Late last night I watched both the Skills Competition and All Star Game. I can’t say it was the most enjoyable thing I watched all weekend, but I do have some thoughts on the events.
– Overall the Skills was a letdown. All of it was really confusing, with YoungStars participating in the fastest skater and breakaway challenge, and Carey Price in the YoungStars game. No one seemed to care all that much, except maybe Zedeno Chara. Who knew he had emotions and a soul and stuff. Either way, it’s clear the league isn’t happy with the talent they picked for the original game so they need the YoungStars to hand pick their Skills guys. Confusing.
– I wasn’t really blown away with anyone in the Breakaway Challenge, but you sort of knew Ovechkin was going to win either way. Getzlaf probably had the best move, and maybe the Stamkos dive if they counted it after the buzzer. Still, watch the Ovechkin video again:
I didn’t notice it until my girlfriend mentioned it, but he shot left handed using Malkin’s stick. I sort of forgot he wasn’t a lefty, and Versus didn’t exactly help you out on that.
– Speaking of Versus, I watched their broadcast because 1) it was in HD, and 2) last year was a train wreck and I wanted to see if it got better. It didn’t. The whole thing was a disaster, with the interviews awkward, replays completely inconvenient, and all kinds of camera mistakes. We missed at least three goals in the epic failure that is the YoungStars game, and we also missed the first shot of Heatley’s tiebreaker in the Accuracy Shooting competition. It’s only the most important moment of the sequence, but don’t worry about it guys.
It’s an admittedly tough event to produce, but they have to get better. It’s almost unwatchable to begin with, but the broadcast itself made me want to slam my head on the coffee table because I didn’t watch it on CBC. I should have known not to give Versus another chance, but I’ll probably tune in next year just to see if they can begin to fix it.
– Someone took a penalty last night. Sadly yes, that’s news.
– The game itself was… boring. To the point where it was 4AM, I checked the box score to see if Vanek had a point (he didn’t), then fast forwarded to the shootout to see the end. It wasn’t breathtaking, it wasn’t fun to see Campbell not play defense (nothing new about that), and it wasn’t fun to watch goaltenders not try. St. Louis scored on a backhand along the ice because Backstrom didn’t feel like covering the post in butterfly. If there was ever a sign that he didn’t give a crap it was right there with him standing up watching the puck go between his legs.
Maybe it was me, but it just… wasn’t fun this time around. It wasn’t particularly fun last time around either, but maybe that means it’s getting progressively worse. I was at the Canisius game and heard a few people talking about the fact that they were missing the game. They sounded completely unfazed by it, and I felt the same way. It’s not like me to ever turn off a game early, no matter how bad. Last night I did, which makes it pretty clear to me how much I really care.
I’m not saying things should change because they won’t. The league will try to get fans more involved, suspend more players for not showing, and put the hometown players in the spotlight. I’m sure Kovalev winning the MVP was great “poetic justice” and will remain in Habs lore forever, but it doesn’t mean much to anyone else. No matter what they do to the game I will care the same amount next year, which is to say, not that much at all.
Can we play real hockey now?