All-Star Weekend, Chicago Blackhawks Style!

By Gail Kauchak

Jan 25, 2015; Columbus, OH, USA; Team Toews center Jonathan Toews (19) of the Chicago Blackhawks controls the puck against Team Foligno defenseman Brent Burns (88) of the San Jose Sharks in the third period in the 2015 NHL All Star Game at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to fan voting, we were able to see our fair share of Chicago Blackhawks at this weekend’s All-Star festivities.  5 to be exact.  All the teams had to be represented, and most had just one or two players attending.  The Tampa Bay Lightning came the closest to the Hawks with 3 in attendance.  But Tyler Johnson was unable to participate, and rookie Jonathan Drouin only competed in the skills competition.  So without further ado, let’s take a look at how our Chicago boys left their mark during this All-Star weekend.

But first a word about the Alex Ovechkin situation in the All-Start draft on Friday night.  My take on the whole thing is that his peers decided to pick on him a little bit and make him sweat.  What other choice did he have but to ham it up and pretend to go with it?  And have another drink…But on to classier things.  Duncan Keith was selected third overall, going to Team Foligno with Patrick Kane.  Corey Crawford was taken in the fourth round, and Brent Seabrook in the seventh round, both going to Team Toews.  So of course no embarrassing late drafts for the Chicago Blackhawks.

There was no doubt in my mind that Patrick Kane was going to win the accuracy shooting contest during Saturday’s skills competition.  He hit all 4 targets in 13.529 seconds.  I thought he might have had an even better time than that.  So did Jonathan Toews.   It would have been pretty cool if Kaner could have gotten all 4 targets in 4 shots, but he ended up hitting the first 3, then missing 2 times before getting the last target.  Oh well, it just goes to show that we’re all human.  Click here to see the video.

It was pretty adorable when Ryan Johansen went and picked up a little kid to assist him in scoring during the breakaway challenge.  And then Jakub Voracek did a take-off of that and went and picked up Johnny Hockey (Gaudreau).  Hilarious stuff.

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And how about Shea Weber with the second fastest shot ever recorded (108.5 mph)?  He is second only to Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins from 3 years ago (108.8 mph).  Brent Seabrook’s shot wasn’t too shabby.  He recorded a shot of 98.6 mph, which ended up earning him fourth place in the competition.  Duncan Keith said he would have liked to have taken a try at it, but we all know this isn’t exactly Keith’s forte.

Team Foligno was up by a score of 15-4 going into the final skills event, which was the shootout contest.  Team Toews dominated this last contest by a score of 16-7, but it wasn’t enough.  The final score for the night was 25-19, Team Foligno.

And finally, Sunday night brought the feature event, the actual All-Star game.  It was quite the offensive affair, with Team Toews taking the win by a score of 17-12!  This was the highest scoring game in the history of All-Star games.  The scoring was pretty neck and neck between the 2 teams until the third period, where Team Toews pulled away for good.

Typical to his unselfish style, Jonathan Toews tallied 4 helpers before he went ahead and recorded himself a goal.  Patrick Kane had 2 beautiful goals and 1 assist.  Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook each came away with an assist.

For the record, Corey Crawford was the best goalie of the 6 goalies participating in this extravaganza.  He had a .777 save percent average, stopping 14 of 18 shots.  The 18 shots attempted on him were the most attempted compared to any of the other net minders.  Roberto Luongo came in a close second, with a .764 SV%, stopping 13 of 17 shots, and Carey Price was third with a .750 SV%, stopping 12 of 16 shots.  The theme for the night for the goalies seemed to be to give away 4 goals.  Nevertheless, Crow did his best to, in his own words, “not get lit up out there”, and he made some great saves.

Well it certainly did seem like everyone had fun, even if the pace was slower and the effort was a little half hearted.  Per Mark Lazerus of The Chicago Sun Times, this is what Patrick Kane had to say about Jonathan Toews after the game.  “Guys were looking around like, ‘What’s up with Johnny?  Why is he going so hard?’  That’s just the way he it.  Johnny Hustle.”  Click here for the full article.

Well there you have it folks.   We might not have a Johnny Hockey, but we have our very own Johnny Hustle, dubbed so by our very own Kaner.  The All-Star weekend was fun and entertaining; but now the Chicago Blackhawks need to get back to business, as they’re headed into a 6 game road trip.  Get your coffee ready!  The next 3 games have 9 pm or later starts times.  Let’s Go Hawks!

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