Taking In The All Star Game

Since, as the old saying goes, "opinions are like blogs, everybody's got one", here's my thoughts after catching tonight's NHL All-Star Game from Dallas:

  • The Rail-Cam is a great idea, but it needs further refinement. Perhaps if they would run it back and forth along a wire suspended higher in the air than the top of the glass, it would not only provide a better viewing angle (most shots are too tight), but the camera itself wouldn't get in the way as much during wider shots.
  • The live commentary from Dallas Stars goaltender Marty Turco throughout the third period was some of the best TV hockey I've seen in a long, long time.
  • The on-air interviews need to provide more opportunity for the players to show their personality and have some fun. Good example - Christine Simpson presenting Alex Ovechkin with a jumbo-size bag of potato chips, in a nod to his recent TV commercial, and Alex mugging like he was going to chow down right there on the bench. Bad example - one of the ice reporters for Versus asking Ovechkin a long, rambling question during the Skills Competition that left the neophyte English speaker confused and stumbling.
  • Rick Nash looks downright scary when he gets position on a defender and drives to the net. His size and reach are real difference-makers.
  • The overall action seemed to move along at a good pace, particularly later in the game.
  • Philippe Boucher's intermission interview made a great point about the importance of family to NHL players, who recognize the sacrifices made by parents or siblings.
  • (Edit 1/25/07) I forgot to mention initially that I thought the new jerseys looked great. As far as appearance, the only major difference I saw was that they're utilizing the side of the jersey as part of the design, where previously only the front and back were thought of.
All in all, it was a good night for hockey. And you know, maybe holding it during the week ain't such a bad thing after all.

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