Penton: Big overhaul needed for all-star game
The 12-9 final score in the recent National Hockey League All-Star Game in which there were 21 more goals scored than body checks delivered, proves once again that something should be done to make the annual “classic” more like a real game.
The hilarity of it all is that there are probably casual fans in the United States who tune in faithfully to the NHL All-Star Game — and it’s the only game they see all year — and think the high-scoring, no-checking, laugh-filled game is standard NHL fare.
It’s a real NHL hockey game in the same fashion as travelling in a Honda Civic at 110 km/h on the Trans-Canada Highway is like a NASCAR race.
On Feb. 1, the second day of post-all-star game action, five NHL games were played, with a total of 20 non-shootout goals being scored.
Now that’s the low-scoring, tight-checking, hard-hitting, great-goaltending NHL we know and love.
A 12-9 laugher is a disgrace to the game and the league should do something about it.
How about cancelling it?
Two other sports leagues have similar problems with their ‘best-of-the-best’ contests.
The NBA’s biggest and best play a game that resembles a Saturday morning schoolyard scrum.
Last year’s final score was 148-143, with more uncontested shots than there were competitor tattoos.
Football’s Pro Bowl is such a joke that players from the best two teams — the Super Bowl contestants — can’t play because they’re preparing for the big game.
The only all-star game with a hint of legitimacy is that of Major League Baseball.
Not only does it resemble a real game (other than the frequency of substitutions, especially on the mound), but there’s something to play for: The winning team earns home-field advantage for its league in that year’s World Series.
Slumping TV ratings for the NHL All-Star Game should be a clear signal to Gary Bettman and Co. that a change should be instituted.
How about this (as proposed on a recent satellite-radio show): Merge the league’s two goofy games (the outdoor Winter Classic and the all-star game), get the silliness out of the way in one package, and then settle back for the stretch run to the Stanley Cup.
Anything has to be better than the crap the league dished out in Ottawa two weeks ago.
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• Among the top 10 questions to ask yourself before spending $16,000 on a Super Bowl ticket, from CBS’s David Letterman: “Do they have anything in the more affordable $15,000 range?”
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• Brad Dickson of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald, on rapper 50 Cent saying he won $500,000 betting on the Giants to beat the 49ers: “I’d be tempted to say 50 Cent has terrific luck, except for the fact he’s been shot something like 37 times.”
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• Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, after Jeff Fisher chose to coach the Rams instead of the Dolphins: “That’s sort of like choosing the beets over the brussels sprouts.”
• Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle: “One TV guy referred to Ryan Theriot as a “Punch-and-Judy hitter.” He hit one homer last year, so I don’t see the Punch part.”
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