Saturday, January 24, 2009

All Star Game doesn't overly excite me, but the Skills pay the Bills

Well, if a player scores 4 or more goals that's alright. Some pretty plays would be fine. But I'll tell you what I most look forward to: the Skills Competition. In years past I enjoyed watching Mike Gartner glide around the rink to win the fastest skater competition, Al Iafrate and Al MacInnis dominating the hardest shot category in the early 90's with...wooden sticks, yes. I believe Iafrate's 105.2 mph slapper in 1993 is still the record. The breakaway event has kind of lost it's novelty to me, now that NHL games are decided by shootouts so often.
What I am really curious about in this year's skills competition is how creative players are going to be in the event that was started last year called the Breakaway Challenge. It was fun to watch, even though the players couldn't score after pulling off a few sick moves. In the end it was a showdown between Ryan Getzlaf and Alex Ovechkin, with AO stealing the show of course, getting the best scores from the panel of judges.
Earlier in the competition, the goalies would poke check the puck away from players while they were in the middle of their moves. People thought the keepers shouldn't have done that. Well, see for yourself. Below is the complete footage of that event.

PART 1

PART 2

**UPDATE**
Ah, it appears I was a little ahead of TSN on the breakaway challenge and it's issues, as you can see here. They may get goalie to avoid poke checks during the event. Patrick Kane called Ovechkin's spinaroonie baseball attempt the "YouTube goal" and that he wants to be that guy this year.
So as much as last year's attempt at that event was awkwardly successful, I think players are preparing more for it this year and it will be a must see tonight.
The TSN panel was talking about fans texting in scores for the event. That is cool.

Check out some All Star Skills events results/history from 1990-2007 at this site.
There are some intriguing numbers and facts from past All Star Games found at NHL.com.
How about some sick All Star Game records found at NHL.com? Worth a look.

I believe the Young Stars game starts at somewhere around 3 pm PST on Saturday. Not quite sure.
The Super Skills Competition will start at 4 pm PST on Saturday.
The All Star Game will start at 3 pm PST on Sunday.

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11 Comments:

At January 24, 2009 at 8:32 AM , Anonymous Nucker said...

Found this in my inbox this morning. I laughed so hard I snorted. (That's snorted, not...)

http://failblog.org/2009/01/23/pole-dancer-fail/

Kinda like Saturday morning cartoons for grown ups. A little off topic, I know, but my goal in life is to spread joy and laughter wherever I can.

Speaking of joy and laughter...That's one of the things I love about the All-Star weekend -- you get to see the guys having fun. I mean, Jeezus, most of the time they have the weight of the world put on them (and the weight of their salaries.) How cool to see la creme de la creme battling it out in a game that's actually a game.

I've been thinking some more about whether this break will help or hinder the Canucks. I think being taken out of the pressure cooker can only help. They'll remember how good they are, and how great it feels to be playing well.

I'm predicting great things -- whether they make the playoffs or not.

 
At January 24, 2009 at 9:23 AM , Blogger Temujin said...

The breakaway challenge is sort of silly. Part of what makes hockey so awesome and creative and fascinating is the fact that plays are made in a split second.

And not just the regular plays, but crazy-ass "WTF" plays that are like snapshots out of time which could never be duplicated.

Like this

Or this

Or this

How do you manufacture that kind of move? You cannot think about that sort of thing before doing it, it has to be more instinct. I'm just not sure a "breakaway challenge" could ever match the excitement/creativity level of a live game.

 
At January 24, 2009 at 10:08 AM , Anonymous Nucker said...

Of course these events don't match the excitement of a real game, nor do they have the gravity, but they aren't meant to. They are horses of different jerseys. I think you just take what you want from the weekend, and if there's nothing there for you, walk away.

I think it's fun to watch the guys goofing around on the ice when there's nothing at stake. It's a chance to see a different side of them. We already know they're great players.

They'll all be back to work in a few days. Don't despair.

 
At January 24, 2009 at 10:13 AM , Anonymous Nucker said...

And a postscript: During a real game, you don't get to see things from an "on ice" camera perspective. That's worth the price of admission right there.

 
At January 24, 2009 at 11:29 AM , Blogger Sean Zandberg said...

Jin! What are you doing up so early?! Thanks for those links to those goals. Ovechkin's is never tiring to watch. I can't tell which goal I like better for 2nd place of the 3, Toews' or Nash's. Probably Nash's.
But I have to agree with Roenick that the best goal I've ever seen was Denis Savard's goal against the Coilers. Insane.

The breakaway challenge is just for fun. I like that element.

Nucker: keep the positivity flowing. I've seen that pole dance fail before :) Not in real life of course...

 
At January 24, 2009 at 12:22 PM , Blogger Temujin said...

Maybe I'm clouded by last year's breakaway challenge. Lets be honest, it sucked last year.

I'm working today... sort of. That's the only reason I'd be up early.

 
At January 24, 2009 at 1:37 PM , Anonymous Nucker said...

Mason Raymond's going to skate in the fastest skater competition. Cool.

You show 'em, kid.

 
At January 24, 2009 at 2:01 PM , Blogger Sean Zandberg said...

watch mason blow a tire, crash into the boards, and miss the rest of the year! haha

 
At January 24, 2009 at 2:11 PM , Anonymous Nucker said...

Hey...don't say that about my boy! (He brings out what little motherly instinct I have. I call him 'my little Baby Face Mason')

(Okay...now all the hard core hockey guys are puking...Suck it up, I say!)

And wasn't it the word 'positivity' that you used earlier?

 
At January 24, 2009 at 2:50 PM , Blogger Temujin said...

The goalies aren't even supposed to move. There is going to be a local Junior B goaltender in net and he has been told to not try. No poke checking allowed, and the idea is for the goalie to let the puck go in unless it hits him. WTF? Why not just put a damned "tutor shooter" in there?

This is going to be a FAIL event, just like last year. Big whoop!

 
At January 24, 2009 at 3:37 PM , Blogger Sean Zandberg said...

Jin, you're missing the point. It's all about the shooter. The goalies get no points for saving the shot!
It will be better than last year!

 

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Waiting For Stanley was created in June 2006.