The star game has become a circus, when will real hockey?
Despite some positive points, after the traditional weekend of the stars, I remained on my appetite. I think we put more than the customer wants and obviously we haven't yet found the magic formula to create enthusiasm.
And it's not for lack of trying. Many experiments have been tried over the years, whether in the skills competition or in the game itself. I wonder what we'll see next year in Toronto.
I like the three-on-three format. My big problem is the level of intensity. It's not too serious when you're skating in slow motion and passing the puck to whoever better in front of the poor goaltenders.
Could we limit the number of passes in the offensive zone to two or three? Or, could we introduce a ten-second puck possession limit before shooting on goal? It would create a bit of pressure to get a shot.
If the goal is to put on a big show and attract new fans, what's the point of to see moderate speed skating, when the essence of the game, and its beauty, is speed. There, it feels like watching another sport.
The Skills Competition
For me, the vase overflows at the skills competition. That's fine for the most powerful shot, the fastest player and the accuracy of shots, but for the rest, what do we want, exactly?
If we want to do humorous sketches to discover the real personalities of the players, that we assume ourselves and that we go all out on this side. I have no problem with that, but mixing comedy and competition doesn't work.
We invent all kinds of nonsense like hitting a golf ball with a hockey stick or aiming at surfboards and knocking a player into a bowl of water on the beach. It feels like a circus and it wasn't much better in Las Vegas in the Bellagio Fountains Lake, although it did make for a beautiful postcard.
And what, exactly, was the goal of the contest with a goalkeeper throwing at the opposing goal to determine if the attack against the other goalkeeper would be with one, two or three players?
I lose my Latin and too much, it is like not enough.
I can understand the focus on originality in Las Vegas or Florida, but I can't believe that in Toronto next year we won't be going back to something more like real hockey.
The original formula
It's good that there's a million dollars at stake for the game, but is- does it really change anything in the show? Everyone does their best, but is there really any pride in wearing the colors of their division?
I wonder if the original formula pitting the Stanley Cup champions against the stars wouldn't be better. We tried the Europeans against the North Americans or even captains composing their own team. Another idea: why not try the old against the young? We might see a little more pride.
I would also like us to leave room for older players who are popular with the public, such as Patrice Bergeron or Marc-André Fleury. It would allow them to take one last lap in the spotlight before their retirement. And why not retirees?
And without making a big deal out of it, it annoys me that for the first time there were no Quebecers in the all-star game. In short, several things need to be revised.
– Interview by Gilles Moffet
Ovechkin and Crosby
For me, the highlight of the weekend was seeing the two greatest players of modern times play together in the Metropolitan Division roster. I am of course talking about Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. It was a bit like Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux.
The pastel colors of the goalkeepers' uniforms and pieces of equipment caused quite a stir. Many decried them, but personally, I think it was a nice nod to the cult series Miami Vice, just like the white dress of Mitch Marner during the evening of the contest.
I couldn't help but have a thought for Jonathan Huberdeau, who would certainly have been there if he hadn't been traded from the Panthers to the Flames for Matthew Tkachuk, who was chosen player of the game in addition. By the way, great idea from Atlantic Division coach Jim Montgomery to put the Tkachuk brothers on the same line.
Great experience for Suzuki
For young players like Nick Suzuki, participating in the All-Star Game is quite an experience. He looked impressed to rub shoulders with legends like Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. It is not forgotten. Anyway, he's going to be ready for his golf season and it's going to start early!!!
We've seen how comfortable P.K. Subban is with a mic and this is just the start of his new career. In my opinion, he will become as popular as Don Cherry, and in 15-20 years, young people who drink in his words may be surprised to learn that he has already played in the NHL.