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Poll: What they’ll be wearing at the 2011 All-Star Game – Do you like the new all-star jerseys?

With the 2011 All-Star Game taking on a new format and going away from the East vs. West or the North America vs. World styles that we’ve seen in the recent past, that means it’s time for some new duds for the guys who were picked for the superstar spectacular in Raleigh. In the past we’ve seen some pretty abysmal jerseys for the respective sides. We’ve had the “throwback” styles that had full-blown collars on them as well as stuff that came in green and purple. It makes you wonder who the ad wizards were that thought that was a good idea.

This year’s jerseys are a bit different in that there’s no real designation or name for the team. The teams will be named after the captains in a rather Twilight-esque manner (think Team Crosby, Team Ovechkin, Team Staal, Team Lidstrom) but the jerseys are going to be rather plain and simple all things considered. With one team wearing white trimmed in red and the other in blue trimmed with white, the new All-Star jerseys are pretty bland compared to what we’ve seen in the past.

Have a look for yourself here:

Stars adorn the jerseys and there’s a funky sort of thing going on with the sleeves that gives us a bit of a creepy Slim Goodbody sort of muscular feel to them. The jerseys will have the All-Star Game logo on one shoulder and the player’s team logo on the other. Players will all be able to keep their own numbers for the game which is a pretty nice thing to do so we can avoid any awkward numbering or negotiating to get your own number.

With this sort of format for the game, however, where teams are picked just a couple days in advance of the game this would’ve been a perfect moment to do something that Major League Baseball does for its All-Star Game: Let players wear their own team uniforms. Think about it, you have one team in white, the other in dark jerseys and you let them run wild. Players on teams with alternate jerseys could showcase them in the game in order to drive up interest in it if they felt like it or you could just wear your traditional stuff and show off who you’re playing for.

Not to mention how it would show off the potential dynamic of having teammates possibly playing against each other. It’d make for better marketing for the players, teams, and league to do this rather than putting them in color-neutral boring all-star jerseys. These jerseys aren’t bad necessarily, they just don’t do anything particularly pleasing for the senses. Then again, I’m a throwback fan and haven’t really cared for the All-Star Game jerseys ever since they took “Campbell” and “Wales” off the front, so perhaps I’m not the best person to market these jerseys towards.

What do you think? Are these jerseys worthy of a thumbs up or thumbs down? Vote in our poll and let us know.

Latest way the Wild lost? Killed by penalty kill

Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk sits on the ice after giving up a goal to St. Louis Blues' Jori Lehtera, of Finland, during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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It’s said that variety is the spice of life, yet it seems to be the spite of the Minnesota Wild.

As head coach Mike Yeo said, this struggling team appears to find a new way to lose virtually every night. That couldn’t have happened once again on Saturday, when they fell 4-1 to the St. Louis Blues, could it?

Actually …

If you ask Jarret Stoll, the latest problem was the penalty kill.

Honestly, Stoll may have been too specific, likely trying to throw his own unit under the bus. Instead, it might be more accurate to say that Minnesota’s special teams let them down.

Indeed, the Wild struggled to limit the Blues’ power play, which went an unsettling 3-for-6. That said, Minnesota had a chance to trade blows with St. Louis. Instead, the Wild managed one power-play goal on seven opportunities.

The silver lining is that the Wild believe that they showed more fight than this fragile bunch had been generating before.

On the other hand, with Jonas Brodin on IR and Jared Spurgeon apparently hurt, that silver lining may not be so easy to see.

Statement in Blackhawks’ blowout of Stars? Coach Q says they’re even

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Worry (if you’re pulling for the Stars) or gloat (if you’re a Blackhawks fan) all you want, but the bottom line is that the Central Division’s No.1 spot is clearly in Chicago’s control after Saturday night.

The Blackhawks earned a decisive 5-1 win against the Dallas Stars, giving them a five-point standings lead over Dallas for the Central Division lead.

You may feel like that’s more of the same, but consider this: things would look a lot closer if Dallas won or gained points, as they hold three games in hand on the ‘Hawks.

At least one Blackhawks player admits this game means a little more than your average W.

Indeed, while Antti Niemi was pulled from the game and Kari Lehtonen faced his own struggles in Dallas’ net, Corey Crawford ranked as one of the big reasons why the score was so lopsided.

(Artem Anisimov had a big say in that, too.)

As a wise coach with 1,000+ games of experience would do, Joel Quenneville didn’t go overboard in assessing the victory.

Was this a statement game? Who knows, but a certain statement is that the Blackhawks now have a five-point standings lead.

Brad Marchand wins it … on a penalty shot … in overtime

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Looking at the standings, beating the Buffalo Sabres was pretty important for the Boston Bruins. The Atlantic Division’s run for spots appears particularly congested out East.

Of all the Bruins to get a chance to win it all, the team might have wanted Brad Marchand to have that opportunity. He’s on pace to destroy his previous career-highs for scoring, and Marchand’s been particularly hot lately.

Either way, Marchand came up big indeed, scoring the rare overtime game-winner on a penalty shot. Check out the drama below:

That can be a big extra point and ROW (regulation/overtime win) when the regular season is finished.

Note: Many believe that Marchand should not have received a penalty shot on the play.

Crosby kills the Cats: Penguins end Panthers’ winning streak

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) collides with Florida Panthers' Connor Brickley (86) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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For quite some time, it looked like the Florida Panthers would keep the Pittsburgh Penguins under wraps.

Florida nursed a 1-0 lead into a 2-0 margin almost halfway through the third period, looking to win its sixth consecutive game. That looked great … and then Sidney Crosby + Kris Letang happened.

Let’s put it this way: this GIF of Crosby being frustrated is amusing, yet it doesn’t exactly tell the story of Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win for the Penguins:

Instead, Crosby grabbed his 900th point assisting on a Letang goal, and finished the night with 902 by collecting the game-tying goal and grabbing a helper on Letang’s overtime game-winner.

Crosby crossing that barrier is indeed special, even if it prompts “What if?” questions about No. 87’s health.

The resurgence of Crosby and Letang already played a big role in the Penguins going from disjointed and frustrating to sneaky and scary, so it  shouldn’t be that surprising to see them play so well. Doing so in such brisk order is a little bewildering, however.