NHL All Star Clash Needs New (Old) Format

February 7th, 2011 by eugene furtivo Leave a reply »
After watching the NHL All Star game at Raleigh, North Carolina last week, I am still trying to figure out if I should have rooted for Team Lidstrom or Team Staal or who was on which team.  This is the most confused I have been watching hockey since the Campbells duked it out with the Wales back in the day.  (Fortunately, I wasn't around for the 1951 and 1952 affairs, which were touted as "First Team" vs "Second Team"!?)

This game has had a particularly tortured history.  The first one I ever saw on TV was in January 1967 when the defending Cup Champion Canadiens shut out the All Stars 3-0.   That format was OK, but hard to justify when the defending Champs are struggling the following year. 

The Habs, in fact, finished a poor second in 1967, 17 points shy of the first place Blackhawks, and were beaten by the Maple Leafs in the Finals).  After expansion, the league then went to an East vs West format, which then morphed into the forgettable Campbell-Wales concoction. Despite being a big hockey fan, the game never got my juices flowing.

I recall that, in 1979, the game was replaced b ...

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