Monday, January 26, 2009

Sportsology: NHL All-Star Game recap

By Rick Morris

Our good pal Russ Cohen from Sportsology attended the All-Star Game festivities this weekend and fed us updates that we posted on our Twitter feed (except for when the Internet in the Bell Centre was on the fritz Sunday night). Here's his great article from

The East Won The Game and The Fans Went Home Happy
By Russ Cohen

I had a chance to see the All-Star Game in Florida a few years back and this game had a similar feel to it.

Alex Kovalev is a real crowd pleaser in Montreal and during this weekend he really seized the moment. He had a great time heading into tonight’s game and that may have lead to his terrific All-Star game appearance. "It's a pretty amazing atmosphere, an amazing weekend, with a bunch of guys that you play against or have played with before, and being in the locker and laughs and doing crazy things on the ice,” Kovalev noted.

The game had a decent ebb and flow at the beginning but in the middle it was waning a bit until the game was tied in the third period, which also included a big-time penalty kill by the East. Boston goaltender Tim Thomas (who stopped 19 of 22 shots) stood on his head and he could have been the MVP as well. Vincent Lecavalier (who was a plus 4) still has a job in Tampa, although the hometown fans would love to see him play in their arena on a full-time basis. Who knows if that will ever happen but one thing is for sure, the Tampa captain really enjoyed himself this weekend.“I had a great time,” Lecavalier stated. “It’s going to be nice to get back to Tampa tomorrow and practice with the guys.”

New Jersey’s Zach Parise loved his new, temporary linemates. “I thought it was a great way to end the All-Star game,” Parise said with a smile. “I got to play on a pretty good line with Vinny and Marty. Oh my God, those guys are awesome.”

Evgeni Malkin got a pretty goal that he maneuvered between his legs and that ended up in the back of the net. “Yeah, it was different because the defenseman weren’t playing hard,” Malkin said candidly.

Habs defenseman Andrei Markov talked about winning a 12-11 "defensive struggle." “It was a fun game I think. Both teams deserved to win and we won the shootout,” said Markov.

The East used Kovalev, Lecavalier and Alexander Ovechkin but not Markov. Was the defenseman hoping that he would be called? “Yeah, if they would have told me,” the Canadiens blue liner admitted. “I love’s fun…we’ll see. Maybe in the future.”

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