How I won a cool 360 bucks at the All-Star Game

Patrice Bergeron (left) and John Tavares  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

COLUMBUS – Your trusty correspondent has a new favorite player and his name is John Tavares. Any player who can make a contribution to the kids’ education funds, or to the post All-Star Game beer fund, is worthy of my admiration.

My keen eye for talent conspired with Tavares’ brilliant scoring skill to win me a cool $360 (in inflated U.S. funds, no less!) in the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association All-Star Game pool. Ryan Johansen may have left with a new car, but yours truly probably has enough money to buy a couple of tires. Read more

Here are 10 storylines to watch the rest of the way

Slava Voynov  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS – Well, that was some “showcase of skill” wasn’t it? Unless of course, you consider bodychecking, backchecking, stopping pucks and skating hard for pucks to be valuable skills.

There’s a good chance that you’ve forgotten whether Team Toews or Team Foligno won as you read this. But it was a good weekend and good on the city of Columbus for being so hospitable and welcoming. And good on the players for letting their hair down a little and letting the fans in on the fun.

Now to more important matters, specifically the second half and stretch run leading up to the playoffs. Here are 10 storylines that should provide some compelling moments as we hit the most crucial part of the season: Read more

John Tavares scores an all-star game-best four goals – and only needs five shots to do it

Adam Proteau
John Tavares (Getty Images)

There were 29 goals scored Sunday at the 2015 NHL all-star game. New York Islanders superstar John Tavares had more than 10 percent of them. And he only needed five shots to score his game-best four goals.

The 24-year-old Tavares netted the first three of his four goals on as many shots:
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Johansen and Foligno did Columbus proud this weekend

Ryan Kennedy
All-Star captain Nick Foligno and Ryan Johansen (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

COLUMBUS – You could argue that Jakub Voracek was the true MVP of the game, you could make the case that Nick Foligno was an odd choice to be a captain in the first place, but in an event that is all about the fans, does any of that really matter?

When the cannon smoke cleared at Nationwide Arena, the two representatives of the hometown Columbus Blue Jackets, Foligno and MVP Ryan Johansen, sat in front of the media and had one last jokey yet heartfelt chance to bask in the glory of All-Star Weekend.

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Here’s your first look at the NHL’s latest groundbreaking technology

Adam Proteau
The NHL's new player tracking system

As the NHL modernizes its approach to advanced statistics, it’s also striving to change with the times as it pertains to the technology surrounding the sport. And at the 2015 all-star game in Columbus, league officials provided the first look at one of those new technologies: an in-game tracking system for players that looks to be the next level of the real-time, actively connected sports experience.

The new system, developed by sports broadcasting company Sportvision, tracks players by microchips implanted in their jerseys and with microchips in pucks, registering and displaying information from ice time to shot velocity. For a program in its infancy, the results look impressive: Read more

From Selanne to Howe, the top 10 All-Star Game moments

Jared Clinton
Owen Nolan picks his spot at the 1997 All-Star Game in San Jose. (via YouTube)

Even if the All-Star Game is nothing more than a star-studded exhibition game with all the intensity of a pond hockey game on Christmas morning, it doesn’t mean there hasn’t been a memorable moment or two at the midseason game.

While the Skills Competition usually brings the best out of the players and is always good for a few big shows, the game itself has been there to act as a big stage for players who are leaving the game or as an impressive night where one star shines brighter than the rest. From Gretzky and Howe to names like Heatley and Damphousse, here is the top 10 All-Star Game moments. Read more

KHL All-Star breakaway attempt better than anything from NHL

Jared Clinton
Nikita Gusev (via YouTube/KHL)

The NHL’s All-Star Skills Competition may boast props and silliness, but this move by Nikita Gusev at the KHL’s Skills Competition is simply downright ridiculous.

Last night saw Ottawa Senators rookie Mike Hoffman try, on more than one occasion, to scoop the puck up lacrosse-style to score a goal. But Gusev does that one better. Or two better even, depending on who you ask. Take a look at this and try to wrap your head around how the 22-year-old Russian does this so effortlessly. Read more

Shea Weber unloads 108.5 MPH blast at All-Star Skills

Jared Clinton
Shea Weber  (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

Zdeno Chara may not be in Columbus for All-Star weekend, but he’s certainly going to be hearing about Shea Weber’s booming blast that nearly unseated his Hardest Shot Competition record.

Weber, the Nashville Predators blueliner who has put pucks through the net on more than one occasion and blasted holes in the boards with his booming slapshot, stepped up and fired an absolute laser during one of the night’s most famous events. Blink and you’ll miss it. Read more