In case you weren’t aware the NHL All-Star game was in Nashville. I say that because between all the country music references, musicians and pandering to the crowd, it was hard not to notice. The celebrity “coaches” were also extremely pointless. It’s like the sole purpose was to generate headlines, which I’m sure it was but desperate much? Although Amy Grant’s interview was priceless with her so many men comment and massaging P.K Subban after his goal. Considering that everything leading up to this All-Star game was about John Scott, it was fitting that the game was all about him too. I still don’t think he should have been there but he’s a nice guy who played and carried himself well. Never would have thought he would be MVP but after “captaining” the winning team, scoring two goals and having a “fight” with Patrick Kane, why not? Even though there were people who had better games but the fact that he scored two goals was impressive. A weekend he will surely never ever forget.

As for the actual games, two thumbs way up. Much better than previous All-Star games, that I rarely watched all of, because the flow of the game was too hard to watch. They never played defense so it wasn’t that appealing. These games resembled more of an actual game feel. The first two games were entertaining and had a lot of goals and great chances. The championship game wasn’t as great as the other two games but was still entertaining to watch. It was very odd that the first two games had seven and fifteen goals and the last game had one. Taylor Hall and Johnny Gaudreau had great chemistry together. Tyler Seguin was great in the second period but didn’t do anything in the first period. All the goaltenders played really well, except the Central duo yikes, especially Roberto Luongo. John Gibson rebounded nicely from being lit up in the skills competition. The only thing I didn’t like were the exceptionally long breaks between games. I’m pretty sure it was way longer than the normal twenty minutes. And there was no need for a break, at all, between the first two games except for the time it takes the Zamboni to redo the ice. Try not to milk it too much NHL. I was less interested in the last game because it seemed to drag on too much. Next year’s All-Star game will be in Los Angeles, which should be really fun and the last one before the Olympics. I might try and go to it.

Things I like

1. The relay challenge is always my favorite event. They added the goalie scoring part this year, as I don’t recall that ever being there before. As a goalie myself I could never do that so it wasn’t surprising to see some of them struggling with it. The tough angle shots are hard enough already but Corey Perry and Ryan O’Reilly made it even harder on themselves by being positioned way to low for their shots. Evgeny Kuznetsov was impressive by hitting three mini net shots in a row, by the far the most challenging part of the relay.

2. Dylan Larkin impressed me by winning the fastest skater competition, breaking Mike Gartner’s record and notching three assists in the first game. Bonus points for answering all the ridiculous questions over and over again well. He’ll have a great career and another great find by the Red Wings even if it was in the 1st round.

Things I don’t

1. No Sidney Crosby at the All-Star break was just weird especially since he played much better as of late. He also had more points than Steven Stamkos, Ryan O’Reilly and Claude Giroux who all were All-Stars. I get that they need a player from each team but still. But the biggest question was, why o why was James Neal an All-Star? I get they needed a replacement for Jonathan Toews but Neal? He’s not even in the top 50 in scoring. The Predators already had three players there so they were well represented already. Here are two much better choices from the Central division. First, Blake Wheeler, who was 7th overall in the NHL in scoring. All the other players in the top ten were at the All-Star game. Second, was another Blackhawk who was 11th in scoring Artemi Panarin. Both were way better choices than James Neal. And no, it doesn’t matter that Neal had two goals in the All-Star game, he still shouldn’t have been there to begin with.

2. The breakaway challenge is my less favorite event. It just comes off lame every time. Matt Duchene had the best stuff and of course finished last in the voting. The other stuff, while cute, is just dumb. PK Subban dressing as Jagr was nice, and neat, but the shot was lame. If he did what he did in his first shot attempt while being Jagr, then it wouldn’t have been so bad. The kids thing is cute and memorable for the kids but not entertaining to watch. The other hi-jinks were also lame. Also, if it doesn’t matter if the puck goes in, then why even have the goalies there in the first place? Seems like all they can do in this evenr are things that aren’t interesting to watch or somehow balance or hit the puck with the stick in the air. That’s what this event is all about. They need to make it more compelling and try and get more creative with their shots.

3. Dennis Wideman hitting an unsuspecting linesman from behind and then his really poor excuse for doing it. He claimed he was in pain and just trying to get off the ice. But you can clearly see him bring up both of his arm and then lunge into the linesman. Nobody would ever be dumb enough to buy that it was accidental. But more importantly, what did the linesman do to him? An indefinite suspension is well deserved.

4. I don’t like the backlash the NHL is getting from suspending players who pull out of the All-Star game. It’s just one game people. Plus the NHL is doing it to make sure the players are legitimately injured and not just trying to get out of the game. Sure it does suck that if they are actually injured they get suspended, but again it’s just one game, but unless the players are going to give the NHL a doctor’s note, this is just the way it is. Besides, if they need the All-Star weekend to rest for their injuries, then one more day off should be good for them as well. Just really stupid that people are up in arms about it.

Fights of the Week

Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a little easier to do.

Cody Bass vs Derek Dorsett

Big boys, throwing big punches.

Jarred Tinordi vs Anthony Peluso

If you want to see one big guy dominating another one, this is the fight for you.

Goat of the Week

Evgeny Kuznetsov – Washington Capitals

Kuznetsov is having a great year so far but this was not one of his finer moments. No look passes up the middle in your own zone is never a good idea. The Capitals ended up losing in overtime.

Stat Line of the Week

1/26/16 Carolina 5 vs. Chicago 0

Skater

TOI

G

A

+/-

SOG

Takeaways

R. Nash

12:29

2

0

2

5

4

This is more about highlighting a team effort but I had to pick someone to put in there so I picked Riley Nash. Carolina thumped the Blackhawks 5-0 on Tuesday night. Only the Stars gave the Blackhawks an equal thumping. This shows how long the Hurricanes have come this season. After their own thumping by the Devils in December, the Hurricanes are 15-7-4. Not too bad. Surprisingly, they are only a couple of points out of a playoff spot. I don’t think they’ll get in but if they keep playing well, it’s at least a possibility. Riley Nash has basically been a bust since being a 1st round selection by the Oilers but he had two goals in this game and four takeaways. Jeff Skinner had a goal and an assist and Eddie Lack had a shutout.

Numbers, Numbers

1300 – Points for Joe Thornton, who is averaging just under a point a game for his career
6 – Games that weren’t very close on Tuesday night each with a win of three or more goals
2 – Times, back to back, the Blue Jackets beat the Canadiens by the score of 5-2
216 – Hits by All-Star Leo Komarov, 3rd in the NHL
2 – Shutouts, only, so far by Braden Holtby, surprising because he had 9 last year and he has improved his stats in every category except shutouts

Rankings

The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.

Top 5
1. San Jose
2. Anaheim
3. Tampa Bay
4. Carolina
5. Chicago

Bottom 5
30. Toronto
29. Minnesota
28. Edmonton
27. Calgary
26. Montreal

Alex Mueller

Author: Alex Mueller

Alex Mueller graduated from Temple University with a minor in journalism over a decade ago. He’s been writing about NHL hockey, on and off, since the Fall of 2009. He’s written for Pucking Awesome, the Checking Line and now Hockey Recaps. He played goalie at San Diego Ice Arena. His first novel, Bobby Sterling vs Truth, is available on Amazon now.

NHL 2015-16 Recap Week 16 – The John Scott All-Star show, 3 on 3 format shines in Nashville, Relay Challenge best event, Breakaway Challenge the worsthttp://hockeyrecaps.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/pk-subban-backrub-1024x574.jpghttp://hockeyrecaps.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/pk-subban-backrub-150x150.jpgAlex MuellerWeekly Recaps
In case you weren't aware the NHL All-Star game was in Nashville. I say that because between all the country music references, musicians and pandering to the crowd, it was hard not to notice. The celebrity “coaches” were also extremely pointless. It's like the sole purpose was to generate...