All Star bash

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All Star bash

The Lightning represented well in the All Star festivities.

The Lightning represented well in the All Star festivities.

The Lightning represented well in the All Star festivities.

The Lightning represented well in the All Star festivities.

Jacob Prail, Staff Writer

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On January 27 and 28 the NHL All Star festivities were in Tampa Bay. The Tampa Bay Lightning hosted for the second time in the team’s history of the All Star Game,  the first being in 1999.  The four divisions crashed on the shores of Amalie arena, Atlantic (Tampa Bay, Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Florida Panthers, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto), Central (Chicago, Dallas, Colorado, Minnesota, St. Louis, Nashville, Winnipeg), Metropolitan (Pittsburgh, Washington, Columbus, Carolina, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers), Pacific (Los Angeles, Vancouver, San Jose, Arizona, Vegas, Anaheim, Edmonton).

 

Saturday night had the Skills competition, where players compete in different skill specific events, such as Fastest Skater, Passing, Accuracy shooting, Hardest shot, Puck control and Save Streak. Connor McDavid of Edmonton Oilers won fastest skater with a time of 13.454 and Tampa Bay’s Brayden Point came in with a time of 13. 579. This was McDavid’s second time winning the fastest skater. Passing challenge was a challenge of sorts for Tampa’s Nikita Kucherov and Los Angeles’s Drew Doughty with times over 1:30 seconds. But the winner was defenseman Alex Pietrangelo of the St. Louis Blues with a time of 46. 61 seconds. A new event surfaced during this All Star weekend, Save Streak. Goaltenders faced nine shooters from a different division with the round ending either with the captain scoring or a goal after the captain’s turn. Goaltender with the most saves wins. That honor went to Marc Andre Fleury with 14 saves. Goaltenders were allowed to pick their music and he chose Frozen’s “Let It Go.” A rookie won Accuracy Shooting, a first ever in the history of the Accuracy Shooting, the rookie was Brian Boser of Vancouver Cancucks, edging out fan favorite Brian Boyle, a former Tampa Bay Lightning and current New Jersey Devil, with a time of 11.136. Hardest Shot went to Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals with his shot clocked at 101.3 MPH. Puck Control went to Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames with a time of 24.650.

 

For the actual All Star Game, the game is broken up with the Pacific vs. the Central and Atlantic vs. Metropolitan, with the victors facing each other in the final rounds and playing for 1 million dollars. The Pacific won 5-2 against the Central and the Atlantic won with a hat trick for Kucherov for a score of 7-4 against Metropolitan. The final victor was the Pacific Division, winning 5-2 against the Atlantic.

 

There were plenty of highlights for this All Star Game. First off, it showed that Tampa Bay has become a hockey town, showing the love it has for the sport and its players. Second was the Brian Boyle story, being able to come down due an unfortunate teammate injury, and the fans welcomed back to Tampa the only way they know how, with thunderous applause. Third, the villain or heel in this year All Star Game was none other than Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins. He was booed on his entrance in and then blew kisses to the crowd. On top of that he scored for the Atlantic Division and the crowd booed and cheered (because it was the Lightning’s division) and he then waved to the fans after his goal. The All Star Weekend was amazing for fans and the players, giving something for everyone to enjoy.

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