Today is the All-Star Game... well it's not exactly a game so much as it's a three-game mini tournament for the best division in the NHL. Starting at 4pm today, the two Eastern Conference All-Star Teams will face off head-to-head in a 20 minute 3-on-3 game. At the ten-minute mark both teams will switch sides. After the champion of the East is decided, the Pacific and Central divisions will face off to see which one will play the East winner in the final game. The winning team will take home $1M to split between them.
The East chose to go first last night after dominating the West in the Skills Competition, highlighted by Dylan Larkin's record-breaking speed run around the rink.
|Patrice Bergeron||Aaron Ekblad||Roberto Luongo|
|Jaromir Jagr||Erik Karlsson||Ben Bishop|
|Leo Komarov||PK Subban|
Strengths: Solid two-way centers dominate this lineup with two of the best offensive defensemen in the entire game. Speed is going to kill here
Weaknesses: While Roberto Luongo is made for this kind of game, goaltending is always a wild-card factor in a 3-on-3. Also Leo Komarov.
|Nicklas Backstrom||Justin Faulk||Braden Holtby|
|Claude Giroux||Kris Letang||Cory Schneider|
|Evgeny Kuznetsov||Ryan McDonagh|
Strengths: The Metro has good size and great hands on their forward corps, as well as two blazing defensemen and an amazing goalie.
Weaknesses: I know I'm throwing stones from the glass house of the Atlantic division, but I'm not sold on the defensemen's capabilities of actually playing defense.
|Jamie Benn||Dustin Byfuglien||Devan Dubnyk|
|Matt Duchene||Roman Josi||Pekka Rinne|
Strengths: Probably the tournament favorite with the overall skill throughout this lineup. The Central is a powerhouse division and they've got speed, size, and hands here.
Weaknesses: Pekka Rinne is the worst goalie in the All-Star game
|Johnny Gaudreau||Brent Burns||John Gibson|
|Taylor Hall||Drew Doughty||Jonathan Quick|
|Joe Pavelski||Mark Giordano|
Strengths: Big shots on the back end with speed and vision on the front side. This team can snipe.
Weaknesses: The story is great, but the hockey talent of John Scott compared to everybody else is low. How much will that hurt this team?
I think the Atlantic squeaks past the Metro in a game that's surprisingly low-scoring and the Central beats the Pacific easily. For the final, I predict Dylan Larkin scores a hatty and is named the MVP in the Atlantic's win. Also I'm a Red Wings fan and very biased.
What are your thoughts? It's today's open thread for the games. Have fun!