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Entries with the tag: all-star game

John Scott named All-Star MVP

The NHL ended up getting it right after all:

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  Tags: all-star+game, john+scott

Recapping the All-Star Skills Competition

Sportsnet posted an 8-and-a-half minute clip that encapsulates the NHL's All-Star Skills Competition, from Dylan Larkin's Fastest Skater lap to Brent Burns and PK Subban's Breakaway Challenge entries to Shea Weber's fastest shot and everything in between:

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Friedman: Ovechkin to miss All-Star game, sit out a regular season game

George here on the late shift. I think that the NHL forcing anyone who "skips" the All-Star Game to sit out a regular-season game is plain old dumb, but it appears that Alex Ovechkin will have to endure the one-game sit-out:

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, all-star+game, washington+capitals

Saturday Headlines: On the John Scott trade, Ducks trade talk and more

Among Sportsnet's Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman's Saturday Headlines:

  • The John Scott trade to Montreal was legitimate in that Coyotes GM Don Maloney wanted Jared Tinordi badly and were afraid that the deal with the Canadiens would fall apart, so they didn't wait 3 weeks to make the deal, and Scott was the "only player who could go" back to Montreal in the trade;
  • Cox states that the Canadiens got $200,000 in cap relief and a player in Nashville's Victor Bartley, who the Canadiens believe may actually contribute to their blueline;
  • The NHL offered Scott the opportunity to go to the All-Star Game as a paid family vacation, but he's not responded, and Scott isn't sure whether he's going to bow out;
  • Cox states that Pittsburgh and Anaheim made the Hagelin-for-Perron-and-Clendening deal at 3:15 AM Saturday morning, and Cox says that the Penguins are taking on 3 more years at $4 million for Hagelin, and Penguins GM Jim Rutherford still believes that his team will contend, while the Ducks' trade...makes people wonder if the Ducks are setting themselves up to trade for Jonathan Drouin;
  • Friedman says that the Ducks' Simon Despres and Cam Fowler may generate trade interest, as will the balance of their blueline;
  • Flames defenseman Kris Russell is generating interest, too, but the Flames still want to attempt to re-sign Russell;
  • Eric Staal is "still in limbo," and his agent, Rick Curran, will try to clarify his client's situation;
  • And Friedman says that the Kings still want to sign Milan Lucic to an extension if at all possible.

Watch the video below:

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: all-star+game, anaheim+ducks, calgary+flames, cam+fowler, carl+hagelin, carolina+hurricanes, david+perron, eric+staal, jim+rutherford, john+scott, kris+russell, los+angeles+kings, milan+lucis, montreal+canadiens, nashville+predators, phoenix+coyotes, pittsburgh+penguins, simon+despres

Saturday Headlines: On Drouin, Shattenkirk, Yandle and All-Star voting

According to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman and Damien Cox:

  • The Tampa Bay Lightning are looking for a young player with a comparable contract in return for Jonathan Drouin, which is why Robby Fabbri's name is making the rounds;
  • Kevin Shattenkirk's name is on the market because St. Louis was going to send him to Columbus for Ryan Johansen, and he may still be available as the Blues look to add offense;
  • Keith Yandle is probably going to be traded because the Rangers won't re-sign him as a free agent;
  • The All-Star Game may include a "quiet meeting" about expansion, but no vote by the Board of Governors;
  • Jakub Kindl is on waivers and the Red Wings are cap-crunched due to Johan Franzen's LTIR issue and Kyle Quincey's $4.25 million salary coming back on Monday, and it's 50-50 as to whether Kindl might be claimed;
  • Friedman reports that the NHL may change All-Star voting to allow fans to pick captains or issue a list of candidates from which the fans can pick All-Stars;
  • Cox states that William Nylander is on a slow but steady return process from a concussion suffered at the World Juniors;
  • And Robin Lehner should return to the Buffalo Sabres next week:

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: all-star+game, buffalo+sabres, detroit+red+wings, jakub+kindl, johan+franzen, jonathan+drouin, keith+yandle, kevin+shattenkirk, kyle+quincey, new+york+rangers, robin+lehner, st.+louis+blues, tampa+bay+lightning, toronto+maple+leafs, william+nylander

The All-Star Game was odd, but there were some bright moments

Those of you who like goals might have found the record-breaking 17-12 tally tolerable, and those of you who dislike the fan voting may have found Ryan Johansen's naming as the game's MVP on a night that Team Toews defeated Johansen's Team Foligno--via a 4-goal performance from John Tavares, a 3 goal-plus-3-assist performance from Jakub Voracek and 5-point nights for Jonathan Toews and Patrice Bergeron (1 goal + 4 assists)--to be the ultimate, "This shit is a bunch of fluffernutter" exclamation point...

But Tavares spoke glowingly of the experience of being named an All-Star having grown up watching the games and being honored by and grateful for the opportunity of playing among the league's best, and there was this:

So the All-Star Game was an event in itself, and now it's over, with all of us expecting this come a year from now:

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  Tags: all-star+game, columbus+blue+jackets, darryl+sutter, jakub+voracek, john+tavares, jonathan+toews, patrice+bergeron, ryan+johansen

The Bolts Beat, 1/24/11: State of the Lightning After 50, All-Star Thoughts, Nabokov, NYI and More

***Sorry for the delay, folks. A few technical issues in getting the show uploaded this week. Thanks. - JJ***

In the latest episode of The Bolts Beat, Jon, Mark and Mike compare the current state of the Tampa Bay Lightning versus where we all thought they might be at the 50-game mark, share our thoughts on the upcoming All-Star game and some possible ways to improve the event, weigh in on the drama surrounding Evgeni Nabokov, the Detroit Red Wings and the New York Islanders, admit some nerves about the upcoming uniform/logo changes for Tampa Bay and much more…

image


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Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all-star+game, dwayne+roloson, evgeni+nabokov, guy+boucher, steve+yzerman, steven+stamkos

This and That: On Uniform Changes, All-Star Weekend and More

A little hodgepodge of opinion from yours truly today before I jump into the latest installment of our Southeast AHL Affiliate Update later on.

I should start off by saying that, while I’m heartbroken – just shattered – over my beloved New York Jets being ousted from the NFL playoffs last night, a game away from a Super Bowl berth for the second consecutive season, I’m also slightly relieved. Sure, now I’m left to continue to wonder if my dad is right when he encourages me to push my two young sons toward another pro football franchise as their favorite in an effort to save them from perennial Jet torture, but their elimination means I have one less distraction now and can focus on hockey’s stretch run. (Trying to be positive here… Sigh…)

To put that to bed, let’s just say I wouldn’t mind if that team – that football team, remember – hired a hockey guy as their offensive coordinator. The one they have is worthless.

Anyway…

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: all-star+game, all-star+weekend, lightning+uniforms, winter+classic

Picking an All-Star Team, Especially this Year, Isn’t Easy but, Hell, I’ll Do it Again Anyway

It’s never a cinch to select the rosters for an All-Star game in any sport and, with a bizarre “fantasy draft” format for this year’s NHL midseason showcase and the game’s first six participants already selected via fan balloting, filling out this season’s All-Star pool of 42 has some added challenge to it, to say the least.

For starters, dividing things by conference is no longer a provision, as the remaining 36 All-Stars named today will go into said pool along with the elected top-six for a field of 42. With that in mind, and factoring in at least one representative for every member club, there will be notable omissions, no matter how this list is put together, or by whom.

Nevertheless, always one to face a challenge head-on, in keeping with my annual tradition (whether an All-Star game has been played or not), I’ve put together my own list of mid-season honorees, complete with a set of 12 rookies to be featured in the skills competition at All-Star Weekend, as the NHL Hockey Operations department will do later today.

(For clarity’s sake, I’ve already accounted for the fan selections.)

Deep breaths, everyone. Here goes nothing, with a few explanations afterwards…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Atlanta Thrashers, d, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all-star+game

The Bolts Beat, 1/10/11: Tampa’s Up & Down Week, M-A Bergeron, Slightly Whacky All-Star Picks & More

In tonight’s episode of The Bolts Beat, the gang reviews a roller coaster week for the Tampa Bay Lightning and analyzes what the addition of defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron might eventually mean for the club.


And, in a nod to the NHL’s unique way of fielding two all-star teams this year, Jon, Mark and Mike create some rules as well in selecting their very own squads.

image

All that, plus the usual shenanigans after the jump…

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: all-star+game, dan+ellis, dwayne+roloson, martin+st.+louis, mike+smith, steven+stamkos, vincent+lecavalier

All-Star Suggestions

from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,

Two things happen every year at the All-Star Game.

The players get better. The event gets worse.

Next year, hockey fans get a break. There will be no All-Star Game because it’s an Olympic year, so the stars will be gathering in Vancouver instead.

But what should be done about the 2011 All-Star Game — if there is one — which is scheduled to take place in Phoenix?

First of all, let’s use the two-year window to study the situation and get some suggestions. Involve the hockey people, not just the marketing people and the lawyers. And although this may seem like a horrific suggestion to commissioner Gary Bettman and his friends, involve the fans.

continued

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  Tags: all-star+game

Blogging From Seat #162

from James Mirtle of From The Rink,

Would they turn down a blogger given this is one of the NHL’s biggest media events of the year? Or would there be some sort of auxiliary press box, deep beneath the seats, where the “lesser” media could still cover the game?

As it turns out, the Bell Centre’s well-equipped to deal with issues like this. There are more than 300 seats in the massive press box encircling the rink, and few offer a worse view than my No. 162:

read on

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  Tags: all-star+game

Props!

from Jay Onrait of TSN,

A very good friend of mine sent me an e-mail over the weekend that pretty much sums up my feelings about this past weekend’s NHL Skills Competition:

“… half the guys looked like they didn’t care and the other half were trying these things that they couldn’t pull off. Ovechkin won because he put on a hat. It was bad.”

Exactly. Ovechkin won because he put on a hat.

What if Kovalev had put on a bra? Would that have tipped the scales in his favour?

continued

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  Tags: all-star+game

Canadiens Watch All-Star Weekend

via William Houston of the Globe and Mail,

Canadians tune in when the NHL all-star game is in a Canadian city.

With Montreal as the host, Sunday’s all-star game drew its largest television audience since 2000, when the game was played in Toronto.

The CBC telecast was watched by 1.516 million viewers, just less than the 1.557 million who tuned in for the 2000 game.

The CBC drew its largest audience ever for Saturday skills competitions, 1.358 million, bettering 1.327 million in 2000.

added 5:48am, via Sports Media Watch,

Versus drew a 0.8 overnight rating for coverage of the NHL All Star Game on Sunday, up 12% from last year, according to USA Today. While it is tough to quibble with a double-digit increase in ratings, the 0.8 is still very unimpressive. As USA Today notes, “six weekend ESPN/ABC X Games shows drew higher ratings than the NHL All-Star Game.”

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  Tags: all-star+game

Watching CBC

from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,

Plenty of ideas were offered on how to improve the all-star format.

Reporter Scott Oake passed on a proposal by San Jose Sharks centre Joe Thornton, who suggested giving the players a cash incentive. Members of the winning team would not be required to pay into the National Hockey League Players’ Association escrow account.

“Then you’d see a game to rival any of the 82,” Oake said.

Don Cherry had his own ideas. Give NHL players the responsibility of selecting the all-stars rather than fans. That four Montreal Canadiens filled six of the Eastern Conference starting spots was hardly a realistic representation of the NHL’s best, he said.

more on the CBC coverage of the weekend in Montreal…

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  Tags: all-star+game

The ASG Is Not Going Away But Changes Needed

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

The All-Star weekend isn’t going away, though, as much as some reporters might grumble about having to cover things such as the trick shooting event. It’s an important date on the NHL calendar when it comes to corporate schmoozing. And if you’d seen the way the city of Montreal embraced the event—the Bell Centre was packed to watch practice, along with the rest of the events—even the skeptics among us would’ve had to say there’s still a place for it.

But if the All-Star Game is to have its place, the league must deal with problem areas, and chief among them is the players and how they end up there.

If fans want to vote like crazy for their hometown heroes, as they did in Montreal by selecting Carey Price, Mike Komisarek, Alexei Kovalev and Andrei Markov to the starting lineup for Sunday’s game, fair enough.

But let’s stop rewarding the undeserving when the rest of the rosters are filled out.

more

added 9:46pm, from Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail,

Those of us who grew up watching hockey couldn’t have thought anything less of Gary Bettman than we already did before this past weekend.

But it was remarkable, nonetheless, to see the NHL commissioner turtle on the topic of fighting, give a Canadian player a pass for skipping the all-star game and then turn around and give paying customers a slap in the face by suspending Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk for not taking part in Sunday’s glorified afternoon skate?

continued

added 10:24pm, from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,

In future, before anyone bitches, moans and characterizes the All-Star Game as a Mel Brooks-caliber farce and near-total waste of perfectly good eyesight, they ought to attend one in a real hockey city like the home of the Habs.

continued

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  Tags: all-star+game

Your Thoughts On The ASG

It’s over and soon we will be back to regular season hockey.

The city of Montreal deserves high-fives all around for being such a great host city. 

Now, the games get serious again and the race for the 2nd season is about to begin.

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  Tags: all-star+game

Time To Put An End To The ASG

from Tom Gulitti at NorthJersey.com,

The time has come to scrap the entire weekend.

If the lure of Montreal and the history of the Canadiens isn’t enough to save the event, nothing else will.

There will be no All-Star game next year anyway because it is an Olympic year. Why bother coming back in 2011?

The All-Star game already has been supplanted by the Winter Classic outdoor game as the centerpiece event of the NHL’s regular season. The league can build the outdoor game into an even bigger event and use it to showcase the sponsorship deals that usually are highlighted on All-Star weekend.

more

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Giguere Thinking Of His Father

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

The crowd at the Bell Centre today will roar for one of its own, the hometown kid who made it big in the NHL and brought the Stanley Cup back to Montreal—though only for a visit—in the summer of 2007.

But when the starters are announced for today’s All-Star game and Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s name is called for the West, the Ducks’ goaltender will be looking for someone who is not there, listening for a voice that was silenced too soon.

Giguere’s father, Claude, who bought the second-hand gear that launched his youngest son’s hockey career, died on Dec. 15 after valiantly fighting cancer that began in his colon and spread throughout his body. Claude rallied after J.S. visited him in late November but the disease won out before he could see his son’s All-Star moment.

“But I know he’s going to be there, somewhere, watching,” Giguere said. “He’s no stranger to me being there, too, I think. You’ve got to believe that he’ll be there.”

continued

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  Tags: all-star+game, jean-sebastien+giguere

Ovechkin & Chara Discuss The SuperSkills

Q. Alex, where did you get the idea to do the hat and the glasses?

        ALEX OVECHKIN: Well, it was last night. I talked actually with Nate about it, and I said it’s going to be fun, and you have to try it.

        Q. Can you just comment on, it seems like you really enjoy the spotlight and playing up to the crowd. Do you think hockey needs a little bit more of that?

        ALEX OVECHKIN:  Well, I think, you know, fans have to see how we are, who we are, you know. They see our skills and, I think the last trick like was just for fun. I think fans love it.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: alexander+ovechkin, all-star+game, zdeno+chara

Evening Line

Watching the YoungStars I also have been writing a song to mark the moment. I call it “Mamma, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be YoungStars Goalie.”

Thanks, I’ll be here all week. Remember to tip your waiters and bartenders.

-Phil Coffey of NHL.com.  Phil is actually blogging the All-Star SuperSkills at NHL.com.

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  Tags: all-star+game

The Hockey News Party

from Sam McCaig of the Hockey News,

As part of the NHL All-Star Game weekend festivities, The Hockey News and the NHL threw a party in Montreal on Friday night – and all the stars came out.

Well, a bunch of them, anyway.

About 600 people turned up, including NHL players and alumni, GMs and team executives, media members and fans…even a certain NHL commissioner and NHL Players’ Association union boss made an appearance (uh, not together).

• Hey look, there’s NHLPA boss Paul Kelly, cornered by fast-talking THN senior writer Ken Campbell. Oh well…Kelly’s a lawyer; he’s heard fast talk before.

• Speaking of Kelly, isn’t that his nemesis over there, NHL commish Gary Bettman? Why, yes it is; thanks for coming out, Gary. But…where’s his suit? For the first time, well, maybe ever, Bettman was spotted suitless – he opted for a casual sweater-and-pants combo instead. (Figures…the one night a year I show up in a suit, and Mr. Suit himself decides to let his hair down and enjoy the party.)

(Full disclosure: Bettman was another one who I didn’t actually see with my own eyes at the party, but several co-workers mentioned that he was there. And then after they told me that the next thing out of their mouth was, “And he’s wearing a sweater!”)

much more...

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Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all-star+game

All-Stars Red Carpet Show

The show is on now, runs to 5:30pm.

Watch below…

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: all-star+game

The Hockey City

from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,

Welcome to Montreal, All-Star city.

You probably will notice that in city of crater-sized potholes and lunatic drivers that there are no right turns permitted on red lights, that the French lettering on commercial signs is twice as large as the English lettering (although spoken English is permitted to be at the same decibel level as spoken French, so you don’t have to whisper), that the legal drinking age is superceded by a drinking height (sure, officially you have to be 18 but if you can see over the bar, there is an excellent chance you will be served) and that we take our hockey extremely seriously—even that high-end confection known as the NHL All-Star Game.

The reason: The City is Hockey.

continued

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  Tags: all-star+game

Crosby Out Of ASG

from TSN,

For the second straight year the NHL All-Star game will be without one of the game’s biggest stars as Sidney Crosby has pulled out of this weekend’s mid-winter classic in Montreal.

continued

added 4:37pm,

MONTREAL (Jan. 22, 2009)—Martin St. Louis takes the place of Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, who received a record number of votes in All-Star fan balloting but will not participate due to injury.

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  Tags: all-star+game, sidney+crosby

Pointing Fingers

from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,

The official reason for Lidstrom’s absence is a lingering elbow injury. It’s just not one that will keep him out of any meaningful games. Datsyuk left the Red Wings game in the third period Tuesday night with a hip pointer, leaving coach Mike Babcock, an assistant with the Western Conference team, as the only representative from the Red Wings involved in all-star weekend.

But it’s clear Lidstrom could have played in his 10th All-Star Game if he really wanted to. Perhaps he was concerned the league would spell his name “Lindstrom” on the back of his Western Conference sweater.

The NHL, meanwhile, grumbles about these things privately and basically allows this stuff to happen. The reality is if a player essentially doesn’t feel like playing in the All-Star Game or the YoungStars Game, he doesn’t have to do so. In fact, a lot of NHL teams are just as guilty as the players. They have no problem having them in the lineup before and after the All-Star Game, but often put pressure on their best players to skip the event.

more

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  Tags: all-star+game

Pure Speed

from John McGourty of NHL.com,

NHL.com thanks the experts for clarifying the various elements of “speed” in the NHL, but to get back to the original question, we asked them to name who they wouldn’t want to race against, end to end.

“I think Edmonton’s Andrew Cogliano is the fastest skater in the NHL,” Davidge said. “I watched him when he played for (University of) Michigan and he’d just pull away from guys in the first three or four strides. Matt Lombardi and Mason Raymond are like that, the first three strides and look out—they’re on their way. Marian Gaborik is like that, too. Raymond is so quick up ice, he gets lots of breakaways. If he could only score half the time ...

“For effective pure speed, check out the Blue Jackets’ Jason Chimera. … There’s nothing but north-south, no lateral in there whatsoever. But when he’s going around a defenseman, he has the size and strength to drive the net that you just can’t teach.”

Adams had a couple of players he’d put near the top in terms of pure speed.

Patrick Marleau jumps out, he always looks like he’s flying,” he said. “And nobody is faster over 60 feet than Hedican. When Erik Cole gets the puck, if he’s even with a defenseman, he beats him and goes to the net.

more

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  Tags: all-star+game

Pulling Out Of The All-Star Festivities Debate

from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,

But it is the last minute scratches which are a major headache for the league.  There is an unwritten rule from the NHL that if you pull out of All-Star Weekend, you better miss at least the game before the All-Star break, and the first game after it.  Of course, this is impossible to enforce.

Sensational Columbus goalie Steve Mason played back-to-back games Tuesday and Wednesday, and made some typically spectacular saves.  Yet his team announced Tuesday he wouldn’t be going to Montreal because of back spasms.

Washington sophomore Nicklas Backstrom looked fine against Ottawa Tuesday night, but he’s pulled out too.

I’m not judging either player.  In fact, I’m guessing the decision was probably made by coaches or management.  But it troubles me.

more

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  Tags: all-star+game

Lidstrom & Datsyuk Out Of ASG - Replacements Announced

ROBIDAS GOES HOME; PRICE BACKSTOPS HIS CLASSMATES; MARLEAU’S FABULOUS FIRST HALF NETS ALL-STAR NOD

NEW YORK (Jan. 21, 2009) – Having produced a marvelous first half of the 2008-09 season that has him fifth in the League with 24 goals, San Jose center Patrick Marleau now has a spot in the 2009 NHL All-Star Game to show for it. Having been named to the 2008 All-Rookie Team, Montreal goaltender Carey Price has chosen to do double-duty by coming to the aid of his class and will play goal for the sophomores in the 2009 NHL YoungStars Game presented by Upper Deck in addition to starting for the Eastern Conference in the All-Star Game.

    Marleau and Dallas Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas have been named to the Western Conference team to replace injured Detroit Red Wings Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom, respectively, in the 57th NHL All-Star Game in Montreal’s Bell Centre on Sunday.

Continue Reading »

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ASG SuperSkills Lineup

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

The NHL announced the rosters for the Cisco NHL Hardest Shot, Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater and McDonalds NHL Accuracy Shooting competitions Tuesday afternoon. The roster for the NHL YoungStars Game presented by Upper Deck and Scotiabank NHL Fan Fav Breakaway Challenge were announced earlier. All 42 All-Stars, meanwhile, take part in the Gatorade NHL Elimination Shootout, the closing event of the SuperSkills.

read on

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  Tags: all-star+game

Fans Will Decide Winner Of ASG Breakaway Challenge

NEW YORK (Jan. 16, 2009) – When Alex Ovechkin attempts to defend his title in the Scotiabank NHL Fan Fav Breakaway Challenge on Saturday night, Jan. 24, in Montreal’s Bell Centre, he’ll have to do more than just out-perform challengers such as Sidney Crosby. The competitors must win over fans in arena and those watching the 2009 Honda/NHL SuperSkills at home on RDS, CBC and VERSUS – and their fellow NHL All-Stars.

        For the first time in NHL All-Star Game and NHL SuperSkills history, fans will choose the winner of one of the competitions via text messaging powered by NHL partner Telescope, Inc.

        Voting will begin as soon as the last Breakaway Challenge competitor completes his routine, with fans in the Bell Centre, those watching on television throughout North America and all of the 2009 NHL All-Stars and YoungStars able to cast one text message vote per mobile phone.

        The polls will remain open throughout the NHL YoungStars Game presented by Upper Deck. Following that high-energy, three-on-three contest between the League’s top rookies and sophomores, the fan-selected champion of the Scotiabank NHL Fan Fav Breakaway Challenge will be crowned.


The SENShobo broke down the challengers earlier today.

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  Tags: all-star+game

NHL Network Coverage Of The All-Star Weekend

NEW YORK, NY (January 15, 2009) – Beginning Thursday, Jan. 22, through Sunday, Jan. 25, NHL Network will be on location at the 2009 NHL® All-Star Celebration in Montreal to provide viewers with 15 hours of live HD* coverage from the star-studded event. NHL Network’s Brian Duff and Gary Green and contributors Dave Strader and Joe Micheletti will bring viewers inside the festivities with interviews featuring NHL players and coaches, live broadcasts from the All-Star practices and expert analysis.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: all-star+game

The Breakaway Challenge

NEW YORK (Jan. 13, 2009)—Super-skilled Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin will defend his Scotiabank Fan Fav NHL Breakaway Challenge title against a creative collection of fellow NHL stars during Honda/NHL SuperSkills Saturday, Jan. 24, at Montreal’s Bell Centre.

Local hero and renowned dangler Alex Kovalev of the Montreal Canadiens will join young artists Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks and Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks in taking on Ovechkin, who last year impressed celebrity judges at the inaugural Breakaway Challenge. This year, the shooters’ task will be to impress fans in arena and viewers across North America, who will determine the winner by voting via text message for the performance they deem most astounding.

“I want to defend this title,” Ovechkin said. “It’s kind of a pretty cool title and I’m happy right now that I have it.”

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Montreal Owner Gillett Talks About The Passionate Habs Fans

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

“There is obviously some suspicion that something nefarious was going on and I don’t think so at all. I think it was just tremendous fan interest,” Gillett said while his team was on the ice for its morning skate. “You have to remember Montreal is a city of about 3.7 million people and the Province (of Quebec) has 7.5 million and they are huge hockey fans. There are 186,000 junior hockey players up there and those kids love it so they all voted.

“Did we have a marketing program going on? No. This is natural passion.”

Gillett went on to admit that “there were players that were perhaps not selected to the starting lineup that you might say, ‘Hmmm.’ Like (Alex) Ovechkin, right? But, the fans spoke. There is a level of passion and interest there and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. That is why we get such huge television ratings and so forth.”

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Your ASG Coaches

BRUINS’ JULIEN, SHARKS’ McLELLAN WILL SERVE AS ALL-STAR HEAD COACHES

NEW YORK (Jan. 10, 2009)—Under the selection process for All-Star coaches, the head coach and assistant coach for the Eastern Conference All-Stars are the head coaches of the two teams with the top points percentages in the Eastern Conference through games of tonight, the halfway point of the 2008-09 regular season. The head coach and assistant coach of the Western Conference All-Stars are the head coaches of the two teams with the best points percentages in the Western Conference.

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Your Eastern Conference ASG Reserves

from Brad Holland of NHL.com,

Up front, one of the most offensively gifted groups in recent years will be headlined by starters Crosby, Malkin and Kovalev, along with Washington’s Alex Ovechkin, Tampa Bay’s Vincent Lecavalier, Carolina’s Eric Staal, Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek, Boston’s Marc Savard, New Jersey’s Zach Parise, Ottawa’s Dany Heatley, Atlanta’s Ilya Kovalchuk and Philadelphia’s Jeff Carter….

But it isn’t all offense for the East. In goal, starter Price will be joined by Boston’s Tim Thomas and the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist. And on defense, Markov and Komisarek will head a defense rounded out by Florida’s Jay Bouwmeester, Boston’s Zdeno Chara, the Islanders’ Mark Streit, and Toronto’s Tomas Kaberle.

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Your Western Conference Reserves

from Brad Holland of NHL.com,

The group, part of Wednesday’s announcement of the Western Conference reserves, is so good that no less than five of the six —starters Brian Campbell and Scott Niedermayer and reserves Sheldon Souray, Dan Boyle and Shea Weber—will likely be on Steve Yzerman’s short list for Team Canada at the 2010 Olympics and the sixth - Detroit’s Nick Lidstrom - will be the captain of Team Sweden—should be choose to play for his country in 2010.

But, the talent isn’t just on the blue line for this year’s Western Conference team. Jarome Iginla, Milan Hejduk, Rick Nash, Mike Modano, Pavel Datsyuk, Dustin Brown, Shane Doan, Keith Tkachuk and Joe Thornton were named as the forwards to join starter Patrick Kane, Jonathon Toews and Ryan Getzlaf.

In goal, Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo and Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom were selected to back up starter J.S. Giguere.

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added 12:54pm, Official NHL release below…

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Your All-Star Game Starters

from Adam Kimmelman of NHL.com,

The 2009 All-Star Game will be a celebration of the great history of the Montreal Canadiens during their centennial season.

While fans think fondly of the club’s great history, there also will be a lot to cheer for in the present, as the Eastern Conference starting lineup for the 2009 All-Star Game will be tinged in bleu, blanc et rouge.

Four Canadiens were voted to start the game—forward Alexei Kovalev, defensemen Andrei Markov and Mike Komisarek, and goaltender Carey Price.

Joining the Montreal faction will be a pair of players from the Pittsburgh Penguins, the defending Eastern Conference champs.

continued

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Dionne Rips Breakaway Challenge

from Sportsnet,

Speaking on HockeyCentral@Noon, (Marcel) Dionne blasted the league’s skills competition that was held Jan. 26, the night before the game in Atlanta. Dionne reserved his harshest comments for the breakaway challenge….

“They made fools of themselves,” Dionne said. “(The event) should be scrapped altogether. Whoever thought of that should be fired.”...

“They probably think in the South that hockey’s like mini-basketball or something,” he said. “We can’t jump up and down and put it in the hoop.

“Obviously there’s guys that can do a lot of little tricks with the puck but it’s never in a situation where you’re on a breakaway … with someone chasing you.”

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Keep The ASG

from John Buccigross of ESPN,

This midwinter classic should continue. It should be fun, joyful, intimate and creative. And it should always be viewed by the NHL and NHL Players’ Association as a vital vehicle that is important to the game. This takes energy and vision, and anyone who doesn’t have that in the NHL offices should get out.

The NHL does a professional, classy job in the overall staging of its big events. It’s the one area the current regime does not get enough credit for. The league has elevated the game in that regard. Now, just relax and incorporate some love and fun into the festivities on Saturday and a little incentive on Sunday, and this hockey weekend will return to what it should be—a fun, joyful get-together that celebrates the most joyous game in the world and the players who play it.

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  Tags: all-star+game

The Unique Qualities Of The ASG

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,

Every year the game is played and every year the same questions are asked. What can be done to make it more competitive? What can be done to make it more relevant? What can be done to make it more like a real NHL game?

And here’s the answer. Nothing. There’s nothing that can be done; nothing that will turn the all-star game into a showcase event that captures hockey’s best qualities.

You can hope for some speed and skill and a close, competitive affair, but you can’t replicate those things that make the sport attractive.

Once you accept this, you are free to appreciate this affair for what it is and even revel in its unique qualities.

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3rd Period Highlights From The All Star Game In Atlanta

Five minutes of highlights! 

Pretty good 3rd period for an ASG.  Now, on to Montreal for next year.

Game recap from Phil Coffey of NHL.com.

Watch the highlights…

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Post Game Interviews From The ASG

Watch all of the post game interviews.

Streaming has just started…

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2nd Period Highlights From The ASG

Four and a half minutes of highlights from the 2nd period of the ASG in Atlanta.

Watch the video…

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Highlights From The 1st Period Of The ASG

Three and a half minutes of goals and talk…

Watch the video…

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ASG Pre-Game Notes

Rock band The Hives will open the game with a performance of their hit single, “Tick Tick Boom.”  The Atlanta Boy Choir will perform the U.S. national anthem and singer/songwriter Kathleen Edwards will perform the Canadian national anthem. R&B singer/songwriter and five-time Grammy nominee Ne-Yo will perform his hit single “Because of You” with Halftime Live, a 75-piece marching band, during the second intermission.

In addition to tonight’s performers, the celebrities in attendance include actors David Boreanaz (“Bones”), Taylor Kitsch (“Friday Night Lights”), Matthew Modine (“Weeds”) and Thorsten Kate (“All My Children”); actress Alyssa Milano (“Charmed”), rock band Mastodon, country superstar Garth Brooks and Atlanta Braves pitcher Tom Glavine.

Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin also will be in attendance as the special guest of NHL legend Willie O’Ree. The first intermission will feature a special tribute to Willie O’Ree and the 50th anniversary of his NHL debut.

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Behind The Scenes At The ASG

Go behind the scenes before the ASG starts….

Watch the streaming video which is scheduled to start at 3:30pm ET.

update:  Stream is over.

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Trying To Grow Hockey In The South

from Steve Hummer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Until they can sign Dale Jr. to drive a Zamboni, popularizing Canada’s game down here remains slow, hard work, y’all.

“I said from Day One that this project is going to take 10 years, just to expose the product to as many people as we possibly can,” said Thrashers general manager/coach Don Waddell, whose team is in Year Eight of the 10-year plan. The Thrashers are out in the Atlanta metro area aggressively, hosting some sort of developmental or introductory program weekly.

The love for the game is here just like in any of its traditional Northern outposts, but it’s the quantity of that devotion that is open to question.

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  Tags: all-star+game

A Showcase, Not A Game

from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,

It’s a charade of what hockey is all about. No hits. No blocked shots. No penalties. No emotion.

Once, when the All-Star format called for the reigning Stanley Cup champions to face the best of the rest, the competition was there. Pride in winning was there. Competition was there. Now, it’s mostly a party for players and an opportunity for the NHL to show its major sponsors how much they appreciate the millions they pour into the game each year….

The NHL has made it abundantly clear it likes what it has now: sellouts year after year in arenas charging sky-high prices. It likes the skills competition and loves the outpouring of goals that have become the rule rather than the exception.

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Some Work Needed

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

ATLANTA – There are some wrinkles that need to be worked out for the NHL’s skills competition.

The event was revamped for this year’s all-star game, which led to some confusion for the spectators and media. At first, no one was sure if the contest started and then it was a little difficult sorting out who was winning in the fastest-skater event.

A new addition was the obstacle course, where players from each team tried to score on a tiny net after shooting the puck over a ramp, hit a target in the net from the blueline and then the goaltenders had to try and score on the net at the opposite end of the ice.

This one needs work. The most interesting part was watching the goalies try and score. Yep, as exciting as it sounds.

continued

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