Team Chara vs. Team Alfredsson
4:00 ET… TV: CBC, NBC Sports Network
Players to watch:
TC- Marian Hossa
Hossa is quietly amongst the league leaders in points at the break. I have a feeling the former Senator will have a big day.
TA- Steven Stamkos
Stamkos, the NHL’s leading goal-scorer put on a nice display of skills in the Elimination Shootout last night. Will that performance carry over?
Three things to watch:
1. How many goals will be scored?
In the previous two All-Star Games, in Raleigh and Montreal, there were a combined 43 goals scored. Can Team Chara and Team Alfredsson eclipse the 21 and 22 that were scored, respectively, in those games? The highest scoring tilt came in 2001 in a 14-12 victory for North America against the World. With how offensively-minded these defensemen are, and the lack of defense that is played in this setting, it wouldn’t be surprising to another 20-plus goal contest.
2. How will hometown Sens perform?
The Scotiabank Place crowd will be heavily in favor of Team Alfredsson, which features four Ottawa Senators. Will the trio of Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek light up the scoresheet in front of the hometown fans? And don’t forget Norris candidate Erik Karlsson, who impressed in the Fastest Skater competition last night. Nonetheless, it’ll be interesting to see how the quartet of Senators plays today.
3. Who will step up and shine?
No Crosby, no Ovechkin… no problem? There were plenty of stars on display in last night’s skills competition, one of the best of its kind in recent memory. Evgeni Malkin is the most dominant player right now, so he’s a candidate to shine today. A couple players that I can see stealing the show are Phil Kessel and Tyler Seguin, who will ironically be on the same line for Team Chara in this one.
Final thought: There’s really nothing new, at this point, with the All-Star Game. The players are there for fun and to bring the fans out of their seats, so naturally, highlight-reel goals are scored. I don’t think either team has an advantage, but I like the makeup of Team Alfredsson for this event. If it were a real game, I’d take Team Chara hands down. Prediction: Team Alfredsson 11, Team Chara 9
Five must-read links:
- National Post: Diagnosis of Sidney Crosby’s neck injury only produces more questions
- Globe and Mail: American goaltenders making presence felt
- Yahoo! Sports: Rangers’ Dan Girardi relishes role as anti-All-Star
- Sports Illustrated: Collins is NHL’s man behind the curtain for move into 21st century
- ESPN: Ryan Suter irked by coverage of his comments
Video of the day:
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