2011 NHL All-Star Game: Alex Ovechkin makes a little history
Alex Ovechkin made history at the NHL All-Star Game on Sunday in Raleigh, just not in the way he or anyone else would have anticipated. Although he got the scoring started in what lived up to all-star expectations in an 11-10 victory for Team Lidstrom, Ovechkin was most noticeable early in the third period when he threw a stick at Colorado's Matt Duchene.
The attempt to "make some play," as Ovechkin said, resulted in the first-ever penalty shot in an all-star game. Luckily for Ovechkin, goaltender Henrik Lundqvist bailed him out and stopped Duchene's attempt.
"Well, I want to be in history, so now I'm in history," Ovechkin joked afterward. As for his take on the style of play in the all-star game: "I like it - lots of offense with no defense."
The true fun of the all-star event, though, as several players reiterated throughout the weekend, was having the opportunity to play with some of the best players from around the rest of the league. To commemorate the weekend, Ovechkin and Capitals teammate Mike Green walked around the dressing room after the contest seeking autographs from all of their teammates.
"I'm trying to get it signed by everybody but you [reporters] are everywhere, but hopefully I will," said Green, who said he will have the jersey framed. "It's my first one, it's pretty special. I don't want [the jersey] just laying in a box all the time. So I'm excited."
--Chicago's Patrick Sharp was named MVP of the game with a goal and two assists -- a nice way to end a weekend for a player who wasn't initially listed on the all-star ballot. Not to mention he put on a nice show for his parents, who were so determined to get to Raleigh for the event that when their travel plans were derailed by the snowstorm the stranded them in Newark, they rented a van and made the eight-hour trek to North Carolina.
--Only Nicklas Lidstrom can play through a 11-10 all-star scoring extravaganza and finish with a plus-7 rating. Nashville's Shea Weber wasn't far off though at plus-6.
--This was the first all-star game I've ever attended and the atmosphere in Raleigh was definitely unique. With such strong representation for the Hurricanes -- Eric Staal, Cam Ward, Jeff Skinner and Jamie McBain, who participated with the rookies in the skills competition -- they were loud and let their loyalties known even outside RBC Center throughout the whole weekend.
Also, the references to Jeff Skinner as North Carolina's Justin Bieber aren't an exaggeration. Though it's hard to say if Skinner's announcement as part of the all-star roster on Sunday afternoon garnered louder applause from the home crowd than the one former Hurricane Rod Brind'Amour received when he skated out on to the ice for the opening segment.
| January 30, 2011; 10:15 PM ET
Categories: All-Star Game
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