In Defense of Scott Stevens

In a mailbag column last week John Buccigross took on the deity of Scott Stevens.

It’s amazing to me how much Scott Stevens is viewed as a deity. Well, maybe it’s not. He is a player who is easy to latch on to. Hardworking, exciting and tough. Doesn’t Ottawa wish he were 32 and a free agent? But you think Scott Stevens played over 20 years in the NHL and never got an elbow, slashing, cross-check, roughing or high-sticking penalty? The Kariya hit was clearly late. I believe Stevens was looking to eliminate this formerly concussed player from the series.

Well Off Wing Opinion responds in defense of Stevens.

Stevens eventually came to knew that he was holding himself back, and he changed his game. So while he was just as tough as he ever was, his game smartened up but good. Funny, but if Stevens’ play was so unsportsmanlike, how did he manage to get through the last nine full seasons he played in the NHL while posting more than 100 penalty minutes only twice? Remember, it was during this period more than any other that Stevens cemented his reputation as a fearsome hitter. If he was really that dirty, wouldn’t he have racked up more PIMs?

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