Jan 28, 2012; Ottawa, ON, CANADA; Team Alfredsson forward Steven Stamkos (91) of the Tampa Bay Lightning scores a goal past Team Chara goalie Carey Price (31) of the Montreal Canadiens in the elimination shootout of the 2012 All Star skills competition at Scotiabank Place. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-US PRESSWIRE

The All-Star Super Skills Competition

So, I will have to start this blog off with a confession. I usually skip the All-Star Game. I believe the last one that I watched was in Montreal, when Alexei Kovalev won MVP. I’m not sure why I don’t watch it, I don’t hate it but I don’t love it either.

Since there are only 2 Canadiens players at the ASG, goalie Carey Price and rookie d-man Raphael Diaz, I thought I’d give it a shot and try to write down some of my thoughts.

– Speaking of Price, his reaction to being drafted by Team Chara (asst Captain Joffrey Lupul) was hilarious. He almost choked on his water (i think?) and then proceeded to snub Chara on his way to finding his seat after getting his jersey.

– First, the booing to Habs and Leafs players is awesome. Good to see the rivalries are alive and well.

– I also appreciated that Brian Elliott and Marian Hossa got great receptions. Good to see they weren’t booed. However, Heatley isn’t here, and I’m sure that would have been a deafening reception.

– As always, the hometown boys got a huge cheer. Spezza, Alfredsson, Karlsson, Greening, etc. I especially enjoyed the Alfredsson ovation, he’s a class act in this league. Any time would have killed for Alfredsson on their roster, especially a few seasons ago. There are mounting questions about whether he’s at an impending retirement decision, but he’s an excellent player and I think he’s still got stuff left in the tank.

Highlight Fastest Skater Competition: So, the new fastest skater is Carl Hagelin. He beat Greening twice, missing the memo about letting the home guy win!

In the goalie comp, Jonathan Quick lived up to his name and beat Howard pretty cleanly.

Letang is the best backwards skater!

They’ve got Carey Price mic-ed up so we’ve got some good chirps: “Did you heart rate go up over 80?” “I guess when you get 3 appearances you don’t have to work anymore” “See that’s effort right there! you don’t see goalies putting in that kind of effort!”

Breakaway Challenge: To be honest, pretty uneventful here. The best ones were Corey Perry with the bringing out the mini-goalie stick to score on Elliott and Kane with a Forsberg move lying on his stomach wearing a superman cape and horned rimmed glasses. Price made a few hilarious moves, trying the Avery distraction move on Couturier, spinning around on Couture , hand over his mask on John Tavares and facing the glass on Couturier. Finally, Tavares scored a beauty on Price.

In somewhat of a surprise, Kane beat out Perry for the breakaway challenge.

For myself, I think this is a good part of the game. Helps it grow for the fans, particularly the young ones. For a seasoned hockey fan like myself, I could only it through halfway before I got slightly bored with it. I did however get some good looks at players we don’t often see in the East.

The player who impressed me the most: Jamie Benn. The kid was great in the relay, particularly right off the net with the one-timers. He also was great at the accuracy challenge. He’s only 22, it’s insane how good he will be. Jealous of Dallas right now!

The player who impressed me the least: Considering it’s the all-star game and they’re mostly all pretty awesome, I was slightly disappointed in the breakaway challenge. No one really demonstrated any creativity besides Perry and Kane. Maybe cause it was missing Ovechkin?

MVP of the Night? For me, it was Carey Price. I had no idea he was going to be mic-ed up, and he was absolutely hilarious. From tidbits on Eller to chirping players coming in on the breakaway, Price demonstrated his goofy side. Was nice to see a Habs player get congratulated for his charisma, and not Twitter-traded away. [ahem, P.K Subban].

 

Well, now onto the actual game tomorrow. Puck drops at 4pm Eastern!

 

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