhawks defenseman, and sometimes forward, says he’s been trying but can’t get any takers.
“I can’t find a fight for the life of me this year so it’s been a frustrating year in that regard,” Scott said after practice on Wednesday. “I don’t know what I have to do.”
Scott usually isn’t on the ice very much to get into a scrap but on Tuesday, in a 3-0 loss to St. Louis, he played 11:16, nearly doubling his previous season high. He was asked if it was nice taking a regular shift for the first time this season.
“First time ever?” Scott joked. “Well, first time in a long time, a year and a half. I felt good. A little rusty in the first period but as the game went on I started to make some good plays. I felt solid out there.”
At 6-foot-8, 270 pounds Scott is a lightning rod for conversation. Some like his size and toughness, others lament his lack of foot speed. He was minus-1 on Tuesday, on the ice for the Blues' first goal.
“I didn’t mind his game [Tuesday],” coach Joel Quenneville said. “I think he’s really grown this year. A lot of improvement in his game. He looks like he’s quicker and handling the puck better. I think with his size and strength … he gets better on the back-end it gives us an option in a lot of ways.”
Scott hasn’t lost many fights in his career and maybe that’s a reason no one wants to drop the gloves with him much anymore. On Tuesday, Ryan Reaves of St. Louis was a perfect candidate after causing some trouble for Scott’s teammates.
“He took a run at Kaner [Patrick Kane] then he fought [Dan] Carcillo and he’s 60 pounds heavier than Carcillo, so if he wants to fight someone he should fight someone in his weight class,” Scott said. “That’s me. He’s always been scared of me so that’s what happened.”
At one point, during a television timeout, Scott was seen talking to a linesman while also chirping at the Blues bench.
“I was asking the linesman why [Reaves was] being such a girl about it,” Scott quipped.
It was suggested Scott should call the opposition out more to get a fight -- even in the press.
“I’ve done that,” he said. “They aren’t responding. I just have to get under their skin a little more.”
One thing he won’t do -- as much as he’d like to -- is jump a player. After Reaves got away with an uncalled spearing maneuver on Carcillo, the time would have been right.
“I’m not going to take an instigator penalty and put us on the penalty kill,” Scott said. “I just kind of got to wait and be patient and pick my spots. If I get ‘em, I’ll take care of it.”
As much as he's tried, John Scott is still looking for a fight.