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Photo Credit: ยฉ Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets Day After: All-Star Thoughts

Just some random stuff that floated through my mind over the last two days viewing the NHL All-Star Weekend festivities…

  • I know there was more than a handful of hockey fans who were caught off guard by the actual dates of the events – I too assumed weeks ago that this was it’s typical Saturday / Sunday event and didn’t realize until the Friday morning that things had been shifted a day back – but I actually like the idea of having the Skills Competition on Friday and the All-Star Game on a Saturday night. I’d maybe go one step further and have the game during the afternoon.

 

  • Obligatory “here are our players!” moment…

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  • The St Louis Blues kind of used the entire weekend to flaunt itself, the fact they were the defending champs and their history and I am all for it. It was neat to see Blues legends come out for one-off appearances dotted through the Skills and All-Star events and actually taking part in these things and not just a camera cut-away to all of them sitting in a press box waving to people. I’ll remember Al MacInnis taking a slapshot that “registered” at 100.4 miles per hour (allegedly) long after I would have if the Blues had just trotted him out during a break in the action between whistles.

 

  • The Florida Panthers – hosts for next year’s event – would be wise to follow the Blues lead and bring out some of their notable players. Granted their 25+ years of existence hasn’t been as deep or storied, but that’s the point. Bring out Scott Mellanby to take a few shots at the accuracy shooting. Have Pavel Bure take a lap before fastest skater. Roberto Luongo can stop a few pucks or maybe they can bring back John Vanbies… Actually, on second thought just leave it at Luongo.

 

  • The NHL replacing the old Styrofoam targets with a Plexiglas video wall is very much an NHL “if it aint broke, break it anyway” type idea. No one asked for that, and through the entire event I was certain the players were hitting the targets more than that stupid thing registered.Next year, just go back to the actual breaking targets. People like seeing things break and we promise not to ever complain about how much time it takes to clean up things between shooters.

  • Filed under “Oh, silly Mark…”

  • Just in case you thought it’s only a handful of us Winnipeg followers that think the Jets defensive scheme absolutely stinks right now…

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  • Bring back Green Day next year. And every year.

 

  • Speaking of technology that got put on display for the weekend… I didn’t hate the puck tail as much as seemingly everyone else did, but I can live without it. I liked the names appearing over puck carriers, but in a full six on six setting it may not work out as well. It does make for some beautiful chaos during pre-game skates. It’s maybe worth noting that a lot of what we saw over the weekend won’t really appeal to fans in general – I don’t think there is much demand to see how far apart players are from each other, or what the speed of the puck is at all times during a game – but it’s neat tech and the info from it will hopefully improve coaching and player evaluations.

  • The women’s 3 on 3 may have been the best part of the entire weekend and it was an example of how the NHL would be wise to start it’s own female league sooner rather than later. It’s almost crazy that it’s taken this long for one to even be considered when the NBA kind of established the blueprint with the WNBA two decades ago. Next to the “period” that involved the Central division stars on Sunday, the women’s game got the loudest reception and had fans buzzing. Put eight teams in eight good hockey markets and go from there…

  • Anyone who over-analyzes or critiques how players do during the actual all-star game are nerds of the highest order. MARK SCHEIFELE scoring was a nice moment, Connor Hellebuyck did give up somewhere from six to thirteen goals during his 10 minute time in the crease, but he also skated away from the weekend uninjured which is all I care about after these things. Heck, part of me wonders if deep down Connor didn’t sabotage the whole thing just to make Blues fans disappointed. Don’t worry, he didn’t, but he probably just appreciated that for once he went into a game this season fully expecting to have a team not committed to defense in front of him.

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Enjoy the rest of the week off fellas… There is work to be done when you get back.