Tag:2012 All-Star Game
Posted on: January 31, 2012 1:41 pm
 

Mascots do group Tebow in AHL All-Star Game

By Brian Stubits

For me, perhaps the most memorable moment from the NHL's All-Star weekend was the breakaway challenge in Saturday's skills night. Patrick Kane was exciting with his Superman act and Corey Perry busting out the mini goalie stick to score was good fun.

But the best part of it all was Carey Price, the Canadiens goalie who was in one net. He spun in circles, he made a save playing with his back to the shooter. He even just Tebowed for one attempt. It was a show-stealing performance, at least for me.

The question now is: Was that the best Tebow at a hockey all-star event this weekend?

With much less fanfare, the AHL held their all-star battle in Atlantic City, N.J. on Monday (not technically the weekend, but play along). Of course the event featured a mascot game. Any all-star game worth its weight in salt will have an mascot game.

And it produced the best en masse Tebowing these eyes have ever seen. Yes, better than those high school kids who were punished.

In the middle of their game a turnover led to a breakaway the other direction. Seeing that they're mascots and all, he was clotheslined. The led to the following penalty shot.

Everybody, even the goalie and mascot referee get in on the act. I don't know, maybe we should consult the Guiness Book of World Records for the biggest collective Tebow on this one. Plus, their moves were held a lot longer than Jack Johnson's in-game Tebowing earlier this season.

H/t to Puck Daddy

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: January 29, 2012 8:38 pm
Edited on: January 29, 2012 8:40 pm
 

Best and worst of the All-Star Game

Henrik and Thomas meet again. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

The All-Star Game is about fun and it ends up being a lot about offense. The scoring is always through the roof. That's what happens when defensemen get stuck in 1-on-3s, players don't hit and the intensity level is lower than a mites game at intermission.

It doesn't always make for compelling television, but it does result in some pretty interesting statistics for the players. This saddens the skaters but the goalies couldn't be happier.

So here you are, the All-Star Game superlatives from Team Chara's 12-9 over Team Alfredsson in Ottawa.

Snapshot of the game: Seen to the right, Henrik Sedin and Tim Thomas coming together after Daniel scored on the rush. So Bruins and Canucks can co-exist, who knew?

Most goals: That would go to MVP Marian Gaborik, the only player to record a hat trick on the day. Sadly, nobody in Ottawa threw a hat on the ice, but Gabby did have a pretty memorable moment by beating his Rangers teammate Henrik Lundqvist and celebrating like Artem Anisimov.

Most points: Also Gaborik, who was the only player to reach four points. He assisted on Zdeno Chara's game-winning goal.

Most unselfish (assists leader): Pavel Datsyuk earns the "award" with his three assists in the game, the benefits of playing with Gaborik (or the other way around). "I wanted to score, too," Datysuk told Dan Rosen of NHL.com. "I never scored in my career in the All-Star Game. The dream is still there."

Ironman (most minutes): Shea Weber had more ice time than any player in the game, clocking 22:12 for Team Alfredsson. Still, he didn't record a point on the night. Something about nobody taking slap shots ...

Plus/Minus ace: Chara and Brian Campbell were tied for the best mark, playing together for much of Team Chara's win. Each was an impressive plus-seven.

Plus/Minus goat: Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek and Keith Yandle all were a minus-5 on the night, though each of the Sens players did score a goal in the losing effort.

Forgettable forward: Despite playing for the team that scored 12 goals and won, Jamie Benn was the only forward in the game on either side that didn't record a point.

Hitman: Yes, there was actually a hit in the game. A single hit. Scott Hartnell (of course) come on down! He had the audacity to get credit for a hit in an All-Star Game.

Best goalie: The award goes to Thomas, who pulled off a pretty incredible feat by winning the All-Star Game for the fourth straight time. He stopped 18 of 21 shots for an .857 save percentage.

Worst goalie: It was like old times in Ottawa for Brian Elliott, unfortunately. He surrendered six goals on 19 shots in the third period for a save percentage of .684. Oy.

Prettiest goal: It's a tough call after Daniel Alfredsson's first of the game, but I'm going to go with Marian Hossa's third-period goal when there was a player who was actually trying to play defense in front of him. It gets some extra credit for the saucer pass from Datsyuk to spring the breakaway.

More from Eye on Hockey

Alfredsson shines through in loss
Gaborik pulls an Anisimov after goal
Recap: Team Chara 12, Team Alfredsson 9
Full 2012 All-Star Game coverage

Photo courtesy of Sean Gentille twitpic

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: January 29, 2012 7:13 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 6:54 am
 

Alfredsson stars in Ottawa despite All-Star loss

By Brian Stubits

After a true All-Star Game with players skating half-speed, no hitting taking place (although there was one) and zero defense being played, it was a hat trick for Marian Gaborik that was enough to get him the honor of All-Star Game MVP and a brand new car.

But he had some serious competition on the night. I don't mean from the other team's defensemen, of course he didn't have that. Instead, it came from the captain of the losing team, Daniel Alfredsson.

Playing on his home ice in Ottawa, Alfie helped bring his team back in the second period when he scored a pair of goals to give his team the lead for a brief time in the game. As you'd expect, the fans relished the moment.

All three Senators forwards in the game scored for Team Alfredsson (Jason Spezza in the first, then Milan Michalek in the third) but there was no doubt which goal the hometown crowd enjoyed the most. Just take a look at how they responded in what could be their captain's final All-Star game.

"It's unbelievable," Alfredsson said to Pierre McGuire in a midgame interview. "I'm not sure I deserve it, but it's been incredible."

Humility. That's just part of what makes Alfredsson so beloved.

Throughout the third period, it was the mission of Team Alfredsson to get Alfie one more goal, to match Gaborik and pick up the hat trick in the All-Star Game. Everybody seemed to be on board with it, continuing to pass it back to Alfredsson who even fired a slap shot.

Everybody was for it except for Tim Thomas, of course. The Bruins goalie doesn't like to get beat, ever. He denied Alfie on his last-minute attempts, preserving his own bit of All-Star glory. Thomas was the goalie on record for Team Chara and with the 12-9 win, he was the winning goalie for the fourth consecutive All-Star Game, a remarkable feat in a game with so much scoring.

"I've never been so happy losing a game," Alfredsson said afterward.

One of the many conversations in Ottawa this weekend was the future of Alfredsson. Nobody wanted to take away too much from the spotlight he was enjoying as captain in his home city but it's a natural question for a guy who has been in Ottawa since 1995-96.

He's said of late that he's open to playing again next season depending on how he feels. With the Senators' success this season, he said he's been having fun.

As of now, the best Alfredsson will commit to playing another season is 50/50 and the decision isn't just his. His wife will have the answer in the other 50 percent, he said.

There is obviously a second half of the season left to play and his Sens are in the thick of the Eastern playoff race. So there are a lot more memories he can make this season. But this night, combined with his 400th career goal earlier this season, have to be unforgettable for Alfie, even if this was a meaningless, watered down hockey game.

More from Eye on Hockey

Gaborik pulls an Anisimov after scoring
Recap: Team Chara 12, Team Alfredsson 9
Full 2012 All-Star Game coverage

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.


Posted on: January 29, 2012 5:13 pm
Edited on: January 29, 2012 5:17 pm
 

Video: Gaborik pulls an Anisimov in All-Star Game

By Brian Stubits

Marian Gaborik laid down the gauntlet before the All-Star Game. He was determined to get the better of his New York Rangers teammate Henrik Lundqvist. He had the chance to right out of the gate in the game and it was Gabby who won.

Gaborik scored two of the three goals surrendered by Lundqvist in the first period, including the game's opening salvo.

It was a pretty give-and-go that left Lundqvist face down on the ice, obviously upset to lose the trash-talking battle with his teammate. But it was the goal celebration afterward that made it all that much better for Gaborik.

Yes, that's Gabby pulling an Artem Anisimov and using his stick to shoot at Lundqvist in net. This time, there was no retaliation from the opposing team as there was from the Lightning when Anisimov pulled the stunt earlier this season.

Guaranteed, wherever Anisimov is watching the game, he was surely smiling with that.

Later in the period Pierre McGuire had his chance to interview Team Alfredsson coach John Tortorella and asked him about the gun shooting. Could he be facing some power skates?

"We want his money," Tortorella said, indicating Gaborik would have a $1,000 fine waiting for him, with a grin of course.

Hate the All-Star Game all you want, but fun like this is what makes it good, or at least watchable for most people.

More from Eye on Hockey

Anisimov scores, uses stick like gun in celebration
Anisimov video game cover
Full 2012 All-Star Game coverage

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: January 29, 2012 3:53 pm
Edited on: January 29, 2012 3:53 pm
 

All-Star Game: Starting lines, goalie rotations

By Brian Stubits

The two most obvious lines for the All-Star Game are going to come to fruition, at least to start the contest in Ottawa this afternoon.

Tyler Seguin will indeed play on a line with Phil Kessel (and Joffrey Lupul) for Team Chara in an interesting combo of players who were traded for one another.

Team Alfredsson meanwhile will drop the puck with a top line of Milan Michalek, Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson, the all-Senators look for the fans in Ottawa who might have missed the last Sens home game.

Here are all the lines to start the game with. Guaranteed the lines will be flipped throughout the game, everybody wants to play with everybody else.

Team Chara

Marian Gaborik -- Pavel Datsyuk -- Marian Hossa

Corey Perry -- Evgeni Malkin -- Jarome Iginla

Joffrey Lupul -- Tyler Seguin -- Phil Kessel

Jamie Benn -- Patrick Kane -- Jordan Eberle

On defense, the pairings will start as Zdeno Chara with Brian Campbell, Dion Phaneuf and Dennis Wideman then Ryan Suter and Kimmo Timonen.

The start in goal will go to Jimmy Howard followed by Carey Price and Tim Thomas is going to take the final leg.

Obviously the Lupul-Seguin-Kessel line will be unique to see considering the trade of a few years ago but watch out for Benn-Kane-Eberle as both Kane and Benn were two of the top standouts from last night's Skills competition.

Team Alfredsson

Milan Michalek -- Jason Spezza -- Daniel Alfredsson

Scott Hartnell -- Henrik Sedin -- Daniel Sedin

Logan Couture -- Claude Giroux -- Steven Stamkos

James Neal -- John Tavares -- Jason Pominville

The other Senators player, Erik Karlsson, will be on the first defensive pairing with Kris Letang. Keith Yandle will play alongside Shea Weber and Alex Edler will join Dan Girardi.

Henrik Lundqvist will start the game in net, Jonathan Quick will take the middle stanza and Brian Elliott will close it out.

Hartnell wins the lucky linemate sweepstakes, I think, getting the joy of playing with the Sedins and benefitting from the chemistry those two share. But Alfredsson will surely be playing some with the Sedins, his fellow Swedes. The combination of Giroux, Couture and Stamkos could create some delicious scoring chances as well.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Category: NHL
Posted on: January 28, 2012 11:28 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2012 11:35 pm
 

NHL skills contest results, highlights

By: Adam Gretz

The NHL wrapped up its Super Skills competition on Saturday night with Daniel Alfredsson's team, loaded with all of the hometown Ottawa Senators, picking up the overall win by a 21-12 margin. Below is the complete list of winners in all of the invidual events, including Patrick Kane in the Breakaway challenge and Zdeno Chara taking home yet another championship (and record) in the hardest shot contest, as well as some of the highlights (and lowlights) from the night.

2012 NHL Super Skills Results
Competition Winner
Fastest Skater Carl Hagelin (New York Rangers)
Breakaway Challenge Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks
Shot Accuracy Jamie Benn (Dallas Stars)
Skills Challenge Relay Team Alfredsson
Hardest Shot Zdeno Chara (Boston Bruins)
Elimination Shootout Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning)

Zdeno Chara makes the hardest shot contest the must-see event: I understand what the NHL is trying to do with the breakaway challenge (it's basically the Slam Dunk contest, in hockey form) and at times on Saturday night it was the highlight of the night, whether it was Kane putting on the Superman cape, Anaheim's Corey Perry busting out the knee-hockey stick and using it to score a goal, or Montreal's Carey Price stopping a shot with his back turned to the shooter. Great stuff.

But the must-see event, at least as long as Chara is taking part in it, remains the hardest shot contest, If for no other reason than to watch in amazement at the freakish speeds these guys can fire a piece of frozen rubber across the ice. Watching Chara in this event right now is like watching a home run hitter get himself in a rhythm and hit one titanic fly ball after another in a home run derby.

At this point it's his event, and everybody else is just taking part in it for his amusement. Even Shea Weber, a guy that hit 106 on the radar gun Saturday night, couldn't get near him. Chara has won the event five years in a row, and not only does he keep winning, but his shots keep getting faster and faster, and he keeps shattering his own records.

It's worth asking if 110 MPH is in play next season in Columbus. I wouldn't bet against it.

Change that wasn't an improvement:
The NHL used a new format for the fastest skater contest this season, having the players line up side by side, skate in a straight line down the ice, make a narrow, short turn, and then head back in the opposite direction. In years past the players would simply skate all the way around the ice, the complete length of the rink, making it easier to compare players and their times from year-to-year. The new approach almost seemed to slow the players down because it didn't give them enough of a chance to really show what they can do speed-wise.

On a positive note, for the second year in a row goalies competed in one of the rounds, with Los Angeles' Jonathan Quick blowing away Detroit's Jimmy Howard. And yes, they have to skate with all of their equipment on, which definitely adds a bit of unintentional humor.

Fortunately for the two keepers this year neither one of them took a spill in the corner like Boston's Tim Thomas did last season.

Event that doesn't seem to work: The Skills Challenge relay. Dump it. It's basically a giant obstacle course that involves just about every skater on the two team's taking part in a series of events, including passing, one-timers, shot accuracy and puck control. Unfortunately, it just doesn't seem to work or generate much excitement.

It's by far the longest event from start to finish, taking nearly two-and-a-half minutes for one team to complete the course, and it seems to suck a lot of the life out of the crowd.

Helmet camera's are always cool: St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott, who received a nice ovation from the Ottawa fans as one of the many former (and current) Senators to play in the game, had a helmet cam throughout the night -- along with Howard -- to give a first-person look at some of the events. That included during the breakaway challenge when Elliott was in the cage attempting to stop Kane's slapshot with what turned out to be a trick puck that broke into four pieces on its way to the net.

Of course, given the way that Elliott is playing this season for the Blues it's not much of a surprise that none of the pieces ended up in the back of the net, while he even managed to glove one of them out of the air.



Previously at Eye On Hockey

Kane's Superman wins breakaway challenge
Chara sets another record
More 2012 All-Star Game coverage

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 28, 2012 9:31 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2012 11:35 pm
 

Zdeno Chara breaks his own hardest shot record



By: Adam Gretz

As long as Zdeno Chara is going to All-Star games it's hard to imagine anybody beating him in the hardest shot contest.

And he keeps raising the bar.

On Saturday night he set a new All-Star record, breaking his own mark, by firing a shot that traveled an incredible 108.8 MPH, topping the 105.9 he registered last year.

Needless to say, he won the event (by a pretty wide margin) as he had done in the previous four All-Star games, and in the process became the first player to ever win the contest five straight times. When it comes to the all-time mark he still trails former Blues and Flames rearguard Al MacInnis who won the event seven times. But it seems to be only a matter of time until Chara takes over that spot as well.

Chara's four shots on the night went an average of 107 MPH, and from slowest to fastest were 106.2, 106.9, 107.0 and 108.8. The only player on the ice that could even stay within reasonable range of him was Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber, who for the second year in a row finished as the runner-up.

Weber, of course, is no slouch, and finished with a high mark of 106.

Hey, anybody want to play goalie?

Previously at Eye On Hockey

NHL Skills Challenge results, highlights
Kane's Superman wins breakaway challenge
More 2012 All-Star Game coverage

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 28, 2012 8:25 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2012 8:33 pm
 

Patrick Kane's Superman wins breakaway challenge

By: Adam Gretz

The breakaway challenge, which was introduced during the 2008 All-Star festivities, is supposed to be the NHL's answer to the slam dunk contest where players have an opportunity to show off their skill and creativity. With props. Lots, and lots of props.

At times, as was the case in the first round on Saturday, it can seem to be more of a gong show as sometimes the shooters manage to fake themselves out.

Chicago's Patrick Kane managed to steal the show this year by busting out some Clark Kent glasses and a Superman cape, soaring across the ice on his stomach and beating Blues goaltender Brian Elliott.



Kane ended up winning the contest, getting 47 percent of the fan vote, beating out Anaheim's Corey Perry who made a convincing argument by pulling a mini-stick out from under his jersey (the type of stick you used when you played knee hockey in your basement) and scored with it.



Impressive, but not enough to win over the fans.

Washington's Alex Ovechkin won this contest in each of the first three years it's been featured.

Previously at Eye On Hockey

Players we would like to see in the skills challenge
More 2012 All-Star Game coverage

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com