Sit down and get a chaser ready, cuz it’s time for several shots of highly concentrated hockey news! This week was heavy on the All-Star Game, with back-to-back reveals of the final rosters and official 3-on-3 tournament jerseys.
We also saw Ovechkin’s 1000th career NHL point, plus, you know. Some other hockey stuff.
3 Stars of the Week
Your three most star-worthy stars of the NHL this week were Michael Grabner of the New York Rangers, Patrick Maroon of the Edmonton Oilers, and last but not least (but kinda least because he’s third star), Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals.
Grabner did some serious handiwork last week, scoring five goals and two assists in three games, leading the league with seven points total.
Maroon came out of left field with his first NHL hat trick (“such soft hands” for such a big guy, according to Oilers captain Connor McDavid), and Holtby just did his usual Holtbeast thing and went 2-0-0 in three games to bring the Caps to 3-0-0 for the week. Good job, boys! Enjoy your gold stars.
This proved to be a bountiful week for juicy All-Star Game reveals. The official rosters for each division were announced Tuesday, and the 3-on-3 tournament jerseys were revealed on Wednesday.
The All-Star Game, hosted in Los Angeles this year, is a chance for hockey fans to see their favorite players engage in some fun, low-stakes hockey at an overpriced venue. Despite the event having absolutely no real purpose other than fan service, it wouldn’t be hockey without controversy. Last year we were all treated to the Saga of John Scott (his poignant Players’ Tribune article is worth a read), and while the 2017 game will be as tame as possible thanks to an excitement-averse league, the fans always have a bone to pick.
I scanned Hockey Twitter and bring you the discourse, in brief:
- Why were so many Blackhawks invited? Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, and Corey Crawford will all represent their team for the Central Division in LA later this month. The only other team so heavily represented is the Sharks, with three players named to the Pacific Division roster. Uncool? Totally justified? Hard to say, but one thing’s for sure: the NHL really likes those Hawks.
- Everyone loves rookies! Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets and Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs, everyone’s precious sons and fan faves, will be playing for the Central and Atlantic Divisions, respectively. It remains to be seen whether Laine will actually attend – he’s out with a concussion, and there’s no time table as of yet for his return. Meanwhile, we’re all on the edge of our collective seats waiting to see what Auston will wear on the red carpet. With style icons P.K. Subban and Brent Burns also in attendance, it’s likely that we will be sartorially blessed that weekend.
- What is Toews doing here? Our boy Jonny has only scored 21 points this season, and considering we’re now officially past the halfway point, it makes sense that some fans might be upset that Toews was chosen over other players in the division who have – as we say in the hockey biz – wayyy more points. But Toews is a big name in hockey, whether we like it or not, and he’s proven in seasons past – both on and off the ice – that he’s All-Star material.
What about those jerseys, though?
The All-Star Game jerseys were revealed Wednesday, their colors paying tribute to the 50th Anniversary of the Los Angeles Kings. They’ll be worn during the 3-on-3 tournament, with the Pacific Division wearing black, the Central Division wearing purple, the Metropolitan Division in white, and the Atlantic Division in yellow.
The stars on the jerseys also have significance, according to the NHL:
Each jersey features a band of stars that is reminiscent of the uniforms worn in NHL All-Star Games from 1989-91. Each of the 10 stars represents a decade in the 100-year history of the League. Four stars on the socks represent the four divisions in the NHL today.
The font for the names and numbers is modeled after the Hollywood sign, a pretty cool homage to the game’s host city. Whether you like them or not, compared to last year’s jerseys, these have got to be a step up.
Alex Ovechkin Hits 1000-Point Milestone
Not even a minute into the much-anticipated Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins game this Wednesday, Alex Ovechkin scored a goal to bring his total points in the NHL up to 1000. The stars aligned and the hockey gods smiled down upon the Capitals that night, truly. Ovechkin, often seen cuddling rookies, received a much-deserved standing ovation at Verizon Center.
Ovechkin is the 84th player in the NHL to record 1000 career points, and with a stroke of extra powerful luck (and maybe a drink from the fountain of eternal youth), he’ll be around for another 1000. Take some pointers from Jaromir Jagr, Ovi. What’s his secret, is it Wheaties in the morning? Apple cider vinegar at night? The fans want to know.
Swamp Rabbits Reveal Video Game Night Jersey
The Greenville Swamp Rabbits just revealed their special Video Game Night theme jerseys, which they’ll don for Saturday’s game against the Norfolk Admirals. Much to everyone’s horror and delight, these jerseys are absolutely hideous. The great thing about the ECHL is its apparent anything-goes attitude regarding aesthetically offensive jerseys. Remember the Toledo Walleye Rocky themed jerseys? I wish I could forget them.
Let’s look past the look of abject misery on the face of the pictured Swamp Rabbits hostage, I mean player. Video Game Night is a genius idea, and I move to implement it for every NHL team going forward, fuggo jerseys and all. You with me?
Cabbie Presents: The Showers
In the most important hockey news this week, our favorite Cabbie of Cabbie Presents got intimate with some of our fave players to discuss the mysteries of locker room showers. What’s the situation in there? Is there singing? If so, who’s the guy belting out Adele after a game? (My money’s on Gabe Landeskog, because he was not interviewed, and is therefore unable to prove me wrong.)
I’m a big fan of this video because we now know for a fact that at least three Toronto Maple Leafs are Bon Jovi fans.
‘Hockey News of the Week’ is written by the talented Meg Smitherman. Check out more of her work on Twitter.