My friend and neighbor Jessica came over for this one, and we ordered Italian food and watched a bunch of NHL stars play around like kids. I know a lot of people think this whole thing is a big waste of time and whatnot, but I love it. I think it’s great that these guys get to play a game for fun, rather than for the standings, you know?
Jessica, despite having lived in Pittsburgh for awhile, is not a huge hockey fan (although she has admitted to me that out of all sports fans, hockey fans are the best, and she seemed to enjoy herself well enough). I admit that we didn’t pay the closest attention, so this is going to be real half-assed. We spent a lot of time laughing at silly things.
I tried to explain the obstacle course to Jessica, but by the time I was getting close to finishing the explanation, the people on TV explained it much better than I did. The one thing I remember about the obstacle course is that I was really bitter through the whole thing, because if I had to pick ONE THING for Marty Turco to do, it would be that. I’m thinking he would be chomping at the bit at the chance to shoot the puck all the way down the ice. Anyway, the obstacle course is fun to watch. I boo at any Duck on my screen.
The fastest skater is…Well, kind of boring and self-explanatory.
A cameraman is following the shooter during the elimination shootout. The camera angle sucks, but it’s awesome anyway. Ribeiro doesn’t get the goal, by the way. Thomas does this great break-dancer spin on his back…Not on the Ribeiro shot, but it’s still awesome.
Then came the part I was totally waiting for – the YoungStars! They all introduce themselves, and I squeal loudly when I see Matt Niskanen – I have been so excited all weekend. I don’t notice it the first time around, but Jen pointed out to me that the way Matt says “Dallas Stars” is so hysterical. Patty comments that she half expected him to say “Suck it!” afterwards. I think he should have.
I don’t actually pay the most attention to the YoungStars thing. I do admit that I really liked the All-Star goalies in net for it. Manny Legace won me over, and it’s actually really fun to see the best rookies in the league playing against each other for fun. The ice looked really empty, though, due to the whole 3-on-3 format. Both the East and West get a point, because in the first period, the East outscored the West, but it was the other way around in the second. Whatever, I’m not even keeping track of that.
The accuracy challenge was possibly my favorite event. Tomas Kaberle went 4-for-4 on it, and totally wins me over for both that, his adorableness, and his cute accent. Everyone who participated did pretty good. Jessica and I marvel at that, because I can’t imagine actually hitting where you intend to. The only times I’ve shot a puck, it hasn’t made it anywhere near where I intended it to go. To aim at targets the size of dinner plates and actually hit them astounds me.
Hardest shot is also self-explanatory. Iginla’s second shot dings off the post, and flies back to where the West is sitting, and Jason Arnott flinches. I wish the puck had hit someone like…Pronger? Oh, well, Pronger had his faceplant, which we didn’t see on Versus, but I caught it on YouTube, so I’m happy. The hardest shot is won by Zdeno Chara, who shoots one off at 103.1 mph. That is ridiculously fast.
The breakaway challenge is awesome – it seemed like all the guys were having tons of fun. They show the totally awesome 9-year-old from the Stars/Sens game. Ovie does some crazy shit – it appears he really wants to be a baseball player.
All in all, a really fun event, and this half-assed entry doesn’t even cover how much fun it was. I’m writing this while watching the actual All-Star game, and so far, it looks like the SuperSkills competition is way more fun.