Steve Ott, John Scott Have Sabres Loaded for Bear As Rivalry with Bruins Could Reach New Heights


Steve Ott, John Scott Have Sabres Loaded for Bear As Rivalry with Bruins Could Reach New HeightsLast season, the Buffalo Sabres had no answer when Bruins forward Milan Lucic bowled over Sabres netminder Ryan Miller at the Garden on Nov. 12.

The Sabres were roundly condemned throughout the hockey world for their lack of response in defense of their goalie, who was sidelined for several weeks while the team fell into a lengthy tailspin that kept them out of a playoff spot.

On Sunday, Buffalo got someone to prevent a repeat of such a scenario, or at least someone willing and able to exact a little frontier justice on the ice if anyone were to try. The Sabres signed enforcer John Scott, whose skills may be somewhat skimpy (1 goal, 5 points in 146 career games), but whose physical presence is rather more profound as he tips the scales at an imposing 6-foot-8, 270 pounds.

On Monday, the Sabres acquired the kind of guy who is more likely to cause mayhem than try to prevent it, landing agitator Steve Ott in a trade with Dallas that sent playmaking center Derek Roy to Dallas.

Yes, it should be safe to say that the six meetings between the Bruins and Sabres this season are certainly going to be interesting. The first of those clashes comes on Tuesday, Oct. 30 when the Sabres come to visit. Circle the date on your calendar now.

Scott is certainly getting ready for it. On Monday, he told Buffalo News reporter John Vogl that there won't be any repeats of Lucic's encounter with Miller on his watch.

"Hopefully, with me next year, that doesn't happen," Scott told Vogl. "If it does happen, there's a different outcome."

Scott is no stranger to making threats against Bruins. Back in the 2010-11 season, Shawn Thornton suffered a 40-stitch gash on his forehead when accidentally kicked by a skate in a game against the Blackhawks. Thornton didn't take kindly to being chirped by an unidentified player from the Chicago bench as he skating off the ice bleeding. After the game, he vowed, "If I ever find out who it was I'll deal with it in my own way."

Scott, then with the Blackhawks but not dressed for that game, warned Thornton that if he tried, "I'll kick the [expletive] out of him." Scott was dressed when the Bruins visited Chicago last Oct. 15, but did not tangle with Thornton. He'll get plenty more chances this year though.

Ott might find a few dance partners as well. The Bruins and Stars don't see each other often, but when they do, it's usually eventful. Back on Nov. 1, 2008, a Dallas visit to the Garden produced 146 penalty minutes sparked by the antics of Dallas agitators Ott and Sean Avery.

Dallas didn't visit Boston again until Feb. 3, 2011, but the teams picked up right where they left off with three fights in the first four seconds of the game. The first of those bouts featured Gregory Campbell taking on Ott. That scrap stemmed from a brutal run Ott took at Campbell while he was with Florida.

Ott's attempts to get under the Bruins' skin haven't worked out too well. Boston won that 2008 meeting 5-1, and the team rallied around that emotional encounter and went 24-2-1 over the next 27 games en route to finishing atop the Eastern Conference standings. In 2011, the Bruins won 6-3 and the bonds forged in games like that fight-filled affair helped create the chemistry crucial to the club's Stanley Cup run that spring.

With results like that, the Bruins probably won't mind facing Ott a half dozen more times a season. Fans in both cities surely aren't upset at the prospect of more matchups like that. Bruins-Sabres games have just become must-see events.

Have a question for Douglas Flynn? Send it to him via Twitter at @douglasflynn or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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