BOSTON — Count Claude Julien among the legions of newly converted John Scott supporters.
The Bruins head coach on Monday was highly complimentary of Scott’s surprise — and surprisingly successful — appearance in the 2016 NHL All-Star Game, during which the 6-foot-8 enforcer scored two goals and took home Most Valuable Player honors.
âFor what itâs worth, I think the fact that they had the big guy in there created excitement,â Julien said after the Bruins returned to the ice for their first post-All-Star break practice. âJohn Scott created some excitement, and not only that, but I thought he handled himself well with the media. I thought he handled himself well on the ice. It certainly was something that was viewed at first as maybe negative, or a joke or whatever people wanted to call it.
âBut I think he did an outstanding job standing up for himself, and standing up for his beliefs. The players in the league seemed to want that as well, and I thought he even did a great job even in the 3-on-3. Did anybody here even think heâd be as good as he was? I thought he did a great job. I give him a lot of credit for what he did, and I think at the same time it created some curiosity in the games. The 3-on-3 was probably one of the most interesting things that people wanted to see, but also the Scott situation as well. I donât know what the ratings were, but Iâm sure they were better than the last ones that were played.â
They were indeed, with the Scott phenomenon and the new 3-on-3 tournament format resulting in a 24 percent ratings bump over the 2015 event, according to NBC Sports.
The game came one night after the highly entertaining All-StarÂ skills competition, which starred Brent Burns in a Chewbacca mask and P.K. Subban dressed as Jaromir Jagr — while the real Jagr looked on. The Bruins on Monday called up Subban’s younger brother, goalie Malcolm, from the American Hockey League, and P.K.’s display was a topic discussion during his post-practice meeting with reporters.
“I had no idea,” Malcolm Subban said. “I had no idea what was going on. I think he said he just thought of it when he got to the rink.”
Thumbnail photo viaÂ Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports Images