Sunday, January 27, 2008

All-Star Game Liveblog

Yup, we're going to give this a try, see how it goes - after all we have to make this "meaningless charade of a game" a little more interesting, right? Special thanks to roomie for her input ;)


- And there you have it! Amazingly that wasn't so bad - there were a few (mild) hits, a little bit of defense, some good goaltending, and some beautiful goals. All in all, what more could you ask for from an All Star Game?

...okay, don't answer that. It was still fun.

- Mike Ribeiro just looked like a total groupie. "Um, Mr. Pronger? Could you sign my cleavage?"

- And the MVP is...Eric Staal. Huh. Okay. Nash with the hat trick or Savard with the game-winner sounds a little better to me, but whatever floats the NHL's boat. Roomie: It's a conspiracy...she doesn't know how, exactly, and neither do I. I wholeheartedly agree, though.

- Some things never change, even in the deep south - Bettman is announced and everyone boos.

- 0:00 Indeed it is, even with Ovechkin on the ice. Handshakes and smiles all around - and DiPietro tries to pounce on Ovie, which makes us laugh...

- 0:20 Marc Savard makes his presence known and puts the East up in the final seconds...could it be? Is that the game winner?

- 1:00 We have a hit! Kovalchuk on Jovanovski, you have to love that.

- 2:37 Is it me or is this game actually kind of exciting now? Not that I didn't enjoy the East being up by a huge margin but you have to admit this is more action than we've seen in awhile.

- 6:55ish Phaneuf just pens in St. Louis against the boards. Without breaking a sweat. I'd guess defense is a little easier when you have four feet and a hundred pounds on the forward, right?

- 7:25 Staal again, 7-7. I choose not to respond when Staal scores.

- 9:03 The West takes the lead off, what else, a gorgeous play on which the goaltender has no chance. Give that one to Gaborik, 7-6.

- We get a bench interview with Anze Kopitar, which is great...except the little picture they put up next to his name is definitely Scott Niedermayer. Yes, we're all excited that Nieds hasn't retired, but Kopitar is right there. One of these things is not like the other, Versus!

- MAN does Ovie want the hat trick. You can feel it, can't you? Maybe if we use our collective powers of kinetic energy to move the puck from his stick into the net...

- 14:53 Whew! And Phaneuf ties it up at 6. Anyone surprised that Gonchar was standing right there? Anyone?

- 15:52 End to end action, kids, if you can believe it - on one end we have Thomas making a stunning save, on the other Hossa bringing a rise to the lovable Atlanta crowd with a goal to break the tie.

- 18:04 Rick Nash is trying to steal Ovie's truck! 5-5, this is getting interesting now.

- Manny Legace is a funny, funny dude. Add him to the goalies I would like to keep mic'd up all the time.

- 19:19 Getzlaf pops one over Tim Thomas...looks like the Eastern dominance was a single period fluke, no? I think it might be time for a certain #8 to get a certain #3.

- Ooh, add Gary Bettman to that list.

- Ne-Yo, a marching band, and unnecessary dancing girls. What are...three things I would love to see slip and fall on the ice?

- Good idea #234984: A marching band on ice.

- An interview with Pronger? Really? Correct me if I'm wrong but I didn't see him do anything in that period...or at all. Give me Nash or Niedermayer or Nabokov! (Or someone who knows how to shave. Ew, Chris. Ew.)

- Smiles all around in the dying seconds as Nabokov once more outduels Kovalchuk - and this is why I love the All Star Game. The smiles, the fun, the appreciation of the talent...okay. I'm done being cheesy.

- 1:03 Kovalchuk shows a little personality and falls to the ice in disbelief after Nabokov absolutely robs him. Nabby gets a little head rub from Kovalchuk in appreciation. (Roomie: Ovie would have scored that.)

- It's awfully hard to take this station seriously sometimes - no matter how well they do at times with the hockey, there is always a bullriding commercial to remind me that Versus is still very much a channel for which I am not the target demographic.

- 4:...something Clearly Niedermayer heard me snarking that he shouldn't be an All Star after playing about three games this season. 5-3 and we have got ourselves a game.

- 7:28 I'm sorry, was there just backchecking and defense by Mike Ribeiro? I must be hallucinating. I'm not sure which is more bizarre, that it happened in the ASG...or that it was Ribeiro doing it. Huh.

- 9:30 The West is buzzing this period, as they move in to try and make it closer. Vokoun says...NO.

- 10:26 Damn you, Rick Nash, stop being so awesome. We like our lopsided Eastern lead, even if two of the five goals were scored by pure evil. 5-2.

- 11:40 We spend about two minutes making fun of Olli Jokinen's name, just because we can. Try saying it without adding a fake accent, I dare you. Roomie says he sounds like a yodeller. "Ya, I am Ollie Jokinen...I do the yodel." See? A laugh a minute here in the Cheap Seats.

- 14:30 I'm a little confused how Kovalchuk scores so many goals when every single one of his shots has gone right into the goalie's pads and/or crest. Maybe he's just lulling them into a false sense of security...

- 18:00 Ovechkin goes for the hat trick. The only problem? He shoots it on his own net. Ovie, my dear, they switched sides during intermission. Remember?

- Oops, hold that thought. I guess we're having another Willie O'Ree ceremony, which is a nice inclusion (although it really takes away the flow to the...oh, who am I kidding, there is no flow).

- Everyone ready for period two? Any bets on how many goals Ovie will get this period? I'm going to be conservative and say two.

- Oh, HockeyCentral, how I...tolerate you. By the way, whoever is feeding Engblom's hair needs to stop, because it looks like it could reach out and eat Jonesy. They gush about Ovechkin again and then we tune them out - what could they say after an Ovie-gush that would possibly hold our attention as well? Nothing. Exactly.

- 2:11 As if on cue, that's 2. Ovechkin finishes off a slick pass by mighty mite (aka St. Louis) to put the East up five to one. Little smile by Ovie on the bench - he's having too much fun out there, seriously.

- Aw, a player profile on Ovie! And since the Caps have yet to be in the playoffs, Versus gets to roll out all the old classics - mother was a basketball player, etc, etc.

- 4:50 When you're taking feeds from Alfredsson you're going to get chances, and Campbell cashes in. 4-1 East and Phaneuf is threatening to throw a hit. Oh, Dion...if wishing made it so.

- 6:25 And Ovechkin is on the board!! A pretty pass from Spezza and the puck is behind Osgood. Then of course we get Ovie's "Woooo!" face on the bench, always welcome, followed by Doc and Olczyk simply gushing about Ovechkin, also always welcome. And countdown to insertion of Sidney Crosby's name in 3, 2, 1...there we go. Like clockwork.

- 8:10 DiPietro does his best impression of Hasek and turns the puck over behind the net...then gets taken down. He wants a call, there will be none, game continues.

- Gomez has a hard time keeping a straight face during Mike Richards' bench interview. We have a hard time keeping a straight face looking at Scott Gomez.

- 10:12 Andrei Markov makes it 2-1 for the East. Did Kolzig make it to the Western Conference All-Stars and not tell us? That was a dribbler through the five-hole...oh, I kid, I kid.

- 11:21 Ah, the ever-classy Atlanta fans, chanting "Os-good...Os-good...Os-good...YOU SUCK!". Nice, right?

- Just in case you've forgotten we're in the South, here's Garth Brooks.

- 12:13 After a quick scoring start we've now settled into some pretty sloppy play on both sides, punctuated by DiPietro's constant commentary to make it at least a little more entertaining.

- 17:06 Shocking. DiPietro puts a little leash on the puck and takes it for a little walk around the defensive zone.

- 18:40 1-1 thanks to Eric Staal, ringing it around the pipes after a couple of nice passes from...whoever his linemates are.

- 19:48 and we've already got our first goal! Rick Nash kicks off the scoring while the Versus announcers distract Rick DiPietro. Yeah, that's why it went in. Regardless, I don't think this is going to be a low-scoring game.

- Let's get ready some non-confrontational hockey!

- Kathleen Edwards presents her version of the Canadian National Anthem. Good folksy Canadian singer, yes. Anthem singer? Not so much. And now onto the Atlanta Boys Choir. Says roomie, "these boys so get beat up in school". (By the way, a question if anyone is out there - why do they shout "Nights!" during the anthem?)

- Starters...or should I say "starters"?

- On to the Eastern Conference...Ovie tries to look all tough but he can't fool us, there's a smile hiding in there - especially when the crowd gives him a loud ovation. Think he's won over the crowd?

- Starting with the West - Duncan Keith always kind of looks like he's going to vomit. That would make this more entertaining for sure. Huh, so does Corey Perry. And there's Jason "Twitchy" Arnott...

- Player intros...

- This is a nice touch - the Hives kicking things off on a stage that Doc informs us will be lifted to the rafters following their performance. Whew, good, because I was worried it would stay you think they'll let the band get off before lifting it up?

- Mark it down at 6:03 - the first of what I'm sure will be many commercials for male, er...enhancement drugs? Can I say that in a family-friendly blog?

- It feels like every year the opening montage is exactly the same, inserting requisite shot of city skyline along with locker room footage of the boys getting ready. My word, I think there may be a hockey game happening tonight!


HabsFan29 said...

Ovie is dominating the weekend! i'm jealous

CapsChick said...

He is, isn't he? Nice to see him live up to all the attention he's had on him - it's how he thrives, though, so I'm not surprised.

HG said...

Goooooo West! :D

CapsChick said...

Goooooooo East! (And Dion and Iggy :P)

DCSportsChick said...

Good Gawd, the ED ads are killing me. I always wonder about the actors in those commercials and hope they get paid boatloads of money to say that kind of stuff. I know I would point and laugh at them if I saw them on the street.

Victor said...

I was hoping DiPietro would take off on a breakaway, myself.

And if Ovie doesn't get the hat trick, blame me and the gf, 'cause we're really rooting for him to do it!

Victor said...

Didja just hear Legace: "How ya doin'?" I was waiting for him to continue, "Buy ya a soda after the game!"

CapsChick said...

DCSC:'s just wrong. I guess we should be glad we haven't seen "Smilin' Bob" yet, though, right? Right?

Victor: I don't think you're alone in wanting the hat trick for Ovie, don't worry...and I adore Manny Legace.

HG said...

I must say it's kinda nice to watch without the all of the Crosby uproar. Finally, a chance for the rest of the guys to be seen.

Shelby said...

Heh. DiPietro screaming "Yeaaaaah Ovie!" and pouncing on our Russian darling. I love it.

They should mike the goalies more often. Really funny, amusing, and it's a great chance to get to know some players (especially goalies, who are even less seen) from another coast.

That was a ton of fun to watch. The passing just blew my mind. I want to go out and play hockey RIGHT NOW. I also really enjoy being able to just appreciate talent without paying attention to the logo on the jersey.

P.S. We need to mention the amazing fact that this game was happily devoid of a certain spearing slug. I didn't miss Briere one little bit.

Oh ... you know who this is! ;-) said...

Tsk! Ilya Kovalchuk has personality. He's just not over the top like say ... some other Russian I know. ;-P Just kidding. But come on!

CapsChick said...

Now, did I say he didn't? ;) We just never SEE it, which is why I've been pleasantly surprised to see glimpses of it this weekend.

Oh, and you know you love the over the top Russian...admit it! 342403584 pictures do not lie, missy :P

DCSportsChick said...

Aha! One mystery solved, courtesy of an article:

"We discovered there's still a little small town in the big city. Even in a worldwide event like this, the fans still shout "Knights!" in the middle of the National Anthem, to claim allegiance to a long-gone minor-league team."

Chris & Sarah said...

I was about to mention the Atlanta Knights info, but looks like someone has beaten me to it.

But I agree with your roomie about the MVP conspiracy, and have put my thought on the matter on the OFB boards.

It involves Sid love, the Pens, Bettman, Bill O'Reilly and a loofa .... (I think I may be confusing a couple of my theories here).