It wasn’t enough that Boeser won the official trophy for best hair (MWF – Most Wonderful Flow?), and it wasn’t even enough that the Vancouver Canucks rookie clobbered the accuracy shooting competition. Boeser scored the game-winning goal for the Pacific Division in a 5-2 win against the Central Division, and then helped the Pacific beat the Atlantic 5-2 to split $1 million in winnings. With that, he was named the MVP.
“I was definitely nervous coming into it. I had some sweat going down my palms yesterday before the shooting contest,” Boeser said. “But I think once you get here, meet most of the guys and have some laughs, it’s easier to enjoy the experience. I wasn’t too nervous about today — just have fun, smile and play hockey. That’s what I did and I enjoyed all of it.”
Unsolicited opinion: It’s cooler when a guy on an entry-level contract ends up winning the MVP, and thus a car, rather than a guy who’s already making mega-bucks. That was a sneaky bonus of the already-tremendous moment of John Scott winning an MVP. Boeser is set to be an RFA after 2018-19, although a shampoo company should probably make him rich before then, if there’s any justice in the universe.
Seriously though, All-Star Weekend was good to hockey’s new favorite Thor look-alike.
For being All-Star MVP, Brock Boeser gets a $212,500 entry-level bonus. That’s in addition to $100,000 for being part of the winning team and $25,000 for winning the shooting accuracy. That’s a good weekend
That said, there were some fun moments, including Brad Marchand continuing to reallymilk the whole villain thing. One of the highlights: Marchand drawing a rare penalty on Johnny Gaudreau, then really hamming it up.
However you feel about the actual game (or recently, games) that come with the All-Star experience, you have to be a real stick in the mud not to enjoy the skills competition.
The 2018 All-Star Skills Challenge did not disappoint in that regard.
The six events and everything around them brought about some fantastic ribbing from fans to a few polarizing players, many heartwarming moments where players gave back, stupendous displays of talent, and more. Let’s take a look at some of the standout bits.
Alex Pietrangelo is donating the $25K he won in the passing competition to charity, and that’s likely far from the only great gesture to come from this weekend.
The winner of the Passing Challenge, Alex Pietrangelo, with his 12-year-old nephew, Aiden, in the Western Conference lockerroom. Pietrangelo says he’ll donate the $25,000 he won to charity. #stlbluespic.twitter.com/vovnHqfq6o
Only Marc-Andre Fleury would choose a song from “Frozen” to pump him up during something like the save streak …
Fleury on his musical choice tonight … big fan of "Frozen?": "Big big fan. I thought the title, “Let It Go,” was very soothing for goalies. It’s the All-Star Game. You just have to let it go. I thought I was going to get lit up, so I just had to let it go."
Some of the most fascinating fan interaction moments coming during player introductions. Who will get cheered? When will we hear a pin drop? Which players will be jeered the most heartily?
You wonder if Tampa Bay fans would identify even more “villains” in the next postseason, as they may very well be in for some bitter battles during the upcoming playoffs. Still, it was noticeable that Patrick Kane and Sidney Crosby drew some heat.
Recently suspended forward Brad Marchand might have gotten it the most, or at least he received it most often, as fans booed him during introductions (which he relished) and clearly enjoyed it as Marchand struggled during the accuracy shooting.
However you feel about Marchand, few NHL players were as comfortable in this role:
I️ think they might have put smaller targets in there for me!?? Maybe next time I’ll try I️t right handed
Sometimes it’s comforting to see elite athletes struggle (fooling us into thinking they’re just like us), so Marchand’s issues during the accuracy shooting and Drew Doughty‘s frustrations were memorable.
The U.S. women’s Olympic team were in Tampa, which opened up some fun photo ops, like Hilary Knight and Alex Ovechkin (via NBC’s Matt Ziance):
The Tampa Bay Lightning, who are celebrating their 25th season, and the city of Tampa will host the 2018 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend. The League’s midseason showcase will take place at AMALIE Arena and will include the 2018 GEICO NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday, Jan. 27 (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS) and 2018 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 28 (3:30 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).
NHL reveals 2018 All-Star Game rosters; who missed out?
The NHL revealed on Wednesday the full rosters for the 2018 NHL All-Star Game, which will take place Jan. 27-28 at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
It will be the second time the city has hosted the event and first time under the 3-on-3 tournament format. Last week, the league announced the four division captains who will represent the Atlantic, Metropolitan, Central and Pacific Divisions and be in charge of filling out the participants in the Skills Competition.
• You knew this team was going to be stacked with some host city boys, and four Lightning players plus the head coach will dominate the love of the Amalie Arena crowd. There’s also a 100 percent chance that Stamkos, Kucherov, Hedman and Vasilevskiy will start the first semifinal.
• So much for Crosby saying he’s not having an All-Star season. Should he end up going, it will be only the Penguins captain’s third appearance in the event. Good to see the Islanders finally having someone for Tavares to tag along with during All-Star Weekend.
• Really surprised by the two Vegas picks. Only Boeser has has many goals among Pacific Division players as William Karlsson (22). Then you have Jonathan Marchessault, who’s tied for fourth-best in the division with Boeser in points (40).