Author: James O'Brien


Byfuglien’s neon skates, More GoPro fun, other All-Star bits


Social media certainly was around the last time an NHL All-Star Game happened – remember Alex Ovechkin clowing Phil Kessel with his phone? – but 2015’s edition constitutes the latest ramp up.

Hockey fans got to delight as teams, players and the league pulled back the curtain that much more. Check out this assorted collection of doodads from the days leading up to today’s event.

First, Dustin Byfuglien’s wearing some none skates for the contest:

Brian Elliott better watch out:

Wait, is it Aleksander Ovechkin instead of Alex Ovechkin now? Whatever the case may be, here he is with Carey Price & Co.



The rookies seem to be enjoying themselves, as well.

Finally, enjoy some wild camera angles thanks to GoPro at the skills competition:

WATCH LIVE: 2015 NHL All-Star Game

2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game
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Friday marked the day of the fantasy draft and Saturday provided plenty of entertainment in the fantasy draft, but now the 2015 All-Star Game itself is finally just about ready to kick off.

You can watch the game on NBCSN and also via the NBC Sports Livestream link below:


Here are some links regarding Team Toews and Team Foligno:

Alex Ovechkin’s pursuit of a free car continues

Team Foligno wins Skills Competition

Shea Weber registers the hardest shot

Corey Crawford hopes he doesn’t get lit up too much today

PHT readers tab Lundqvist as biggest All-Star snub

2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five

Injuries and other factors can make talk of the biggest snubs in the 2015 All-Star Game a little messy, yet a healthy chunk of PHT readers ultimately determined that Henrik Lundqvist was the biggest omission.

Here are the abbreviated results with the top five (a very … interesting “other” category came in sixth, in case you’re wondering).

(Note: the poll took place right after the initial full roster announcements on Jan. 10.)



That’s a pretty healthy showing for Lundqvist, as the total number of votes is 8,903. Second-place “snub” Marc-Andre Fleury ended up getting the call as a replacement while Lundqvist, Pavel Datsyuk, Nickls Backstrom and P.K. Subban get some time to heal and/or go on vacation.

(Roman Josi and Zach Parise received the most “other” votes.)

Patrick Marleau received the fewest snub votes with eight. Here are the players who fell under the full one-percent range:



More: Lundqvist on not making it

Could this season’s playoff races lack a little drama?

Darryl Sutter

The Buffalo News points out that there’s a strong possibility that most of the Eastern Conference’s playoff teams may already be largely settled, yet the same may be said about the West.

At least, someone might make the argument that the races will lack drama compared to previous seasons.

Out East, there’s a significant gap between the top nine teams and the rest.

Looking at the standings, things are a bit misleadingly dire for the ninth-place Florida Panthers. They trail the Boston Bruins for the final wild card spot by seven standings points, yet with four games in hand, they could conceivably close much (or even all) of that gap.

The Western Conference seems to showcase a pretty big drop-off between the seventh-place Winnipeg Jets and the rest of the field.

On the bright side for those who love a little drama in their playoff races, the final West spot could provide some needed intrigue. Here are the teams with at least some hope of catching it:

Calgary Flames (currently holding that last slot): 53 points, 47 games played, 25 wins (22 regulation/OT)

Los Angeles Kings – 52 points, 47 GP, 20 wins, 19 ROW
Colorado Avalanche – 50 poins, 48 GP, 20 wins, 14 ROW
Dallas Stars – 49 points, 46 GP, 21 wins, 19 ROW
Minnesota Wild – 46 points, 46 GP, 20 wins, 18 ROW

Honestly, depending upon your penchant for pessimism, five teams being in the running for that final west spot might be a little generous.

Sports Club Stats’ odds don’t really speak to things being hotly contested:



Obviously, streaks one way or another can still influence these odds heavily, as you can see from the swing for the Kings and San Jose Sharks.

Still, it’s interesting to see how long the odds are for any team – West or East – outside either conference’s top 10.

By no means is this to say that more specific faces won’t be exciting, mind you. The Central and Metropolitan Division battles should be enough to captivate fans of specific teams and the hockey world in general.

Still, one gets the nagging suspicion that it will be easier to pinpoint “buyers” and “sellers” at the trade deadline, among other things.

Do you think any bubble teams may contradict such thoughts, though? Or perhaps will a current playoff team tumble out of contention?

Ovechkin’s quest for a free car continues

Washington Capitals v Calgary Flames

As much as Alex Ovechkin wanted a free car – or joked about wanting a free car – during the 2015 All-Star Game fantasy draft, the decision was ultimately out of his hands.

The dream isn’t over, however; the Washington Post points out that he can reach that goal if he’s named 2015 All-Star Game MVP. While there’s still as subjective side to that, Ovechkin gets a lot more say in who wins a free car in that regard.

“Yeah, tomorrow,” Ovechkin said on Saturday. “I’m still on. I still want it.”

Bask in the glory of his first amusing quest for a free ride from Friday’s entertaining fantasy draft: