Jonathan West reporting Live from the 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend.
Nashville – – John Scott was asked after tonight’s 61st Annual NHL All Star Game if this was going to be the best week of his life. He adamantly agreed, reflecting on overcoming his struggle as a less-than-normal fan-vote favorite, two goals in the mid-season showcase, being the fan-vote & REAL MVP, getting a brand new Honda Pilot, and expecting twins with his wife Danielle any day now. Yep, easy call John.
The absolute clinic put on by the East in the Skills Competition Saturday Night (more specifically by Penguins and Capitals players), did not translate to the Big Show on Sunday. The Pens Kris Letang scored the 1st ever NHL All Star 3v3 goal 1:01 into the game. Gino followed with an over deliberate spin-a-rama, but it was Breakaway Challenge winner PK Subban who scored the Game #1 winner for the Atlantic Conference to advance. Accuracy winner John Tavares of the Islanders (12.294 sec) ended the night rated -2.
With country music flavor obviously everywhere over the last four days in #Smashville, outdoor musical performances from Dierks Bentley, Kelsea Ballerini, and the Eli Young Band were joined inside Bridgestone Arena by Lee Brice, Vince Gill and his daughter Corrina, Tracy Lawrence, and Jennifer Nettles on her solo tour away from Sugarland. As a country radio DJ for US99.5 FM in Chicago, I was more than lovin’ it.
It was a scoring frenzy totaling 15 goals during Game #2, the Western Conference semifinal. Host team captain for the Predators and Hardest Shot winner Shea Weber couldn’t rally the Central troops against the fine Pacific talent. James Neal was one of four players (Taylor Hall, Daniel Sedin, John Scott) who scored two goals on the night and his teammate Pekka Rinne had the game’s only penalty with a trapezoid violation. Dallas’ Tyler Seguin helped cut the lead to 2, but SoCAL All Stars Drew Doughty & John Gibson showed defense matters in a 9-6 win.
The Final 3v3 matchup ended up playing out like a Stanley Cup Final game. Fastest Skater Dylan Larkin, who also broke Mike Gartner’s 20 year record, gave it all he could with 3 assists on the night. Ducks and Kings goalies Gibson and Quick combined for a 17 save shutout in 20 minutes, and former Hart trophy winner Corey Perry scored the game, set, and match winner 3:38 into the second half. 11 Pacific Conference players enjoyed $1,000,000 among them, to a tune of $90,909 a piece.
As I said in my previous article, welcome to…and now goodbye from the John Scott Show. This was my 5th NHL All-Star Game (Denver ’01, Los Angeles ’02, Florida ’03, Atlanta ’08) and I look forward to returning to my home state of California for my 6th and the 2017 edition. Goodnight from Music City y’all 🙂
Follow Chicago based reporter on Twitter @JonathanSWest He’ll next represent Sportsology at the 2016 NHL Stadium Series Game in Minneapolis on February 21st.