In praise of Bobby Ryan

In praise of Bobby Ryan
"The biggest thing is just his poise and his hands are unbelievable. I played with [Evgeni] Malkin and [Sidney] Crosby, and those guys are probably the two best in the league. Bobby's hands are right with those guys... He's a superstar in the making, it seems."
---Ryan Whitney, former Ducks defenseman

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

All Star weekend

(I've done a little decorating around here. Hung some pictures up, that kind of thing. You like?)

Okay okay, call me a rookie. This was my first All Star weekend. And, because my cable provider is a piece of crap, I had to drive out to my parents' house just to enjoy the skills competition.

I would have watched the actual game there too, but I had to work that day.

I've been crawling the Versus, NHL, and Ducks websites religiously the entire weekend, searching for video clips and news bites. I'm a little bummed that I can't find any replays of the game, just highlight videos, but that's okay. I'm amazed that I can actually find a lot of other stuff like pre-game shows, post-game shows, interviews, red carpet highlights, etc. What would we do without the internet??

I probably wouldn't have watched at all if three of our Ducks hadn't gotten invited to Montreal for this. Ryan Getzlaf, Scott Niedermayer, and J.S. Giguere all played as starters in the All Star game. Getz also got a spot in the Breakaway Challenge, and all three got to participate in the Elimination Shootout.

I felt a bit bad for Giggy, going into this weekend in his hometown and all with so many losses under his belt this season. He's in a slump, but he pulled it together to put up a good fight in the Elimination Shootout. I didn't hear/see much about the couple of goals that were scored on him during the game, but I'm kinda relieved he wasn't the final goalie for the West during the shootout! That honor went to the Vancouver Canucks' Roberto Luongo, who I think held up well despite the eventual loss.

Another highlight for me was seeing Scotty make it past two rounds of the Elimination Shootout. Nobody ever expects the defensemen to make it very far in this event, but at one point, he was the only defenseman still on the ice. Go Scotty!

Personally, bias or not, I still thought Getz's Breakaway moves were the most skilled. The Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin might have appealed to the audience more (that guy is quite the showman!), but I thought Getzlaf's around-the-back-of-the-net shot required a little more talent than donning a hat, sunglasses, and Pittsburg Pens' Evgeni Malkin's stick. Ovechkin was, in the very least, memorable. And maybe that's good for the sport in the long run.

But I digress...

Even though our boys didn't win any of the categories, and don't even get me started about Bobby Ryan not getting invited to play in the YoungStars game, it was still great fun to watch the skills competition. And I got a feel for some of the other great players in the league this season. There's definitely some talent out there and I wish the festivities of the weekend were more easily accessible to the public who just might be perusing their cable channels.

The NHL would have a heckuvalot more fans and followers. Honestly, I don't think hockey is a difficult sport to get into. You don't have to know diddly squat about the rules of the game to be able to enjoy watching. It moves quickly, it's emotionally charged, and you see some incredible showmanship in most games.

And, in the middle of a fight, sometimes a hockey game breaks out...


Leo said...

Yep, it's starting to look like something. Keep it coming!

My Zimbio
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