Tuesday, January 29, 2008

All-Star Game Recap Part II

So I'm a couple days late....lay off me, (I'm starving!!) I don't have the brain power to write a neat, concise thought-provoking recap so I'm reverting back to my lists (in no particular order):

Top 5 Highlights of the SuperSkills Competition
  1. Kaberle going 4 for 4 in the first round of the accuracy shot and the entire arena rooting for him in the second round

  2. Ovechkin trying his damnedest to flip the puck into the air and shoot it out of midair. I wonder what was going through Osgood's head. I imagine it was something like, "fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck."

  3. See Pretty Ricky make a goal from behind the line and then admitting that he had no idea why he moved back

  4. Phaneuf recording a 94.6 mph shot on his first try. C'mon that was really funny, especially since I was expecting him to register a shot near 100 mph.

  5. Pretty Ricky and Manny Legace mic'd up. I had no idea those two were so talkative. Why aren't goalies mic'd up more often for the "Sounds of the Game"? Forget mic'ing up players during games, I'm sick of hearing "Atta Boy!" "C'mon boys!"

The Lowest 5 Points of the SuperSkills Competition
  1. The players and announcers looking confused about the fastest skater. Was it just me or did the majority of them not know that it was the stick that had to cross the line first?

  2. Wanting to see other players participate in certain skills. I know it would take way too long to have everyone participate in every skill competition but how do the players decide who will do what? How did Phaneuf be one of the shooters for the shootout when he's 0 for 5? I know I'm being greedy and favoring my Kings player but Anze would have tore it up in the shootout.

  3. Getzlaf not doing anything fancy in his second attempt in the "be fancy and showy shootout" Breakaway Challenge.

  4. The Breakaway Challenge and using "Celebrity" judges. I'm all for having Tim Riggins on TV but it's completely unnecessary for him to be a guest judge. And don't even get me started on that basketball player. One shootout challenge is enough, do we really need two?

  5. The obstacle relay course. When the instructions were announced I had no idea what the hell the players were supposed to do. I couldn't watch the skills competition last year so I wasn't sure if this was a new event but I think it's a variation of an existing event. Regardless...I thought it was pretty ridiculous, especially the goalie part of it.

Overall Feeling
I expected more from the SuperSkills Competition. Maybe it's because I haven't watched one in years and when I was younger I always thought the SuperSkills Competition was so much fun to watch. I had a lot of expectations for this night and it was just ok. Maybe I'm on crack and everything seemed bigger when I was younger but I thought more players participated in each event rather than, for example, only 3 players from each team competing for Most Accurate Shot. I didn't watch the YoungStars game last year and was looking forward to seeing the game this year. It turned into a fast-paced flurry of odd man rushes in which the winning team had the goalie that could make the most saves. I know that's a lot of generalizations but that's how I felt while watching it. And is it worth it having all those young'ns fly out to Atlanta, participate in the press, and play for ten minutes when they could be with their respective teams, resting, practicing, and bonding? I guess I'm turning into a cranky old fart who wants her Skills Competition to be how it used to be in the good ol' days.

Top 5 Highlights of the All-Star Game
  1. Doc and Eddie talking to DiPietro right as the game started and Rick Nash scoring on him 12 seconds into the game and then Doc and Eddie apologizing to DiPietro for distracting him. I bet Doc and Eddie thought, "Let's talk to Rick, the game's just starting so there's no way he'll see action right away." I couldn't stop laughing because the sequence of events was just too funny.

  2. I know I mentioned this in my first recap, but it warmed my heart to see Kopitar interviewed. Youngest player on the 2008 All-Star Team and the first Slovenian in an All-Star game.

  3. I hate Chris Pronger but I thought it was funny when he called out Getzlaf and Perry during the second intermission for not getting on the scoreboard

  4. Nabokov. He only faced 8 shots but he had some unbelievable saves. If the East had more shots and Nabby saved those, maybe he would have been the MVP.

  5. The tiebreaker scored with seconds left in the game. I do enjoy watching shootouts but I also hate it when they determine a game so I was relieved when the 15th goal of the night went in before the end of regulation.

The Lowest 5 Points of the All-Star Game
  1. The West's performance in the first period. (see No. 2 for explanation)

  2. Chris Osgood. Holy hell did Osgood look bad...made me wonder how he would look if he didn't have Detroit's lineup in front of him. But then again, those 5 goals weren't entirely his fault. The West did not play very well in the first period and it was borderline embarrassing. I knew in my heart that the game wouldn't be a blowout, but I was worried at times during the first period.

  3. When Doc and Eddie read the e-mail (letter?) from Sidney Crosby, telling people not to feel sorry for him for missing the All-Star game. Honestly, I like Crosby. I really do. I think he's an unbelievable hockey player and advertisement for the game, but will these guys stop acting like the hockey world will end without him?? Can they go one broadcast without mentioning his name or talking about what Crosby would have done? I feel this way and I actually like the kid. I can't imagine how people who hate the kid feel.

  4. Having Bettman on the broadcast. Enough said.

  5. Seeing Sniedermayer in the All-Star lineup. Really?? 19 games qualifies you to be an All-Star?? Really?? Her? Bland?

Overall Feeling
To my surprise I enjoyed the game more than the skills competition but maybe that was because the game played out how I expected it to. I was slightly disappointed to see some players on the roster instead of others but I realize that injuries (and other excuses) happen. I can't remember who was on the original roster and which players were replacements and I suppose I should look that up before I make these next statements but I'm too lazy. So feel free to call out my incorrect assumptions. I was surprised that Osgood and Thomas were on the roster. I think Osgood is a decent goalie on an unbelievable team and I don't think of Thomas as being an All-Star. Osgood didn't impress me in the game but Thomas did. I thought he played well and helped his team to a victory. Of course, like I said earlier, I think someone other than Sniedermayer should have been on the roster. I'm fairly certain he was a late addition and I can't believe he was appointed to the roster after having only played 19 games. I realize the Ducks have been on a hot streak since his return but I think it would have been fairly easy to find a better All-Star replacement, someone who has put in hard work in the first half of the season and has not only played well but shown a lot of heart and exemplifies what an All-Star means to his team. Of course, my favorite part of the game was listening to the goalies mic'd up. I thought it was cute when Doc let each goalie have a run at calling the game. I definitely hope this feature continues in future All-Star games.


CKim said...

I thought Pascal Leclaire got the shaft from the NHL Bigs, and my hunches were justified when Osgood let in goal...after goal....after goal...after goal... are we noticing a trend here?

Kirsten said...

I'm SO pissed about Niedermayer. I can't fucking believe it. Oh wait, it's the NHL, maybe I can after all.

Chris wasgood is clearly living up to that name, a fact that I'm not letting my neighbor, a Red Wings fan, forget.

KMS2 said...

Hmmm...Leclaire. Good call. Did you listen to the Barry Melrose podcast several weeks back in which Joy Russo asked him which players (or maybe goaltenders) should be All-Stars? He definitely said that Osgood (I love the nickname "wasgood"!) shouldn't be an All-Star because Detroit would still be crushing everyone even if they had a different goalie.

Anyway, Kirsten, so glad to hear you're pissed about Niedermayer, too. Good to know I'm not the only one.

CKim said...

Yeah, I heard the podcast and I agreed. There were definitely people there that shouldn't have been. I think I heard somewhere else that Osgood ("wasgood" = FANTASTIC) was the first backup goalie to ever to go the All-Stars. It kind of felt like they were pulling names out of a hat for replacements.

On Neids. Let's just not go there.

Silencer76 said...

See, myself, I was rather disenchanted with the All Star Game, as evidenced by the contempt I showed for it in a post on my site comparing it to a glorified scrimmage.

As die hard fans, we know that the All Star Game is nothing more than a chance for players to do what they can't do during the regular season. Any casual fan that tuned in to that, gets the idea to watch some games, and sees how much clutching and grabbing, hitting, dumping in of the puck, whistles and the like will be like, what the hell is this?

The All Star Game needs to represent more of what traditional hockey is in my opinion.

Regarding Osbad, I didn't like him ten years ago, and I don't like him now. They probably threw him in to replace Luongo who was home with his wife. Leclaire did get stiffed, the guy leads the league in ShO while playing for Columbus.

Regarding Niedermayer, I agree. Sure, you needed replacements, but a guy who didn't suit up until near Christmas doesn't sell it for me. Then again, I don't see how Duncan Keith made it either...are the blueliners that bad in the West this season?

Just to make it worse, as I am sure you know, Selanne signed a deal yesterday to play the rest of the season for the Dorks, I mean Ducks.

Kirsten said...

No, I didn't hear that interview, but I totally agree. The Red Wings have enough offence to smoke teams even if they let a bunch in.

Awesome! I knew there was a reason I picked the Kings. This way I get to hang out and hate Pronger and be pissed at Niedermayer in good company.

KMS2 said...

I definitely wonder how the replacements were picked...such an oddity.

Silencer: I've also never been that enchanted with Osgood...I think he's been lucky to have played for such a good franchise. I think it's funny you brought up Duncan Keith (the first Blackhawks defenseman to make the All-Star team since Chelios.) I didn't even know who he was until his name was announced...maybe because I'm not that familiar with Chicago or he's not that good. I think there are plenty of other defensemen in the West who could have been a replacement over Nieds...I just think those involved in the All-Star appointing process have their heads up Nieds's ass.

Kirsten, I'm glad you like the Kings!

Steph said...

I've never been a huge fan of Osgood, really - but I will say that as someone who's watching the Wings every night (and someone who will steadfastly insist that the Cup he won could have been just as easily ours with a pylon standing in front of our net) he really has been playing stellar hockey this season, not just because of the team in front of him.

I think he deserved to go...but uh, way to convince everybody else, Ozzie. Fantastic.

And Kms2, I know the committee did ask Rafalski before Niedermayer...but Raffi already had plans or something. I have no clue if he was the only one they asked first, but I certainly hope not. I mean...come on, Niedermayer, seriously? It sounds to me like they just got too lazy to search around the league and figure out what other defensemen were doing well.

KMS2 said...

I definitely won't go as far as saying that the Red Wings would be unstoppable even if they had Cloutier in net, but Osgood does have it good. However, I will admit that he better be good if he's going to be blessed with an awesome team otherwise the players would probably conduct trades to get him replaced. While he definitely did not have a successful outing at the All-Star game, I will say that defense is usually nonexistent in the All-Star game and unfortunately for Osgood, Nabokov stole his magnetic glove and pads just before the puck dropped.

Steph, come playoffs, I'll be rooting for your Red Wings like I do every year when the Kings are out. Hopefully, if the Wings play the Ducks again this year your team will be more successful.