Everybody’s Starry Eyed: 2017 NHL All Star Game Recap

Photo: Washington Capitals

The Metropolitan Division won the 2017 NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, beating the Atlantic Division 10-6, and the Pacific Division 4-3. 

For a little listen, since everybody was definitely starry-eyed in Los Angeles today.

The matchups for today’s game were decided last night when the Atlantic Division won the skills competition. The 3-on-3 tournament started with the Pacific Division facing the Central, while the second of the double-header pitched the Atlantic against the Metropolitan. Needless to say, the hope was that Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin were buddy-buddy enough to cause some marvelous chaos. If you were hoping for any semblance of defense, then you picked the wrong game to watch.

Pacific vs Central

Cam Fowler of the Anaheim Ducks opened the scoring off of a 2-on-1 one-timer from Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames four minutes into the first frame. Jeff Carter of the host Los Angeles Kings, made it 2-0 with a slithering backhand to beat Arizona Coyotes goalie Mike Smith. Needless to say, L.A fans were happy with their golden boy. Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks cut the lead to 2-1 with a slick wrister over Smith’s shoulder. Pacific captain Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers reestablished the two goal lead by kicking the puck to himself and backhanding it into the net. San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns made it 4-1, but was still resoundingly booed by the L.A faithful. Their spirits were lifted when Kings defenseman Drew Doughty made it 5-1 at the end of the first.

P.K Subban  of the Nashville Predators made it 5-2 after Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk stonewalled McDavid on back-to-back breakaways. It looked like a comeback was in the making, but Gaudreau sniped one in to make it 6-2. Sharks forward Joe Pavelski made it 7-2 and the route was officially on. After Subban promised NBC analyst Pierre McGuire that they’d make a comeback, St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko put one bar down to make it 7-3. It was short-lived when Dubnyk lost his stick and allowed a five hole goal from Ducks forward Ryan Kesler (sadly not his kid) to make it 8-3. Bo Horvat of the Vancouver Canucks followed it up with some nifty dangles, and Gaudreau sniped one in again to seal the deal, with a final score of 10-3. My feelings on this game:

Atlantic vs Metropolitan

Wayne Gretzky put Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby on a line together and…they didn’t score on the first shift. Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds picked Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson’s  pocket to go top cheese on Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price to make it 1-0. Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning evened it up after some tic-tac-toe passing with Florida Panthers forward Vincent Trocheck. Simmonds scored his second goal after stripping Karlsson again to grab a 2-1 lead. Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman tied it up, followed by a Karlsson one-timer which catapulted the Atlantic to a 3-2 lead. New York Islanders superstar  John Tavares tied it up at  three apiece with a narrow forehander at the halfway mark.

Toronto Maple Leafs rookie sensation Auston Matthews broke the tie, beating the Capitals’ Braden Holtby glove side to grab the lead at 4-3. Tavares got his second of the game off Columbus Blue Jacket Cam Atkinson’s spin-o-rama tie it again at 4 all. Seth Jones, also a Blue Jacket, went end-to-end to beat Boston Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask to give the Metro the lead, and New Jersey Devils forward Taylor Hall beat Rask off the faceoff to make it 6-4. Holtby seemed to be the only one that actually played any defense tonight:

Unfortunately, Kucherov closed the lead to 6-5. Crosby buried one off an Ovechkin and  Justin Faulk (Carolina Hurricanes) feed to get to 7-5. Atkinson dipsy doodled around both Karlsson and Rask to increase the lead to 8-5, then buried a long-range shot with the Atlantic goalie pulled. Trocheck got another, but the Metro sealed the deal 10-6.

Where’s goal 10 for the Metro?

Final: Pacific vs Metropolitan

Joe Pavelski opened the scoring 22 seconds into the period off a sick feed from Drew Doughty, but Seth Jones evened it up quickly after, to tie it at one goal each. Faulk then tossed a bouncing puck on net to make it 2-1. McDavid put on an absolute show of a breakaway to tie it back up at 2. Horvat broke the tie to make it 3-2 Pacific, and it stayed that way until the end of the period.

Ryan Kesler bounced one off the feet of New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh, but the COACH’S CHALLENGE FOR OFFSIDES MADE AN APPEARANCE #thanksWayne.

Atkinson put one away off a rebound to tie it at three. Off the faceoff, Hall and Simmonds combined to make it 4-3. This followed by a weird occurrence in an All-Star Game: defense actually mattered. Metro wins (and gets some dolla-dolla bills) and Simmonds is your MVP!

Closing thoughts on the All-Star Game generally:

By Julia Karron

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5 Responses to Everybody’s Starry Eyed: 2017 NHL All Star Game Recap

  1. DJ says:

    Just curious after watching the ceremonial puck drop, was Gartner ever the captain of the Caps? I was only alive for part of his Caps career, but it wasn’t ringing any bells.

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