The San Jose Sharks hosted the 2019 All-Star game and it was chomptastic. It was the NHL’s fourth year doing the 3 on 3 style tournament. The games are two, 10 minute half’s, with a small break in the middle. Coming into this All-Star tourney, the Pacific won in 2016 and 2018 and the Metropolitan won in 2017. The winning division each year gets one million dollars. Now even though that money is on the line, the teams only put forth less than half of an actual game effort, mainly because they don’t want to get hurt. Even with this type of effort, it’s still fun to watch the games best go at it and show off their skills, in front of the passionate, NHL fans.
The first matchup was the Pacific vs the Central. Now the Pacific has a strong foundation of goal scorers, but the goaltending can be hit and miss sometimes, and it showed early. John Gibson from the Anaheim Ducks got the first half start for the Pacific and he was duck roasted early. The Central was up 7-1 halfway through the game and it was pretty much done after that, thanks to some great goaltending from Devan Dubnyk and Pekka Rinne. Also, the Colorado Avalanches Gabriel Landeskog led the way with three goals and one assist. San Jose had their own Sharks line of Joe Pavelski, Brent Burns, and Erik Karlsson, and they produced most of the scoring chances for the team, but it came when the game was out of reach. Karlsson scored twice and almost got a hat trick, but came up short. Central won the game 10-4 and beat the Pacific for the first time in four tries.
The second matchup was the Metropolitan vs the Atlantic. This game was pretty even for both halfs and showed some amazing goaltending at times. Henrik Lundqvist showed why he is called King Henrik and Andrei Vasilevskiy put up a good show for the Atlantic at times. Of course it was the Pittsburgh Penguins duo of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin that put the Metro through to the final game. Crosby had two goals and one assist and Malkin put up one goal and one assist. The Metropolitan pulled away late and won 7-4.
The final matchup was between the Central and Metropolitan. This matchup was like the Pacific vs Central duel because the game was over early. The Metro was up 5-0 at the end of the first half and it was once again thanks to some good play by the Penguins, and King Henrik. Crosby scored twice again, Mathew Barzal also scored twice, and so did Cam Atkinson. The Central did score two quick ones to make it 5-2, but the Metro quickly put the idea of a comeback to bed. The Metropolitan would get a few empty netters, win 10-5, and get their second, All-Star game title.
In closing, Sidney Crosby went on to win the All-Star game, MVP award and once again showed off a trophy in front of the Shark fan base. The Sharks fans will forever boo Crosby for winning the Stanley Cup on their ice and they let the boo birds flow again. The fans also didn’t care that their rivals were on the same team and let the Kings, Ducks, and Vegas players know about it as well. At times it felt like a Sharks game, but it was mostly some incredible saves and a few great goals. The All-Star game is like a United Nations for the NHL and everyone enjoyed the talent.
– Michael Garaventa, WTF Sports Intern