Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 5 hrs ago
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Alex Ovechkin wanted a car in Columbus this weekend. Badly.
He lobbied to be the last pick in the NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft on Friday, as the “Mr. Irrelevant” for each team was given a brand new Honda – a campaign hilariously chronicled on his Instagram feed, including a hand-written sign that read “I WANT TO BE LAST. I NEED A CAR.”
Alas, he was picked second to last.
On Sunday, he vowed to win the Most Valuable Player in the NHL All-Star Game, a wild affair that saw a new record established for goals scored in a game with 29.
Alas, he finished with three assists, but his linemate and local fan favorite Ryan Johansen won the car.
"I'm not disappointed,” said Ovechkin. “There's going to be a couple surprises."
“We didn’t find out the reason he wanted one until we connected with his agent.”
Ovechkin was surprised by the gesture, and was glad he could help the organization.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 7 hrs ago
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 60th NHL All-Star Game was an offensive affair.
Take that any way you’d like.
The teams captained by Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks and Nick Foligno of the Columbus Blue Jackets set a new League record for most combined goals in an All-Star Game, in a 17-12 victory for Team Toews on Sunday at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.
Patrick Kane’s (Foligno) goal at 13:09 of the third period was No. 27 for the night, breaking the 26-goal record set in 2001 during the North America vs. The World format.
We don’t want to say the 29-goal night was overwhelming, but at one point the Civil War-dressed workers that fire a cannon after every home-team goal seemed to simply forget to do so. Maybe they ran out of ammo; the teams certainly didn't.
John Tavares of Team Toews became the sixth player in history to score four goals in the NHL All-Star Game. Tavares scored once in the first period, twice in the second and another in the third period.
He joins some elite goal-scoring company: Wayne Gretzky, Campbell, 1983; Mario Lemieux, Wales, 1990; Vincent Damphousse, Campbell, 1991; Mike Gartner, Wales, 1993, and Dany Heatley, East, 2003.
A few call-outs:
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 11 hrs ago
It's the 2015 NHL All-Star Game from Columbus and the Yahoo Sports crew is here to chat it up!
Team Foligno vs. Team Toews!
But the real intrigue is with some of the first timers at the game.
Twelve 2015 NHL All-Stars are under age 25. Thirty-two of the 41 players have yet to celebrate their 30th birthday. The youngest 2015 NHL All-Stars are 18-year-old Aaron Ekblad (2/7/96) and 20-year-old Filip Forsberg (8/13/94). Ekblad will be the second 18-year-old to skate in the past three NHL All-Star Games, following Jeff Skinner in 2011 in Raleigh, N.C.
So join the Puck Daddy crew and your Yahoo Sports friends for all the action at 5 p.m. ET.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 12 hrs ago
COLUMBUS, Ohio – In 1997, John H. McConnell gave the city he loved a franchise in a sport he didn’t love yet.
“I can't say I'm a fan because we never had hockey here,” said McConnell, the steel industry magnate who brokered a deal with the NHL to bring the Columbus Blue Jackets to reality.
But that’s how you make hockey fans, right? You bring hockey to them, bring them into the arena, get them hooked on a game whose addictive qualities are a natural fit for a Midwest U.S. town with cold weather and sports obsessions. (See Buckeyes, THE Ohio State University.)
Starting in 2003, Rick Nash was central to that recruiting mission. With due respect to Ray Whitney and Geoff Sanderson, Nash was the first star the franchise had – a hulking forward taken first overall in the NHL Draft, and a player GM Doug MacLean traded up to select.
He worked hard at growing the Jackets, growing the game and connecting with fans until 2012, and a contentious split between the franchise and its franchise player. Nash was traded to the New York Rangers, and the cheers turned to boos whenever he stepped on the ice.
Gary Bettman, NHL commissioner, echoed that sentiment this weekend.
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Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 13 hrs ago
Nikita Gusev is a 22-year-old forward in the Kontinental Hockey League, drafted at No. 202 overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2012.
He made its all-star squad after 28 points in 45 games for Yugra. He was an entrant in their shootout skills competition this weekend and, well, he stole the show.
Gusev put the puck between his legs and pressed his stick blade down behind him, trailing him like a tail. He then lifted the puck back through his legs on his stick blade, spun to his right and fired a lacrosse shot into the net with his blade facing downward.
In real time, it looked like an attack move out of Street Fighter.
It was awesome.
It also made us wonder where the heck the spin moves were this weekend in Columbus during the shootout events. Like, it’s banned in the NHL, but does that mean that it’s banned in the skills competition exhibition too? Because, you know, they allowed players to use little kids and blindfolds and such.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 16 hrs ago
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Think of Zemgus Girgensons like a political candidate who won a Senatorial election without actually campaigning.
So he walks into Congress, looks around at the famous (and infamous) faces, and wonders ‘what the hell am I doing here?’ while at the same time acknowledging that, in the end, they’re all just politicians and he should just enjoy the rest of his term.
That’s pretty much the Buffalo Sabres forward’s 2015 NHL All-Star experience.
He admits to wondering if he belongs here, and it's a question some in the media have asked as well.
He’s 168th in the NHL in points at 22 and 61st in goals at 13, meaning most of the defensemen here have better offensive credentials. In an event typically reserved for the League’s elite performers, Girgensons … well, is not one.
“I have thought about it,” he said, “but at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter,''
It doesn’t matter because Girgensons has another number attached to his name: 1,574,896.
“They’re crazy fans, I can tell you that. They always cheer no matter what the score is,” he said.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 2015 NHL All-Star Game Skills Competition featured some friendly rivalry, dazzling individual performances and the goofball wackiness that’s come to characterize the event.
Here’s how it shook out for captain Jonathan Toews and captain Nick Foligno's teams:
Jonathan Drouin won’t be playing in Sunday’s All-Star Game, so he did all of his work during the Skills Competition. The Tampa Bay Lightning rookie won the Fastest Skater competition with a time of 13.103 seconds.
The event featured an opening leg battle between Tyler Seguin and Phil Kessel, one night after the two were traded for each other. Well, again. Kessel got the best the Dallas Stars star, 13.596 to 13.631.
The goofiest event of the night featured some of the greatest highlights.
Team captain Nick Foligno was second overall with a time of 13.674.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The NHL All-Star Game Skills Competition has an event called the Breakaway Challenge that affords players the chance to act like prop comedians.
On Saturday night in Columbus, Johnny Gaudreau was that aforementioned prop.
Ryan Johansen, the Columbus Blue Jackets star, did was fan favorites do and invited a child to participate in his shootout routine. He skated the puck near the crease, stopped, retrieved the son of his team trainer, and then had him shoot the puck home. It was all quite adorable.
Jakub Voracek, the NHL’s leading scorer from the Philadelphia Flyers, needed some way to trump that attempt. So he decided to borrow that idea by using the smallest skater he could find to take the shot.
That would be the diminutive Calgary Flames rookie Johnny Gaudreau.
“He came up and asked me first if it was all right. I thought it would be pretty funny to do something like that,” said Gaudreau.
“To be honest, it was actually Ryan Suter’s idea. He came up to me and he said I should do it,” said Voracek. “I think that little kid was bigger than [Gaudreau]. Let’s be honest."
“I asked one of the player safety guys here and they said no,” he said.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – In the 1996 All-Star Game, the NHL debuted something that it felt would revolutionize its product on television.
But the less said about the FoxTrax glow puck, the better.
Nineteen years later, the NHL’s debuting another technological leap during All-Star weekend. It involves the puck. It involves lasers. But this time, they may have gotten it right and, in turn, changed the way we’ll watch hockey ... and quantify it.
“We’re trying to bring that in-arena experience to the living room. We’ve talked about it for years and years. And as the technology gets better, the closer we get to it,” said Mathieu Schneider of the NHLPA.
The NHL and the NHLPA debuted their new player tracking system during the skills competition, and plans on expanding it during Sunday’s All-Star Game. Sportsvision, the company behind real-time tracking and graphics in NASCAR and the NFL, embedded chips inside pucks and players’ jerseys that can measure quantitative data, puck and skating speed, puck trajectory, puck and player location, and ice time.
The technology could change the way we follow the game on television and on second screens.
In fact, it might.
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It's the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Nationwide Arena in Columbus!
A fan favorite that has showcased hockey’s top talent at NHL All-Star Weekend since 1990, the event will be broadcast live on NBCSN in the U.S. and on CBC and TVA Sports in Canada at 7 p.m., ET.
Team Foligno, captained by forward Nick Foligno of the All-Star host Columbus Blue Jackets, will compete against Team Toews, led by Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, throughout the night for points in the overall team vs. team competition. Individual champions also will be crowned. The NHL All-Stars and rookies will participate in six events.
Join your friends at Yahoo Sports for a live chat starting at 7 p.m.!