If you didn’t watch the NHL All Star game, I don’t blame you at all given how boring the “spectacle” has been for as long as I can remember. However, you missed an incredible 10 minutes of hockey in the 2nd half of the Championship Game between the Atlantic and Pacific Divisions. It’s one thing that 3 on 3 overtime hockey this year has opened up a new, exciting brand of hockey, but it’s quite another when that brand of hockey is being played by the best players in the league.
When the Atlantic Division made its final push with their goalie pulled late in the game, I was rooting almost as hard for them as I do for the Bruins, even though I was only watching the game (on my computer) because the Celtics were collapsing on TV. The players were all playing at such a high level that it reminded me of the Olympics with the quality of play, and that’s a stark contrast from All Star Games of the past.
At long last, the NHL has finally found the format that will get us to watch every year. Sure, the introduction was excruciatingly long and boring, the semifinal games — especially in their 1st halves — were only good and not great, and there was way too much Pierre McGuire, but the excitement of the final round when the players wanted to split the million bucks was incredible. I can’t wait to see what the difference in ratings will be between the 2016 and 2017 All Star Games.