In the opening match-ups, The Metropolitan Division beat the Atlantic Division, and the Pacific Division beat the Central Division. Actually, the Pacific didn’t just beat the Central, it pounded it into submission 10-3. The game between the Atlantic and the Central was closer — 10-6, including an empty-netter.
In the final, the Metropolitan beat the Pacific 4-3 to win the $1-million prize – approximately $90,000 per player. You would think with that much money on the line, the players would have looked a little more engaged from the get-go, but hey. Rich people, amirite?
NHL All-Star games are always a bit of a joke, but if you don’t have anything else going on, there’s no reason not to watch. This mini-tournament more or less lived up to that standard.
There were plenty of fun angles worth checking out: Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin playing together, Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey coaching, Wayne Simmonds being named tourney MVP and getting booed by Kings fans, and yes, an Auston Matthews goal.
Matthews. #NHLAllStar pic.twitter.com/ieP6blPIKW— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) January 29, 2017
Really, the goal was something of a redemption for Matthews, who flubbed a breakaway in embarrassing fashion earlier in the Atlantic Division’s game against the Metropolitan:
YOU GUYS SEE HOW SICK OF A MOVE MATTHEWS MADE ON THIS BREAKAWAY?? pic.twitter.com/60F2EKUWdC— Detroit Moments (@DetroitMoments) January 29, 2017
Let’s look at a bunch of other fun highlights:
Goodness gracious @cmcdavid97. #NHLAllStar pic.twitter.com/ipBueHDCMn— NHL (@NHL) January 29, 2017
Nice @NHL #AllStarGame moment @Burnzie88 & @johngaudreau03 catching @nickjonas intermission concert! @DunkinDonuts @GEICO you're welcome! pic.twitter.com/Tc2f6x9LP9— Nigel Alvares (@NigelAlvares) January 29, 2017
He saved that. Bobrovsky saved that. #NHLAllStar pic.twitter.com/3lvvDPw7dH— NHL (@NHL) January 29, 2017
Ovechkin feeding his teammates like they're a bunch of baby birds.— Pucks on net (@Pucksonnetca) January 29, 2017
Gretzky approves too.@NHL #NHLAllStar pic.twitter.com/WY5XywtGjn
Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby traded sticks after the all-star game.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) January 30, 2017
Thoughts on the format
- To start off the game, the NHL brought out as many of the greatest 100 players as they could — 44 in all — to do a giant, ceremonial faceoff. And really, what could be more fitting for the All Star Game? The whole thing is one giant ceremonial faceoff. It was kind of funny that a bunch of the former players dropped the pucks before the countdown had started.
- I’m glad that I watched this so that I could see how 3-on-3 looks for extended periods of time: It looks like basketball. It’s high scoring and high-event, but in the end, that style of play loses its lustre. The excitement of 2-on-1’s and breakaways is diminished when there are so many of them. Having said that, for the purposes of an All-Star game, I don’t blame the NHL for trying it out.
- I don’t really like that every team has to be represented. Just pick the best players. That’s what I want, at least. Did I care to watch Justin Faulk? No. It took me a second on Hockey DB just to realize that there is a separate player in the league named Justin Falk. Would I have been disappointed last season when Leo Komarov would not have gone? No.
- I think I’d rather just see one full game of 5-on-5. Fewer players, more time. But that’s not to say that I’m totally against the NHL trying other weird and gimmicky things for the ASG. That’s what the ASG is for.
- I would never in a million years pay for an ASG ticket to watch players phone it in like this. A while back, I went to a tiny arena in Lucan, Ontario to watch a charity tournament put on by Logan Couture. I probably paid about ten dollars to get in, and there were a bunch of other great players there, including Drew Doughty. I’d say I was watching hockey of a similar calibre to the ASG – and ten bucks was about what it was worth. A bit of a laugh and something to do on a Sunday afternoon.