NHL All-Star Game: Hockey's Version of CES and Sidney Wins a Minivan
Well, if this year's tribute to 1980s hockey confirmed anything, it's probably this:
- Stay-at-home defensemen are underappreciated, and
- Sidney Crosby is alive and well.
The Kid -- at 31, that nickname sticks only because it rhymes with Sid -- sniped four goals and added four helpers to earn MVP honors and the single dude's scourge that went with it: a minivan.
The hell of it is Crosby didn't get a chance to take a bite or two outta the unfortunate John Gibson, last seen wondering where his mojo went.
Dude's the main reason why Anaheim's Ducks have crawled back into the West's wild card race. However, his 2.27 GAA and .922 save percentage clearly didn't make the trip to San José with him.
Yielding seven goals on nine shots in ten minutes is not the stuff of fond All-Star Game memories.
Thus, the Central Division set the tone for the evening's goalfest:
- 1st period ... Central 10 Pacific 4
- 2nd period ... Metropolitan 7 Atlantic 4
- 3rd period ... Metropolitan 10 Central 5
It took a king to salvage a some goalie pride. Henrik Lundqvist actually stoned the Atlantics in Period 2 for the sessions' only shutout. The Swedish stopper was on his game:
Meanwhile, the NHL's geeks spent the night using showing off its new tech toys, which included the ghost of Sperm Puck. In case you missed it:
The memories. Kinda like hangovers are memories.
So now, a generation later, when hockey's never been more popular, some VP for Time and Motion orders up visual effects that look like slime from a high-speed snail.
The front-office suits have turned this weekend into their own little Consumer Electronics Show on ice.
It's a tech package that'll make you wanna bring your controller to the arena.
Can't wait ...
In the Commish's words, with the game being really fast, what else would viewers want but to shrink the action to allow space for more graphics?
This and the ghost puck's slime will soon make itself obvious with one click:
Hopefully, someone from five years ago will let the league know that second screen is a thing.
For the record, other stuff happened, too. Hockey stuff.
Like Nashville's ageless goalie, Pekka Rinne, using his head to get an assist:
Do know that since then, it's a rite of passage for any Swedish kid who sets skates on the ice.
Here's Landeskog's tribute:
And what's a glorified shooting gallery exhibition without the ol' pullback-between-the-legs wrister-from-behind goal, as demonstrated by Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos:
When all was said and done ...
- The Metropolitans got a cool million to divide among themselves,
- Carolina's version of Sebastian Aho -- the NHL's best-kept secret -- got some North American TV time, and
- Erik Karlsson and Stamkos get tacos.
All that's left is to put the ghost of Sperm Puck behind that mini-van.