January 29, 2008

Embrace All-Star weekend for what it's supposed to be -- fun: If you read every media account of the happenings in and around All-Star weekend here, you would swear the event was some twisted hybrid of being repeatedly poked in the eye with a sharp object and being trapped in a tiny, airless room listening to an endless tape loop of Joe Sakic interviews.

posted by BoKnows to hockey at 08:25 AM - 10 comments

I truly believe media people, as in any profession, suffer from burnout eventually. The problem with media people suffering from this is they are still allowed to shove their thoughts down our (the fans) throats if we get sucked into either reading their columns or listening to their broadcasts. They've been gaining free access to these events for so long, as part of their job, they've become jaded to all the events that go on, while 99.9 percent of fans of the particular sport would like nothing better than to be able to attend these games, whether it be All-Star games, Super Bowls, whatever. I do my best to avoid the clowns that want to do nothing but poke holes in these games, because I can promise them they'd hate my daily job far more than what they're being subjected to.

posted by dyams at 09:00 AM on January 29, 2008

As a fan, I enjoyed the NHL All-Star weekend. The skills competition was fun to watch, including the new Breakaway Challenge that rewarded players for creativity similiar to the Slam Dunk event in the NBA. The 3 on 3 young stars game was also fun to see. I also liked the game being played as East vs. West instead of North America vs. The World. I was not aware of the changes in format before the skills started but I, for one, was pleasently surprised. The NHL also had Usher present and The Jonas Brothers perform in hopes to attract younger fans to the game. Kudos to the NHL for scoring a Hat Trick for this NHL fan. Funniest comment heard: As a "celebrity" judge of the Breakaway Challenge, former NHLer Scott Mellanby was asked how he would fare in the event. He replied: "I'd just dump it in and change."

posted by BoKnows at 09:02 AM on January 29, 2008

I loved the Young Stars game, especially since there were quite a few Minnesota kids. Erik Johnson, Mike Lundin, Matt Niskanen and Peter Mueller. The breakaway challenge was cool, and hopefully next year more guys will show off a little more. It seemed only Ovechkin was willing to look like a fool. I also thought that The Hives were awesome, loved that they kept playing during the player interviews. That was impressive. I read the other day that they grew up in the same small town that Ulf Samuelsson came from. Sweet.

posted by emoeby at 09:25 AM on January 29, 2008

I too really enjoyed the events. It is a step in the right direction for the NHL.

posted by budman13 at 09:47 AM on January 29, 2008

The hardest shot and accuracy comps are always my favorite. I missed the team relay and quickest lap around the rink. The team obstacle course has potential, but needs some tweaking. The shoot-out sudden death elimination also was a cool addition. The fancy pants show off session could be shelved, and I wouldn't mind. Or, maybe adjust the dumb ass judges so that scoring a goal was heavily weighted. And Dominique Wilkins? "Well, skating looks tough, so I give that an 8." "But Dominique, he just turned around?"

posted by garfield at 03:18 PM on January 29, 2008

Or, maybe adjust the dumb ass judges so that scoring a goal was heavily weighted. The Penalty Shot event was about scoring the goals. The Breakaway Challenge was set up to encourage the players to "think outside the box". The players could do whatever they wanted with the puck and could start from anywhere in the offensive zone. They could earn a possible 10 points from each judge- 9 points based on creativity and 1 point if they scored the goal. So, a perfect score of 10 could only be achieved if the player did something creative and scored the goal. It seems the players really did not know what to do. Next year should be different, the players know now what to expect. I would've liked to see Sid the Kid in that event. Or this kid.

posted by BoKnows at 03:49 PM on January 29, 2008

Bo, cart before the horse. Players are still getting used to taking penalty shots all the time. The circus tricks will come. I would prefer the theatrics to come during an elimination shoot out challenge, or something similar. Maybe give bonus points after goals are scored to break a tie or something. But points for a spin-o-rama swing and a miss was pretty lame.

posted by garfield at 04:04 PM on January 29, 2008

You have to limit what the goalies can do in the Breakaway thingy in order for it to work. If a guy comes up with some sick move only to have to goalie come out and poke check it away, well, that's not very entertaining. Keep the penalty shot event skater against goalie. The breakaway event should be more concerned about executing the trick and putting it in the net, like the slam dunk competition. If you want an obstacle in the net just stick one of these between the pipes.

posted by goddam at 04:33 PM on January 29, 2008

What an uncanny resemblance to Raycroft you've found goddam.

posted by garfield at 04:55 PM on January 29, 2008

But points for a spin-o-rama swing and a miss was pretty lame. The judges wanted to see creativity, and they awarded points accordingly. Yeah, he missed, but at least he tried something. I didn't think it was lame, I thought it was fun. Agree to disagree? If you want an obstacle in the net just stick one of these between the pipes Agreed Goddam, or make the goalies stay in the crease.

posted by BoKnows at 05:19 PM on January 29, 2008

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