Image via NHLPA
As opposed to my usual column around here, this week features a little something different. It is an ‘ode’ to the NHL All Star weekend, which just occurred. It was a jam packed time, filled with some good things, some bad things and a whole lot of talent (both present and past). What exactly did I think about all the goings-ons? Hint: there was a lot of highs, not many lows. But still, read ahead for all the details!
Ryan Kesler’s son – Little Ryker Kesler stole the show at the All Star Skills Competition when his dad pulled him on the ice to score a goal against Carey Price (unintentional rhyme there). While we can all assume that Mr. Price was going to let the goal go in regardless, Ryker did a fine job of scoring a legitimate goal. If this is anything to judge on, he may be following in his dad’s footsteps sooner than later.
The Sidney Crosby/Alexander Ovechkin Bromance – Two of the greatest players in the game, who both started their careers at the same time, but have never played together. It was pretty fun to see them both as line mates on the same team, chatting during all the events and generally having a good time together. With the personality difference between the two – Sid is the shy and quiet one, Ovi is… not, they’re not often mentioned in the same circles – other than talking about their dominance in the game. It didn’t hurt that their team won the actual All Star Game as well.
The NHL 100 – On Friday night the NHL honoured 100 of the greatest players of all time. There was a special (weirdly hosted by Jon Hamm, who knew he was a NHL fan to begin with) that brought out some of the greatest players of every decade and showed their career highlights. I enjoyed this method of ‘countdown’ more so than if they had done a straight up 100 to 1 list, as it didn’t give the guys any ranking and just overall celebrated their successes. There were many familiar names on the list – Gretzky, Lemieux, Roy, Messier, etc. but it was also great to remember the guys of the past that paved the way for today’s current players. One of those guys being Tim Horton – yes American friends, our famous coffee chain is in fact named after a real person!
Brent Burns Hipster Look – Burns might be the most recognizable player in the game right now, just judging on looks alone. With his large, woodsman-style beard paired with the ever trendy man bun he’s sporting quite the unique look right now, which is very fun in a league usually filled with clean-cut guys.
The Entertainers – Usually, the NHL does not attract the most current of bands/singers for its events (sorry, Sum 41) so this past weekend’s lineup was a pleasant surprise. John Legend performed at the NHL 100 celebrations, Nick Jonas sang during the game itself, Carly Rae Jepsen sang the Canadian national anthem – let’s keep this trend going, shall we?
Justin Bieber – Even with all the amazing talent in Los Angeles this weekend, the moment that was most talked about was Chris Pronger’s hit on Justin Bieber during the celebrity game. Hockey fan or not, Beiber fan or not, you must admit that it was pretty funny. If you don’t know what I am talking about it, check it out for yourself here.
The Actual All Star Game – Oh my, can you say boring? This year, the teams faced off in four divisions: Pacific vs. Central and Atlantic vs. Metropolitan. The winner of each of those mini-matches played for the win. The Metropolitan division ended up winning by a score of 4-3 (over the Pacific) but the games were just snoozefests. Maybe it was the fact that the games were 3 on 3 (which generally increases goal scoring) or the fact that the game is very non-physical, but it just wasn’t great. I, personally, much preferred the old style games where it was actually a full on hockey game, east vs. west.
All and all, it was pretty fun weekend of hockey and a nice way to distract from all the political goings-ons of the past few weeks. As we begin the race toward the playoffs, I’ll see you next week with the usual roundup.