The first All-Star game in three years took place in Columbus over the weekend, culminating in the game itself being played on Sunday night. As they've done for a while now, the teams were selected by naming two captains and their alternates and then having the teams drafted.
The game was the highest-scoring All-Star game in NHL history and somehow one of the most-boring ones. John Tavares and Jakub Voracek each scored a hat trick (Tavares had four). Marc-Andre Fleury allowed seven goals in his period, which is tied for the most ever. Phil Kessel was entirely invisible, as was Anze Kopitar.
Your 2015 NHL All-Star Game MVP: Ryan Johansen (which is stupid)
Highlights of the Weekend:
- The Fantasy Draft was a lot of fun. The players were largely sloshed and stupid, but it at least showed they had personality. The Seguin-for-Kessel trade was a legitimately hilarious moment and Alex Ovechkin's embarrassing drunkenness was fun to watch. Make no mistake, the NHL doesn't want that to happen again, so enjoy this while we can.
- The Breakaway Challenge at the Skills Competition is getting better, even if it still has a ways to go before it's as much fun as the NBA Dunk Contest. Brian Elliott was legitimately entertaining as the goalie helping out Vladimir Tarasenko. Jakub Voracek copying Ryan Johansen's "pick up a kid to score" by using Johnny Gaudreau was hilarious.
- I will never ever stop marveling a Phil Kessel looking like he does while belonging in the fastest skater competition.
- I liked the Shootout event as an idea, even if I didn't think the way they did the camera work for it. Too much choppiness where we missed better angles on some really incredible shots.
- The liberal use of GoPro cameras gave interesting angles to watch and showed the speed of the game down on the ice.
- Brent Burns has really cute kid.
- Rick Nash getting consistently booed was fun. I just wish he had fully embraced the heel turn. He could have skated to center ice and put his arms out to receive the boos to be rained down on him after each of his goals and I would have loved him forever.
- John Tavares is either that kid who tries a little hard or he's a half-bit better than most of the other all-stars out there. I don't mind one way or another. I like him.
- Chris Sutter coaching on the Team Foligno bench was incredible.
Detroit restarts their season on Tuesday in Florida.