Here we are my friends. Although it appears that more "stars" have been left out and dropped out of this game (due to injury) than we can remember in recent history, tonight is still a date that almost every hockey fan circles on their calendar; it's the All-Star Game. There will be no Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Sergei Bobrovsky, and a few other guys that we were all looking forward to seeing, but that doesn't mean that star power will be found wanting. There are, of course, a few guys that are here as the representatives of their NHL clubs (looking at you Justin Faulk and Roberto Luongo), but almost all of these players are among the very best in the league. Tonight is a special treat for hockey fans everywhere. It's that night where you get to just pick a new team with a ridiculous roster for one night and cheer them on, regardless of whether or not you are a big fan of everyone on the team.
So, the teams are picked, the skills competition is done, and now all that is left is to see some of the best players in the world play one of the most entertaining exhibition games in all of professional sports. These things often end up being goal fests because physicality is frowned upon and goalies aren't exactly going to risk injury to sell out and make herculean saves on one of the sixty-four odd-man rushes they'll be facing per period. Let's just hope that there are no injuries, plenty of goals, and that we see some magical moments from some of the league's very best.
Enjoy the game and the open thread, Banterers. Here's hoping we have some entertaining hockey ahead of us to wrap up this All-Star weekend. Place your bets for the final score, the MVP, the winning team, and which goalie suffers a nervous breakdown first. I have Rick Nash for 19 goals and 4 assists.