As you may have read on our FAQ, Jacob Niehl, is my brother and the designer of our kick ass banner. Jake is also going start to occasionally write articles for us, the first of which being his reflections and musings on the NHL All Star game.
Make the jump to read Jake's take...
As many of you know, the All-Star weekend has come to a close with Team Lidstrom emerging victorious over Team Staal. Now, some people thought the whole idea of picking teams and whatnot was stupid or dumb.
Well, they were wrong.
All-Star games are essentially useless, with the exception of the MLB who actually use the game to determine home field advantage. No one really cares about the NBA All-Star game, and the Pro Bowl is an often regarded to as a joke. However this year, the NHL All-Star game presented something which no one expected.
They presented a game fun for both players and viewers alike.
They let the players pick teams. They had a race between goalies. They let Marc-Andre Fleury do push-ups and jumping jacks between shooters in the breakaway competition. The NHL did the best possible thing with the All-Star game. They didn't take it too seriously, which allowed the players to have fun.
The best part in my opinion was watching the draft. Watching Patrick Kane dig into Jonathan Toews was priceless, and having Phil Kessel waiting to be picked last was a hysterical moment. Watching teammates get split up or having David Backes threaten to kick the shit out of the opposing captain was great. It brought back memories of being a part of a real pick-up game. Talking shit on your friends, being paired up with someone you didn't really know and making a new friend. Screwing around in the middle of the game for a laugh. The NHL took players back to that kind of nostalgic feel, and in doing so made the All-Star game turned into something more akin to a thank you to the players.
I feel like the lightheartedness of everything made it really enjoyable. The only way they could have taken the idea farther would have been to have all the players throw their sticks in the middle of the rink, and the two captains throw them to their respective sides, just as they did when they were kids...
...but that's just my take.