The Central Division couldn’t provide a crowd-pleasing victory, but that second game should leave hockey fans with fun memories. It also sets the stage for a fascinating All-Star Game final featuring a Battle of the Tkachuks. Ultimately, the Pacific advanced by dominating the Central 10-5.
Memorable All-Star moments
Leon Draisaitl said he’d just try to get off the ice if he shared surface with nemesis Matthew Tkachuk as a teammate. Draisaitl had to make himself scarce after Tkachuk set him up with a nice feed for a goal, then:
Passing like they've been teammates for years. 🚨
💻: https://t.co/JptxthSLGr pic.twitter.com/FAzZSvV60L
— #NHLAllStar on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) January 26, 2020
Rivalries don’t just add spice to the All-Star Game for players. Fans sometimes enjoy awkward-funny moments, too. It doesn’t get much better than St. Louis fans cheering for Patrick Kane helping the Central, then realizing it was Kane and resuming their boos:
🤣 #NHLAllStar @88PKane pic.twitter.com/7o17gfwVLE
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) January 26, 2020
Blues fans experiencing mixed Kane feelings stands as one of those things you’ll remember years from now. Even if it means feeling icky.
Did we just cheer for Patrick Kane?
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) January 26, 2020
Pacific cruises against Central
This game featured a lot of energy, but it was one-sided.
Tomas Hertl enjoyed maybe the best performance of the first round of ASG contests. He scored four goals, shaking off that Bieber blunder. Just about all of his goals were pretty.
That said, David Rittich is in the running. He played a big role in the game being so lopsided, as Rittich stopped nine out of 10 shots. Much has been made about Rittich enjoying himself this weekend, and he performed well too.
Matthew Tkachuk had a good game (2G, 2A) alongside frenemy Draisaitl (3G, 1A). Unlike in the earlier game, the Pacific got to such a high goal total without empty-netters.
Kane probably had the best game of any Central players with two goals. Roman Josi (2A) was in the running, too, as were Mark Scheifele and Tyler Seguin (both with 1G, 1A).
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.