Wow! This weekend was BY FAR the most entertaining, emotional and flat out awesome All-Star events that I’ve ever seen. No matter what sport it is, All-Star weekends/events are always an enigma. Sometimes the games are fun and sometimes the pre-game festivities are fun, but rarely do you ever get the trifecta of a great game(s), great Skills Competition and a great story to tie it all together. Well luckily for all us NHL fans, this weekend had everything.
Let’s start with Saturday night’s Skills Competition which had a few moments that made me laugh out loud or have a huge smile on my face. Some of the staple events like fastest skater, accuracy shooting and hardest shot all had their normal levels of intrigue. Shea Weber is a marvel with that bomb of a shot. It was also really cool seeing Cory Schneider dominate the shootout along with Roberto Luongo and Braden Holtby. However, it was the breakaway challenge that really stole the show.
All the competitors did a fantastic job with creativity, but two definitely stood out. First was PK Subban who changed into a Jaromir Jagr costume complete with the signature salute after he scored on his attempt. You know Jagr got a kick out of it.
It was funny:))) I didn’t know he’s going to do it. P.K.-my little brother 🙂 pic.twitter.com/XFvVjbigWh
— Jaromir Jagr (@68Jagr) January 31, 2016
PK was great, but the best attempt was Brent Burns with some help from his teammate and captain Joe Pavelski. The two San Jose Sharks All-Stars brought out their young kids and had them team up to score a goal. What made it even better was what happened in the net. Cory Schneider was supposed to be in goal, but he and Luongo ended up “fighting” each other for the net – a play on their time spent together in Vancouver. It was the perfect combination of adorable and hilarious. I loved every second of it.
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) January 31, 2016
How could the actual games top that? Enter John Scott. I went into detail how I felt about the whole John Scott situation a few days ago, and I feel even more strongly now. John Scott is AWESOME. Oddly enough, the horrible way the NHL treated him made fans including myself love him even more. At least some good came of it. Scott had to wait his chance to shine as the Eastern Conference game was first up. This means I got to see Cory Schneider debut in his first All-Star game and he did not disappoint. He only gave up two goals while making a number of amazing saves. He even got an assist on the only goal the Metro team scored while he was in net. Unfortunately Cory and his mates lost, but at least that meant more Jagr!
Then it was time for the John Scott show to begin. Naturally Scott scored early on in the Western Conference game and the craziness was just beginning. My favorite moment of the game was when Scott “laid out” his good buddy Patrick Kane and then the two got into a “fight” after the play. I was cracking up so badly.
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) January 31, 2016
John Scott would add another goal on a breakaway where he beat Devan Dubnyk high glove while holding off the backchecking Matt Duchene. You read that right; John Scott scored on a breakaway and there was backchecking in an NHL All-Star game. The Pacific Division went on to rout the highly favored Central Division setting up the perfect final: John Scott vs. Jaromir Jagr.
The final actually turned into a goalie duel where Luongo, Jonathan Quick, Ben Bishop and John Gibson were all ridiculously good. The only goal came from Corey Perry to lift the Pacific – and John Scott – to a 1-0 win and $1 million. It was truly a fun weekend of hockey that could only end one way… with John Scott receiving so much online support that the NHL had no choice but to give him MVP honors even though he wasn’t one of the three finalists. How fitting. A perfect cherry on top of a perfect weekend.
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) February 1, 2016