Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

In Defense of the All-Star Game

I love the All-Star Game. I do. It's one of my favorite parts of the season, a chance to see hockey players not as faceless drones, but as people having a good time. Not many other people feel the same way, though. Even my friend, mentor, and former domestic partner (he knows what he did) Earl Sleek hates the All-Star Game. Honestly, I can't understand it. It's hockey! On TV! You got Owen Nolan picking out his shot, Marty Turco taking an interview while he's making saves, Rob Blake failing in the fastest shot competition every year, it's awesome!

A common complaint is that the All-Star Game used to be great, but now it has lost its luster. I don't buy that. It's not like guys in the '80s tried harder or anything. If anything, the game is better because we're watching the best athletes ever to play the game. I think it's just that in the past the game was new to them, and now it's the pretty much the same thing every year. But you know what? So is New Year's. So is the Fourth of July. Just because something is similar every year doesn't mean it's not great.

I think people might be taking this hockey business a little too seriously. I mean, yeah, it's a billion dollar industry and everything, but at the end of the day we don't watch the game because of wins and losses. We watch it because it's the most beautiful game on the planet, and the All-Star Game celebrates that. Sure, Martin Brodeur won't be there, and neither will Sidney Crosby, but I thik I'll forget that right about the time Ilya Kovalchuk is scoring his 4th goal. We (hockey bloggers and sportswriters, I mean) take this game very seriously, because it's very important to us. We constantly worry about this guy's contract situation or our goalie's recent slump. For just 2 days, I don't think there's anything wrong with just celebrating the game and the people who play it.


Anze Kopitar will be the Kings' sole representative here at the All-Star game.* I'm very excited about his inclusion, because I think he's going to surprise a lot of people. Like, MVP-level surprise people. We've all seen what happens when Kopitar gets room to move in space, and the All-Star Game gives people a lot of space. My only request? Don't put Kopitar on a wing. Let someone else take the face-off, but then let Kopitar play center. He needs the puck and I don't think he'll get a chance to do his thing if they have him on the wing. (My ideal line? Gaborik-Kopitar-Arnott.)

Also, do you think Getzlaf and Perry will throw a hissy fit if they don't get to play together?

*Jack Johnson is in the YoungStars game, but it's 3-on-3 so he'll probably have to stay back and play defense the whole time. Although, I think it's half-court, so I don't know what the fuck. He'll probably get a penalty, though.


Earl Sleek said...

Also, do you think Getzlaf and Perry will throw a hissy fit if they don't get to play together?

Yes, yes I do. A hissy fit of All-Star proportions.

Ideal winger for Getz & Perry: the orphaned Sedin (I forget which one).

Patty (in Dallas) said...

I love the All-Star Game, too, Rudy. I get tired of people comparing the game to the one they saw when they were 12. Every sport was better when you were 12.

I don't like the complaints that it's not competitive, either. That's what I like about it. Just everybody having a good time. We have hundreds of competitive games every year. This one is for fun.

CKim said...

Agreed, Rudy. Agreed, Patty.

I wanna see Dion Phaneuf shatter some more plexiglass...and then fall flat on his face.

Sherry said...

I actually really like the All-Star game too but I can't really watch it without doing something else at the same time. I really like seeing the guys having fun and goofing off but it's not exactly the most...riveting thing to watch.

Do you and Sleek need to go into counseling?

CKim said...

This is really random, but I read it and it made me laugh...a lot.


RudyKelly said...

I've been thinking and I think the Kings should trade Ladislav Nagy for Thomas Vanek. If they won't do that, throw in Modry.

CKim said...

I don't want to keep Dallman over Modry. Would anyone want Dallman though? He can sit in the press box and serve penalties, but what else can he do?

Bryan said...

Thank you Mr. Smith for that heartfelt post. I agree Owen Nolan's goal is classic. Ray Bourque's OT winner in Boston was fantastic. Yeah, there is no hitting in All Star games unless Roenick is in one, and lately it seems more and more players are finding a way to avoid the game, but I agree that it is a lot of fun for the players and fans.