Friday, January 26, 2007

All-Star Notebook

Thoughts from the NHL's All-Star Game:

- The new jerseys (the only reason we bothered to tune in, actually) are very, slick. Odd to look at after a lifetime of baggy, unflattering ponchos, but that will gladly fade with time. Sartorially speaking, the NHL got it right. Hockey players are some of the fittest athletes you are going to find, and it's about time they started showing it off.

There were a lot of dire predictions in the run-up to the unveiling, talks of 30 teams in 30 cookie cutter matching designs; of no more horizontal lines; of significant logo changes to fit the new parameters (notably, our Maple Leafs). That's all bollocks. Though some teams will be doing the logo shuffle (like the Columbus Blue Jackets, who will drop their expansion
duds for their super fine, super patriotic third jersey, which is long over due) it won't be because the new jersey necessitates it.

- While we're at it, there are some people who might not benefit from the jersey shrink. That would be the league's smaller players, like Chicago's Martin Havlat, who looked particularly svelte at Wednesday's proceedings. And by svelte, we mean anorexic.

- Also, fat people.

- Tomas Kaberle was the Maple Leafs' lone representative in Dallas (though Alex Steen made the Young Stars game in light of his recent renaissance), an added after thought there to make sure somebody in Toronto was watching. Kaberle was easily their safest bet, no other Leaf, besides Darcy Tucker and Kyle Wellwood, who are both on indefinite injury leave, have really impressed much. Mats Sundin has been superhuman at times, but is scoreless in his last eight, and isn't doing anything particularly spectacular. Kaberle was a safe choice, if not an exciting one.
- Yannic Perreault was one of the most puzzling All-Star selections we can remember. A heart warming story - he didn't start the season with a contract you see - but is having a shiny faceoff winning percentage really all it takes to make it?

- Rory Fitzpatrick wasn't an All-Star. While we sent a few votes his way, it's probably for the best that he took the four days off: As vacuous as the All Star game is, all the players who make it there do it through their own hard work. Making it on a gimmick would have put Rory in awkward spot in that dressing room.

- For all the hype, Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin didn't do much of anything together. That's ok though, they'll have the next twenty consecutive All Star games to work on that.

- All Star games are really, really, really, really, ridiculously boring. Like, for serious.


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