Monday, January 28, 2008

Last goal won.

The NHL all star game is regularly a hard to watch affair for the hockey purist, there’s little in the way of hitting, the players make far too many fancy passes and the intensity level is somewhere along the lines of the beer league midnight special.

So Sunday’s annual exercise of showcasing the stars (those that weren’t too lame or too tired to make it) once again played out mostly as expected.

While the third period at least provided some urgency to the affair, the previous two periods probably didn’t convert many to the game had they wandered onto the broadcast by mistake.

There was more drama following Tiger Woods around the course and he had a ten shot lead at one point of his run for his year opening Buick Open appearance, all while the East and the West were firing off shots at sacrificial goaltenders. As Woods was losing his focus on the course if only for a short period of time, perhaps his mind was wandering, wondering if the East could hold that 5-1 lead from the first, as things turned out they couldn’t.

The final twenty minutes were a flash of action, as the West evened the game up at 5 all early in the third. From there it was a rush for the last goal of the game as the teams traded opportunities and little in the way of defensive play on the way to the winning goal from former Thrasher Marc Savard with 20.9 seconds left to play.

That made the final score 8-7 in favour of the east, good enough to capture the bragging rights for this year and to put a set of keys to an SUV in the hands of Eric Staal.

There’s not much that the NHL can do about the format of the all star game, the non hitting nature of the event and the all out assault on the goaltenders is probably something that can’t be modified too much.

While it makes for an interesting experience, akin to watching a high octane practice, the return to the regular schedule is probably a welcome thing for the dedicated hockey fan, who probably got a little restless on Sunday watching periods one and two.

Perhaps even wandering over a click or two from time to time, to check up on Tiger, something that could be a common thing on Sunday’s should the regular season games begin to resemble Sunday’s all star skate fest.

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