The Thrill of Skill

Even without two of the best players in the world suiting up, there will still be plenty of skill on display in Ottawa over All Star weekend. Canada’s favourite Sidney Crosby would love nothing more than to join his peers and be there for the fans, but he’s still on the road to recovery due to those lingering concussion symptoms. Boo. On the other side we have Alexander Ovechkin, who’s made a personal decision to sit out the festivities as he’s serving a suspension. And while I agree he shouldn’t have to participate in a situation that would lead to nothing but fodder for the media, the timing is good for Ovie-Wan Kenobi, who’s 39 points so far this year has been a lightsaber short of a Jedi.

I wonder where Ovie would have been picked had he participated, but if you base it on his stats he might have been driving away with a brand new Honda Crosstour. For a bizarre change, it’s nice to see guys like Jaime Benn and Tyler Seguin enjoying a more productive season than Ovechkin. Who better to see suffer the last pick blues than the Great 8, as his display of laughing and camera pointing at last year’s ‘Mr. Irrelevant’ was nothing short of childish and classless.

The rest of the world’s best barn burners are in the Nations capitol and are ready to put on a show, from sick saucers to dazzling dangles and everything in between. Some might argue that the All Star weekend is boring, that there is no hustle or defense. If you can’t appreciate the skills that these athletes posses and understand how difficult it is to pull off these moves, then you’ve probably never played. The hand-eye coordination, the incredible vision, and the ability to hit the tape in stride while going full speed is what it’s all about. When it’s time to watch the best in the world caress and control the puck like it’s on a string, it’s supposed to be heart warming, because I know for me, I get goose bumps.

All Star weekend is not about blood sweat and tears, it’s a time to relax and have some fun. So for all you naysayers out there that find something to complain about, think about the smiles on the kids faces, as their idols dance before them on the same sheet of ice.


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