OTTAWA- Last evening the National Hockey League All Star game took place at the Scotiabank Place in Kanata, Ontario. It was the final event of a weekend filled with entertainment on and off the ice for Hockey Nation and its fan base. A long with the excitement, came the rumors and breaking news stories from across the league. While the players participated in the skills challenge Saturday night, rumors were running rampant that Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby had a severe Neck Injury. On top of that, Corey Perry was ticketed to the Vancouver Canucks, speculation of course. Then there was the joke of Tim Thomas opting not to take part in the picture taking during performing artist Drake’s pre-game concert yesterday, due to his right to refuse.
Never a dull moment at such events as this, but when the final horn sounded last night, a thunderous cheer from the crowded erupted and the weekend ended on a successful note with plenty to talk about.
A quick look at the game itself. Captain Daniel Alfredsson led his team named after him, onto the ice shortly after 6pm for a pre game skate. You know you’re at the Scotiabank Place when Alfie chants began and continuously got louder as we moved closer to the game. At the other end of the ice was Team Chara, led by the 6’9 giant from the Boston Bruins, formally of the Ottawa Senators. It was apparent that respect still exists between the fans and Chara, judging by the warm reception taking place anytime Chara was shown on the Jumbo Tron or mentioned by the public address announcer.
To the ice we go where two highly skilled teams seemed to have taken a defensive approach, leaving fans scooting backwards from the edge of their seats. Boos were followed and they certainly weren’t the ones directed towards the Maple Leafs players participating at the time.
It was a mixture of solid defense, great goaltending and both teams getting a feel for it. The offense started to flow though, with Rangers forward Marian Gaborik getting things started. From there, a cluster of goals were scored, including one off the blade of Jason Spezza. If Scotiabank place wasn’t alive before then, they were now.
It was all about Alfie though throughout the course of the game, as Alfie! Alfie! Alfie! continued. Alfredsson hit the score sheet several times and had several missed opportunities to score a 3rd.
“Alfie’s such a classy guy, obviously a big icon in Ottawa and Sweden, as well, and such a great player to represent this team,” Long time friend and former teammate Zdeno Chara said. “So of course I was pulling for him.”
There were 21 goals scored between both teams as Team Chara won the game 12-9. As the MVP Award was nearly minutes from being announced, I had a pretty good feeling that the entire building was pulling for Daniel Alfredsson. As Marian Gaborik’s name was called, you couldn’t help but to agree. A job well done by the Broadway Super Star finishing the night with a Hat Trick and a helper.
More to come as we take a closer look at the entertainment from this past weekend and the fans reactions.
Darren is the Washington Capitals correspondent. He spent the 2010-11 season covering the Atlanta Thrashers and the 2011-12 season covering the Columbus Blue Jackets. Feel free to contact him @ DKoz256@yahoo.com. You can also follow him on Twitter. DarrenCoslov