My impression of the All-Star Weekend so far: well done. I mean, let's face it, this is all about the stars of the league interacting with fans and having a little fun. Friday's draft was quite entertaining, once TSN let them actually draft and stop interrupting with boring interviews after the first couple of picks. The new slant on the skills competition was a great call - having them go head to head. And then ALL the players in a shootout competition was another great call. I haven't paid that much attention to the skills competition since the lockout.
So with a bit of pride on the line, will the ASG be a little more competitive today? A little? I think so. But we'll see soon, I guess. Don't forget, The Guardians will be revealed in the second intermission - make sure your kids are tuned in, I think they'll be quite interested. Get them attached to the brand early, and it's easier to win them over as hockey fans later. Because familiarity equals comfort.
The hardest shot was a record 105.9 from Chara, of course. Shea Weber was second. But this makes Benoit Pouliot's 102 mph last Sunday so much more impressive. With his size, and his cannon, if he can find that consistency he'll be a good one.
I updated the Guardian Project column with "The Islander". Just missing "The Thrasher". But we'll see all of them in action today.
PK Subban has become my third favorite player, after Sid and Gino. Yes, he's passed Sean Avery. Subban's smile is contagious, and I'm glad he's not letting the media and internet whiners (and the boring veteran players) get to him. Throwin on Skinner's sweater to shoot against his goalie Price was classic..
Ovechkin won the fancy shootout competition, Daniel Sedin was the sharpshooter (four targets in 7.3 seconds, how about that?)
Corey Perry won the elimination shootout competition - the regular one where you just had to score to stay in.
I can't believe the Caps signed Alex Semin to another year. I think they should have let him walk, then bumped Eric Fehr up to the second line and then got Kuznetsov out of his KHL contract. With the $6 million-plus saved, they could shore up their weaknesses, or save it for a big deadline deal.
All of the young NHL players who have yet to earn full-time spots have been sent to the AHL to save their teams a few bucks. Including: Mathieu Perreault, Zach Boychuk, Mikkel Boedker, etc. I would expect most to be called back up for Tuesday.
Marty St. Louis - elimination shootouts: