Friday, February 04, 2011


I always tell my dad, generally while eating a plate of waffles at 11:30am after staying up to three the previous night, that college kids operate on a different schedule than the rest of the world. This apparently applies to blog posts as well. When other places have wrapped up their All-Star recaps and gone on to that thing called the "regular season", here I am with still the whole weekend to go over.

Well, hopefully the wait will be worth it? Here we go...

First off, it was AWESOME! In fact, I might just stop typing right now and leave it at that. There is seriously not one thing that I can think of that hit a sour note throughout the entire weekend.

One of the biggest reasons for that? The new format. I think the fantasy draft aspect got rid of a lot of the stale hockey aspect of years past. It seemed to give the players something to play for more than just the Conference they happen to play in - they had to prove that they deserved to be taken at the slot they were, or why they should have been taken higher (I laugh at Phil Kessel being taken last - but the dude got a car out of it? Um, can I be picked last?). I mean, they were actually playing defense (or as close to defense as you'll get in an All-Star Game) in the third period - because neither team wanted to be the ones that were picked to lose.

Below I've posted a slideshow thing of all my pictures (well, the good ones at least) from the weekend. And, yes, I did manage to get a picture of Ovechkin's stick shattering from the upper level.

Let's see, what else was awesome about the weekend? The NHL Fan Fair was spectacular - tons of fun going around to each of the booths and trying your hand at various hockey skill games. I believe I registered a 27 mph slapshot - watch yourself Zdeno Chara, I'm gunning for you!

The Skills Competition was great as well. In fact, it might have beat out the actual All-Star game on the awesomeness scale. I mean, how can you compete with seeing Chara beat his own hardest shot record?

It was really cool to see the best of the best compete against each other. It's pretty hard to believe that some of these guys are so talented - Sedin in the accuracy competition, anyone? I mean, the guy was like a sniper, methodically knocking out those targets.

The only thing I disagreed with was Ovechkin winning the breakaway competition. Honestly, it didn't really live up to my expectations - almost none of the guys could actually get the puck in the net while doing all the fancy work. And, I don't care, that's what really matters when it comes down to it.

While the Skills Competition may have been the more exciting part of the weekend, the All-Star Game itself wasn't without it's charms. First, the opening ceremony of sorts featuring Rod Brind'Amour and Ron Francis was amazingly well done. The game was definitely exciting, with Team Staal gaining and losing a four goal lead, and of course I loved the offensive skill that abounded on each side of the ice.

And what about Ovechkin throwing his stick at Duchene for the penalty shot? Ovechkin may be annoying, but you can't deny that at some points he is an entertaining character.

The only annoying point was the amount of passes these guys were taking - it seemed sometimes like they didn't want to take a shot and get a goal.

Wait, did I say the only annoying point? No, it was also annoying that Jeff Skinner didn't score and that Team Staal lost. I find it to be a shame that Staal's team couldn't manage to win in such a friendly venue for them.

Honestly, this was one of my favorite hockey events that I've attended in a while. I thought the atmosphere was great and that the game was entertaining. Now, if only Raleigh could host it every year...

No comments: