All-stars Schmall-stars

- September 14th, 2010

Ottawa is getting the 2012 NHL skills competition.
Oh yeah, and the all-star game that comes with it, too.
The skills competition is easily the best thing that comes out of the weekend. At the risk of being a dark cloud on a bright day, the NHL all-star games are brutal. An insult to Canadian hockey fans who like more about the game than fancy stickhandling and nice passing.
The best all-star game, of all all-star games, is the baseball all-star game. But baseball is more of an individual sport: pitcher versus hitter. The chuckers aren’t going to star lobbing the ball in. They throw like they throw. The hitters aren’t going to take half swings. They swing like they swing.
The NHL all-star game, like that in football and basketball, lacks intensity. There’s very little defence. There’s no hitting or true battles for the puck.
But Wednesday’s announcement from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and Senators owner Eugene Melnyk should be viewed as great news.
Ottawa is getting the NHL skills competition.

Categories: Hockey

Subscribe to the post

25 comments

  1. Mike8888 says:

    I agree Don. I can’t remember the last time I watched one. That being said, it is great for the local economy.

  2. Jugger says:

    Silly Americans, do you really need this All-Star garbage anymore?

    Can we finally just admit we have “intelligent” hockey fans that do not require a useless all-star game?

  3. KJ says:

    Can’t believe you guys! This is going to be great for the city. And I disagree with you all. Hockey is about skill, and finesse. Sure contact is part of the game, but if that is all you want, watch UFC. You’ll me more satisified…I guess. It will be one heck of a party weekend.

    KJ

  4. BGoody says:

    There needs to be more at stake to incent the players to compete. Without it, it becomes nothing more than a shinny game. I must admit that I have lost all interest, especially after Ovechkin’s farcical display during the skills competition. Having said that, it is still a triumph for Ottawa to host the event.

  5. BGoody says:

    Wasn’t it great to see Hoffman shine last night. What player showed more: Kadri or Hoffman? I think Hoffman had 6 points in 4 games. Perhaps the media should take notice.

  6. Nancy D says:

    Haven’t any of you (outside of KJ) gotten a kick watching some pond hockey? Just watch some guys with skill showing off some cool moves you’d never see in a real game and having fun. That’s what hockey (the non-professional kind) is all about.

    If anything, I hate the skills competition. It seems like the events drag on and on, and its more about guys getting face time or promoting something (like the sponsors or their brand). If they had a “best deke” or “best hipcheck” competition, then I’d be all over it…..but shooting pucks through holes in the net….skating around the rink….skating around pylons….boring!

  7. PaV says:

    ummmmm they have written a story in todays sun about Hoffman……. how much more notice should they take? A 3 page layout? maybe a pull out poster?

  8. JCA says:

    It is what it is. I don’t mind the game itself, so long as the casual or new fan doesn’t see it as representative as the sport as a whole. The Skills Competition by far is the most exciting and entertaining part of the weekend. Glad to see that we’re getting the opportunity to host this showcase of talent!

  9. BGoody says:

    No,but if these people who are supposed know hockey and recognize talent were worth their salt, they woulld have been writing about him before his success in the tournament. Any stiff can write about what was done Pav…I want to see one of them make a call before that happens. He didn’t even get a bi-line before the 4 team round robbin. But some of us knew. It is the same old story…spew back what the management tell you. All we read about was how Butler, Wiercoch and Cowen were going to compete for spots on the big club!

  10. Kevin F. says:

    Yes and Bochenski became the superstar everyone in town predicted after a great preseason. Will be glad to compare Hoffman and Kadri after a season or two in the NHL not a meaningless Sept rookie tournament

  11. PaV says:

    @ Kevin, you stole my thunder, that was going to be my reply to bobby… I was going to use the Bochenski reference. He lit it up in training camp and did nothing… he is on his what… 6th NHL team now?

    @ Bobby … spew back what the management tells you? He a rookie, lets see what he does and if can crack the lineup this year.

  12. BGoody says:

    For sure Kev and I will go on and suggest that Cowen (who garnered most of the spotlight) will be adequate at best. Butler might be a decent pro but not in the NHL Wiechoch will have do much more than simply show some offensive flair, otherwise he will simply be another Lee. The tournament was fun to watch, if not for any other reason than to see what they are capable of…but up against men, it will be a different story. I have always been in favor of kids doing some time in the AHL. It is a major step up from Junior or NCAA and the move to the NHL is exponentially tougher yet. Each step is a building necessary block. The kids learn about life and hockey … and more often than not it is a lesson in discovery that they simply do not have it. I liken it to the PGA tour. I have known many who have dominated as amateurs but cannot earn enough to get by even on the Canadian Tour. It is nothing to be embarrassed about and it is not failure, the transition/competition is simply that much better.

  13. BGoody says:

    I think you missed my point Pav. But of course there will be those who don’t make it and there have been an abundance of them and there are a variety of reasons. But lets call a spade a spade. Where are the comments on Cowen’s performance? Are the experts excited about his performance…are you? Butler got two goals his first game and did little else and this tournament included some kids who were 18 years of age. I am not suggesting that Hoffman will make the NHL but I have suggested he will be better than Butler and against his peer group he proved that! The only yard stick so far has been this tournament and Hoffam shined…I think that’s good, isn’t it? I like kids who proved their worth in the best breeding ground for the NHL…Major Junior Hockey in Canada! Bochenski may be on his 6th team but Winchester wouldn’t be on any team if he wasn’t given a contract by Ottawa! He is making 750 and Zack Smith who is infinitely better, is on a two way 650 deal…go figure. He will not crack the lineup this year Pav…nor should he. He needs to put on 20 pounds of muscle and learn the game in both ends of the rink and mature. Are you for him or against him Pav or do I wait for an answer from you until you learn management’s disposition?

  14. PaV says:

    “Are you for him or against him Pav or do I wait for an answer from you until you learn management’s disposition?”

    Oh Bobby, still haven’t changed.

    I know where you going, but if you jog that little memory of yours, everyone was keen (media included, fans included, pudits included) on the play of Bochenski during his rookie camp.

    Why does the media have to talk about Hoffman? Has he proven him self? So he played good during the rookie camp, so did a lot of players. Did you watch every single game? Did you sit there and see how Butler was playing? How do you know that Butler did not have a good game/games? He may not have been on the score sheet but he may have been more of a solid player on the ice than Hoffman.

    But here we go again, a full season of negative comments.

  15. BGoody says:

    How do I know Pav…I watched every single minute of every single game…I suspect you did not. I must be a masochist because I am so negative…right? Wrong…I love hockey and I love my team. You see Pav, I use a different measurement than you do; unlike relying on what I read or hear from management, I make up my own mind. Butler showed promise getting into the holes inside their blueline to put himself into position to recieve a pass and score…and that is all. Hoffman carried the puck, scored goals and also assisted on as many as he scored. I could be wrong but that is pretty good. He (Butler) may have been more solid than Hoffman?…what did you see and what did you like? Why does the media have to talk about Hoffman…why does the media have to talk about and hype the abilities of Cowen and others? I will answer the question for you Pav, because you don’t have the right answer; it is because Cowen was chosen over a very skilled, dynamic and capable NHLer in Magnus Pajaarvi-Svenson who Ottawa passed on. So…just like Ottawa had Daisey pegged for the top line after 3 mediocre years in college, Cowen nees to be sold to buyers just like you. You should know the difference between candor/honesty and negativity. True to form Pav…you only know what you are told…it is sad really.

  16. Visitor says:

    I’lll likely head to the All-Star game if I can get freebies, buying season tickets to get access ain’t happening, mon ami.
    I will enjoy it though, it will be nice seeing the Ovechkins and others skating around the ice, fun stuff!

    To me, this will remind me of the good old days pre-Shawville outsourcing, when we had a young team full of talent tearing up the league with youth and skill, when the team management yearly talked about the Stanley Cup, John Muckler and his great sweaters and cool disposition (he was an alley cat waiting for a chance to pounce), Johnston and his shrewd drafting…and now this, satisfied with simply making the playoffs and losing a round. Quel dommage!

    As to Hoffman, this team NEEDS forwards to replace the octogenarian core so I hope he can make some inroads. In between the skill-deprived third and fourth lines and the pluggers and disinterest on the first and second, we look like an episode of the GOlden Girls when Bea Arthur still had some legs.

    Yet another publication/blog has us pegged for 9th place. Don’t like it; if this team finishes out of the playoffs, Melnyk should politely open the door and kick out the Murray family, or at least relegate them to scouting duties where they have a good eye.

    Nice win over the Leafs last night! The kids have a sense of drama and that’s good to see.
    The big question is Don/Dawn ( (c) BGoodman) why didn’t you guys call out Jason for his COMPLETELY flippant dismissal of the papers the other day? “I’ll see you Thursday” doesn’t cut it from an arrogant, ill-bred little twerp that has never won a thing in his life; let alone won any awards or championships at the NHL level.

    DO NOT let these guys get away with this stuff Don, Bruce and co. If you need to hop into their sleeping bags to get comments, do it. These players HAVE to deliver media time and we want stories, whether they are spun of pure wool and the stuff of Morpheus! I certainly hope Spezza won’t be given an easy ride this year, he’s proven incredibly thin-skinned and immature…who brings their daddy to a talk with the GM? Brutal! When I was Spezza’s age I was putting myself through l’Université while working a swing shift as a rent-a-cop and then making my way into gubberment offices.

    Ayeayeaye the world is crazy!

    And another thing, CLouston…TEACH THE SWEDE SOME “D”. This looks like one of the most casual defensive corps in the league! I’ve seen less marshmallows in my Tim Horton’s chocolate milk.

    Last but not least, who is going to be the captain in Vancouver? Will they go with Super Swede Henrik Sedin or will the masses demand a North American boy in Ryan Kesler?

    Cheers all!

  17. Dennis_w says:

    Kevin,

    Can you please do your best to get Visitor to join Leaf Nation? He wants more rumours and sloppy journalism and the leafs (and habs) definitely have to put up with more of that. He’s obviously done with this group of losers.

    Visitor,

    Now that Spezza’s NTC has kicked in, maybe the team should use one of your earlier suggestions and threaten to spread rumours about him unless he accepts a trade. One of your more “colourful” comments.

  18. bruce.garrioch says:

    Shouldn’t Visitor sign his name?
    Just asking.

  19. Kevin F. says:

    Dennis given the blue preoccupation here I think Viz is not the only candidate to join the ever swelling ranks.All are welcome. In fairness to Viz,Bruce, I believe he revealed his identity a while back. He is in reality Gordie Wilson!!!!!
    Nah, I think it was Pierre.

  20. PaV says:

    Bobby, here we go again. You live in a era where you think you know more than the rest of us, but really your comments and thoughts are outdated. You do not know more than the media, or the SENS management, you are just someone who thinks they know more.

    Hoffman has yet to earn any stripes (thats what you call them right? CC did not have his stripes so he had no right to call our Heatly….etc)

    You are not a fan of the team Bobby, you are a fan of critism and trying to be right, which is most cases you are far from it.

  21. Nancy D says:

    Well, anyone can make predictions on players when they’re 17, 19, 22, etc, but no one really knows until they have 20-30 NHL games under their belt. Playing well in teh WJC or a rookie tourney or trainin camp certainly helps, but it’s not the end-all be-all.

    Either way, I hope some of our young guys (forwards especially) start pushing for jobs with the big club. We need fresh bloodon the team. We need some young legs, young minds and kids who have spent a few years growing up in the new systems.

  22. BGoody says:

    I am sorry that my comments are identified as being critical. I can’t be a fan because I want the team to be better? If being a fan is only identified as someone who wants to be seen athe Scotia Bank Place because he owns season tickets then I suspect that there are many who do not qualify. Pav is a fan but he like many are blind. If the Sens Management team was analogous to Government(s), Pav would endorse all that is done and all that is proposed…but, I strongly suspect he doesn’t…why? I would wager it is because he wants something better for him, family, friends and country! I do not buy into the government of the Murray clan. I do not like the moves they have made over the years. I am not sold on big slow defensemen Cowen and the other kid who spent 4 years in College in the U.S. I thought that Ottawa should have Tarasenko and Pajaarvi-Sevenson in the lineup this year. I wish Ottawa still hade 1st round pick instead of Campoli and 2 second round picks for…..vapour….Sutton and Cullen are gone and if a bum like me could make the call that was going to happen why can’t those whose business is to know? Pav…learn about the game a little bit..it is not a complicated thing…perhaps you could have watched the prospects play and make a qualified comment. I will be watching with interest to see how the boys do on the farm. I noticed Timmy would make a call on how the team would do…afterall, the failures down there are STILL Mucklar’s fault. I will also wathc every Sens game…cheer them on…wish the franchise much success…but, I don;t know how our soft defence willbe effective (Lee, Campoli, Gonchar, Kuba, Karlsson, Philips); I will not enjoy watching Daisey, Ruutu, lazy Kovalev go only when he feels like it….Karlsson getting 24 mintues a game and spending most of his time in other teams end (usually in the crease. I wish the team well but strongly suspect that Rundbland will simply be another soft defenceman (PP Specialist per Timmy). Kids like Condra, Obrien, Daugevin, Butler will never be in the NHL. Cowen will be in the lineup because the Murrays will make it happen…eventually. I love Hoffman and the young goalie…the other draft choices were crappy. Youth and speed is what I want to see not tired old has beens that are acquired then leave….or tired, old, overpaid Russians…or the oxymoron Tiny Scared Defencemen. Who will be protecting Karlsson…it wont be Kuba! I wish I had more disposable income but thanks to McGuinty that isn’t happening and I wish Ottawa was much better but thanks to the Murrays…that will never happen under their watch.

  23. BGoody says:

    Pav, I will offer a few quotes for your consideration in response to your post. I will always challenge convention and will never submit to blind acceptance…of anything. If it is worthy it can stand up to scrutiny: “No man really becomes a fool until he stops asking questions.” So I submit to you that you need to summon the courage enough to learn what is really happening in Ottawa. You can triumph over blind acceptance: “To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge.” I am very loyal to my team, the Ottawa Senators and I will take a little liberty with a George McGovern quote that captures the essence of my position: “The highest patriotism is not a blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one’s TEAM deep enough to call her to a higher plain”

  24. PaV says:

    @ bobby

    LOL
    I love ya man.

    Cheers

  25. BGoody says:

    Right back at ya mon ami!

Leave a comment

 characters available