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57th National Hockey League All-Star Game

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The 57th National Hockey League All-Star Game was held at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, home of the Montreal Canadiens, in conjunction with the Montreal Canadiens centennial celebrations. The game was held between two teams, each representing a conference (Eastern and Western) of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Eastern Conference team won the game 12–11, decided by shootout. The next NHL All-Star Game, the 58th, will be held in 2011, instead of 2010, due to the 2010 Olympics, which will be held in Vancouver, an NHL city.[2]

The game was part of a weekend of activities. On Saturday, a game featuring NHL rookies and sophomores preceded a skills competition among the NHL players, called the NHL All-Star Game SuperSkills Competition. In a first for the All-Star game, the "Breakaway Challenge", a part of the skills competition, had fans voting for the winner using their mobile phones, with the real-time voting results posted on the NHL's website. The All-Star game itself was played on a Sunday evening. The game was preceded by a circus arts display and a concert was held between the second and third periods.

SuperSkills CompetitionEdit

Unlike previous years, the Skills Competition did not have players playing on the behalf of their respective conferences (thus, there was no conference-based scoring) and the team-based Obstacle Course was removed. In addition, YoungStars players became eligible to play in the Fastest Skater, Hardest Shot, Shooting Accuracy, and Breakaway Challenge events.

The Fastest Skater event reverted back to the traditional one-lap format. The breakaway challenge used Jason Maggio, a local minor hockey goaltender defending the goal (to answer criticisms that the all-star goaltenders simply poke-checked the players as they were making the shot) as well as the player being able to take as many shots as possible in one minute (instead of only one shot). Finally, instead of being a judged competition, the breakaway challenge allowed the public to vote for the winner via text messaging. The public chose Alexander Ovechkin, whose highlight was a shot using two sticks while wearing a series of props provided by Evgeni Malkin, by a landslide, with 47% of the votes. Evgeni Malkin won the shooting accuracy over Dany Heatley in a sudden death shoot-off after both score 4-for-4 in the preliminaries. Malkin shot 3-4 missing the last target while Heatley hit his first two but missed on the third. Andrew Cogliano walked off as the winner of the Fastest Skater competition.

The Hardest Shot competition was played for charity, with each competitor contributing $1000, to be matched by their team and the league, as well as the NHLPA, for a total of $24,000 to the charity chosen by the winner of the competition. Zdeno Chara won the event, with a record 105.4 MPH shot (eclipsing Al Iafrate, who had set the record the last time the All-Star game was in Montreal). The Elimination Shootout involved all 40 skaters (but only four of the six goaltenders - leaving Roberto Luongo as the only player to not participate in any of the skills events), with the goaltenders being able to choose which skaters they will face off against. The field was narrowed from 40 to just 12 after one round, and Shane Doan eventually outlasted Marc Savard after 7 rounds (including two rounds in which none of the three remaining players — Doan, Savard, nor Milan Hejduk — scored).

YoungStars GameEdit

For the first time, the YoungStars game, part of the the Skills Competition featured a three-on-three rookies versus sophomores format, consisting of three six-minute periods with the clock stopping only within the last minute of each game. [4] Coaching the rookies was Luc Robitaille and for the sophomores was Pete Mahovlich. Unlike last year, YoungStars goaltenders have been named, though sophomore goaltender Carey Price volunteered to do double duty after Erik Ersberg withdrew from the game due to injury. The game saw rookie goaltender Pekka Rinne (who replaced Steve Mason) make 20 saves in a 9-5 victory for the rookies. Rookie Blake Wheeler was named the MVP of the YoungStars game after scoring four goals.

RostersEdit

Rookies Sophomores
Coach: Flag of Canada Luc Robitaille Flag of Canada Pete Mahovlich
Players:

Flag of Finland 35 - G Pekka Rinne (Nashville Predators)
Flag of Canada 8 - D Drew Doughty (Los Angeles Kings)
Flag of Canada 2 - D Luke Schenn (Toronto Maple Leafs)
Flag of Sweden 21 - F Patrik Berglund (St. Louis Blues)
Flag of Denmark 19 - F Mikkel Bødker (Phoenix Coyotes)
Flag of the Czech Republic 67 - F Michael Frolik (Florida Panthers)
Flag of Canada 18 - F James Neal (Dallas Stars)
Flag of Canada 91 - F Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Flag of Canada 32 - F Kris Versteeg (Chicago Blackhawks)
Flag of the United States 26 - F Blake Wheeler (Boston Bruins)

Flag of Canada 31 - G Carey Price (Montreal Canadiens)
Flag of Canada 58 - D Kris Letang (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Flag of Canada 18 - D Marc Staal (New York Rangers)
Flag of Canada 36 - F Dave Bolland (Chicago Blackhawks)
Flag of Canada 13 - F Andrew Cogliano (Edmonton Oilers)
Flag of the United States 17 - F Brandon Dubinsky (New York Rangers)
Flag of Canada 10 - F Bryan Little (Atlanta Thrashers)
Flag of Canada 57 - F David Perron (St. Louis Blues)
Flag of Canada 21 - F Mason Raymond (Vancouver Canucks)
Flag of Canada 16 - F Devin Setoguchi (San Jose Sharks)

Final Score  
Period     1st 2nd 3rd Final 
Sophomore   1   3   1    5 
Rookie      3   4   2    9 
  • Milan Lucic was named to the YoungStars game, but did not play.
  • Erik Ersberg was named to the YoungStars game, but did not play.
  • Steve Mason was named to the YoungStars game, but did not play.
  • Nicklas Bäckström was named to the YoungStars game, but did not play.
  • Kris Versteeg was named to the YoungStars game, but did not dress.

Absentee punishmentEdit

Due to a growing number of otherwise healthy players choosing to skip the All-Star Game to 'rest', the NHL began to enforce the understanding that players that are named to the All-Star Game must participate in some capacity. Those who choose not to participate must miss a game, either before the All-Star game or after. Players named to the YoungStars game will not be subject to this policy, as their consent is required for participation. Thus, due to Red Wings players Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidström having declined to attend the festivities due to injury, they will be forced to miss one game. Sidney Crosby, who was also ruled out due to injury, participated in off-ice activities and will not be forced to miss a game.

RostersEdit

Fan voting for the All-Star Game starting line-up was closed on January 2, 2009. The rosters were announced on January 3 by retired Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame player Jean Béliveau, who played in 13 All-Star games during his career.

Eastern All-Stars Western All-Stars
Coach: Flag of the United States Claude Julien (Boston Bruins) Flag of Canada Todd McLellan (San Jose Sharks)
Assistant Coaches: Flag of Canada Gay Carbonneau (Montreal Canadiens) Flag of Canada Mike Babcock (Detroit Red Wings)
Starters:

Flag of Canada 31 - G Gayrey Price (Montreal Canadiens)
Flag of the United States 44 - D Mike Komisarek (Montreal Canadiens)
Flag of Russia 79 - D Andrei Markov (Montreal Canadiens)
Flag of Russia 27 - F Alexei Kovalev (Montreal Canadiens) C
Flag of Canada 04 - F Vincent Lecavalier (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Flag of Russia 31 - F Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins)

Flag of Canada 35 - G Jean-Sébastien Giguère (Anaheim Ducks)
Flag of Canada 51 - D Brian Campbell (Chicago Blackhawks)
Flag of Canada 27 - D Scott Niedermayer (Anaheim Ducks)
Flag of Canada 15 - F Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks)
Flag of the United States 88 - F Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks)
Flag of Canada 19 - F Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks)

Reserves:

Flag of Sweden 35 - G Henrik Lundqvist (New York Rangers)
Flag of the United States 30 - G Tim Thomas (Boston Bruins)
Flag of Canada 03 - D Jay Bouwmeester (Florida Panthers)
Flag of Slovakia 33 - D Zdeno Chara (Boston Bruins)
Flag of the Czech Republic 15 - D Tomas Kaberle (Toronto Maple Leafs)
Flag of Switzerland 02 - D Mark Streit (New York Islanders)
Flag of Canada 07 - F Jeff Carter (Philadelphia Flyers)
Flag of Canada 51 - F Dany Heatley (Ottawa Senators)
Flag of Russia 17 - F Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta Thrashers)
Flag of Russia 08 - F Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals)
Flag of the United States 09 - F Zach Parise (New Jersey Devils)
Flag of Canada 01 - F Marc Savard (Boston Bruins)
Flag of Canada 26 - F Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Flag of Canada 12 - F Eric Staal (Carolina Hurricanes)
Flag of Austria 20 - F Thomas Vanek (Buffalo Sabres)

Flag of Finland 32 - G Niklas Bäckström (Minnesota Wild)
Flag of Canada 01 - G Roberto Luongo (Vancouver Canucks)
Flag of Canada 22 - D Dan Boyle (San Jose Sharks)
Flag of Canada 03 - D Stéphane Robidas (Dallas Stars)
Flag of Canada 44 - D Sheldon Souray (Edmonton Oilers)
Flag of Canada 06 - D Shea Weber (Nashville Predators)
Flag of the United States 24 - F Dustin Brown (Los Angeles Kings)
Flag of Canada 18 - F Shane Doan (Phoenix Coyotes)
Flag of the Czech Republic 23 - F Milan Hejduk (Colorado Avalanche)
Flag of Canada 12 - F Jarome Iginla (Calgary Flames)
Flag of Canada 10 - F Patrick Marleau (San Jose Sharks)
Flag of the United States 09 - F Mike Modano (Dallas Stars)
Flag of Canada 61 - F Rick Nash (Columbus Blue Jackets)
Flag of Canada 97 - F Joe Thornton (San Jose Sharks) C
Flag of the United States 07 - F Keith Tkachuk (St. Louis Blues)

NotesEdit

Note W1: Nicklas Lidström was named to the Western Conference All-Star Team, but chose not to play. Stéphane Robidas was named as his replacement.[10] Note W2: Pavel Datsyuk was named to the Western Conference All-Star Team, but was unable to play due to injury. Patrick Marleau was named as his replacement.[10] Note E1: Sidney Crosby was voted into the starting lineup for the Eastern Conference All-Star Team, but was unable to play due to injury. Martin St. Louis was named as his replacement on the roster and Vincent Lecavalier as his replacement in the starting lineup.

Box ScoreEdit

Final Score  
Period     1st 2nd 3rd OT SO  Final 
West        2   6   3   0 0/2  11  
East        4   4   3   0 2/3  12


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