Thursday, February 02, 2012

Photo Diary: 2012 All Star Game

The 2012 NHL All Star Game had been anticipated in Ottawa since the day it was announced. Tickets were scarce and everyone was trying to get there hands on them. Well above is what they looked like and were the hottest ticket in town in a long time. All Star weekend as a whole was pretty insane for me and I'm sure it was for many of you as well. So much to do, so many people to see, and oh ya, the actual events. If you missed my other photo diaries of the All Star Weekend you can go to the Photo Diary Archive or you can click here for the Fan Fest one and here for the Skill Competition. Now enjoy the All Star Game photo diary from me.

Many people got to the game very early so they could watch the warmup and try and get a picture or an autograph as you can see the all the people around the players tunnel. Most of the players would sign when they could from what I saw all weekend.

Just another beautiful view of the rink and new scoreboard with all the All Star touches to it. SBP looked amazing this weekend and the new HD scoreboard is amazing. Well done all around.

And here is the pre game team photo for Team Chara. I'm not sure why but the guy on the ladder taking the pic made me laugh for some reason. It was also funny watching how many people it took to get the players in the proper position.

And here is the Team Alfredsson pre game team photo.

The Hartnell down movement followed him to Ottawa in the warmup as he passed by the sign. Hartnell was definitely one of the breakout stars of the weekend. He was hilarious, especially when he said suck it Phaneuf.

And here was funny little prank played by someone at SBP. A Dion Phaneuf face cutout in the urinal for everyone to relieve themselves on. I put this up on twitter and it spread like wildfire, getting well over 100 retweets. 

And not to be forgotten, Phil Kessel also made an appearance at the SBP urinals. This also was all over twitter after I put it up. One of the themes of the weekend was definitely Ottawa fans letting the Toronto players know what they thought of them. The Battle of Ontario seems to be back in a big way doesn't it?

The first hockey fan of Canada, Prime Minister Stephen Harper made an appearance as well. He's the one in the grey hair. The Prime Minister is a frequent guest at SBP during the regular season and is always willing to take pictures throughout the entire intermissions. 

With the All Star Game in town, the city was packed with hockey celebs and of course Grapes and the Hockey Night In Canada guys were there too. Amazing jacket on Don Cherry for the ASG. We can all agree that he gets his jackets made of curtain materials at this point right?

Sparty came out to centre ice to get the crowd excited for the anthems and player introductions.

And here's the really nice setup again for the anthems and player introductions. They really went all out with all the gorgeous videoboards during the weekend. Looked awesome.

And it was time for the player introductions. Here is the Sens Milan Michalek coming out to a big ovation from the SBP faithful.

And next up is Jason Spezza, who to me at least, was also a breakout star of the weekend. It was good to see a lot more of his personality. Giggles even managed to get a goal during the game.

And here is the leading vote getter and the NHL's leading scoring defenceman Erik Karlsson. He seemed to be having a blast every time I saw him. It should be the second of many for him. He got a massive ovation when he skated out. It even rivaled Alfie's.

And of course last but certainly not least is the introduction of the one, the only Daniel Alfredsson to a deafening applause and 20,000 serenading him with the Alfie Alfie Alfie chant.

I can't remember the name of the guy who sung the US national anthem pictured here, but I know he was the winner of The Voice and I can see why. A really well done anthem. A great voice and he didn't try and put his own remix on it either.

And here was the Canadian anthem setup as it was sung by SBP regular Lyndon Slewidge. It looks awesome with all the maple leafs on the ice and the videoboards.

And here's a closeup picture of Team Alfie and Team Chara in their All Star duds during the anthems.

And here is Team Alfie just after the anthems. They all looked like they just wanted to play some hockey finally and get it over with.

And here is Alfie and Marian Gaborik lined up together before the first puck drop. Ironic that these were the 2 in the running for MVP. They were best from start to finish.

Here is the opening faceoff and the 2012 NHL All Star Game is finally underway with 4 Ottawa Senators in the starting lineup. Tim Thomas was supposed to start but he let Jimmy Howard play the first period so he was in line to get the win. I was kind of surprised that no one in the media really brought that up. Seemed kind of selfish to me. Especially after just enduring the White House drama the week before.

And just over 4 minutes in Gaborik opened the scoring for Team Chara. Here is the post goal celebration.

And a few minutes later it was 2-0 for Team Chara just like that.

And boom it was 3-0 all of a sudden for Team Chara after Gaborik scored his second of the period. The crowd was fairly quiet and was wondering what was going on at this point.

And Team Alfredsson finally broke the deadlock and got on the board. It was clear that the crowd was pulling for Team Alfredsson and the 4 Senators players.

Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning was awarded a penalty shot, where he tried to pull the same move from the previous nights skills competition. This time it didn't work.

And the first period comes to an end. One thing I noticed about the All Star Game in person was how little effort the players all put into the game. Not that they didn't care per say, but they just were skating so slow and barely playing. They preferred to try and make the fancy play instead of shooting the puck and it was driving the crowd insane. It was like no one wanted to score.

Nashville Predator teammates Shea Weber and Ryan Suter were on different teams for the All Star game and had a little chat before the start of the 2nd period. I imagine the RFA and UFA respectively were saying how awesome is and arguing about which one gets to come to play here in the off season right? A guy can dream.

The 2nd period was going along and more than half way through before the man of the weekend scored. Here is Daniel Alfredsson and the Sedin's celebrating the Captain's goal in front of the home crowd. As you can imagine the crowd gave him a standing O.

This was Spezza trying to convince Kane to come play with him in Ottawa right? Ya Patty Chicago may have deep dish pizza but we have beavertails, poutine and shawarma. So you're in right? Just ask Hossa how we treated him. No wait please don't.

And less than 2 minutes later Alfie had scored his 2nd of the game to get Team Alfredsson their first lead in the game after a lovely passing play from both Sedin's, who were clearly trying to feed their fellow Swede on this occasion and really the whole game.

And this old lady was so excited about Alfie's 2 goals that she was raising the roof old school style. Respect!

And the hero of period 2 being interviewed by Pierre McGuire for NBC. Good to see Alfie get some cross border love for the most under appreciated superstar in the NHL perhaps.

And the 2nd period comes to a close. All Star hockey is fun to watch with all the amazing skill but watching hockey with no hitting is truly awful. The players were all trying to out pass each other. It was like it was a penalty to shoot the puck.

Time for the 2nd period entertainment featuring Canadian rapper Drake. It was very cool to see how quickly they put together the stage. The owl logo is the symbol of their October's Very Own crew in case you were wondering.

And here is the platinum selling, Grammy winning rapper performing at centre ice of SBP. He performed his hit singles "Headlines" and "The Motto". I was impressed that the NHL decided to be a little bit more current and hip this time and didn't go with the usual rock band. Also very cool to see how excited Drake seemed to be to be performing.

Apparently I wasn't the only fan of Drake, as the players came out onto the ice to watch the rappers performance too as you can see them on the ice on the left.

Brian Elliott was in net for Team Alfredsson to start the 3rd and it all went downhill from there. Shocking to see Elliott not play well at SBP I know. I wonder if the Blues GM was secretly trying to pretend he lost the paperwork for the Elliott deal after seeing this? The miracle season had to end at some point right? 

And just like that the game was over and Team Chara beat Team Alfredsson 12-9. Alfie hit the post in the 3rd and Tim Thomas made a couple of spectacular saves to keep the Captain from getting the hat trick. Love the massive shot totals too.

Team Alfredsson after the final whistle congratulating each other on a fun filled weekend. They may have lost but that didn't stop the fans from loving Alfie, who finished the afternoon with 3 points. If he had of gotten that 3rd goal the MVP was on lock.

And Team Chara post game celebrating the big W. Tim Thomas got his fourth All Star Game win in 4 appearances. It's like he's playing the Senators the way he dominates these things. Sidenote: I saw Thomas on the street and man is he ever chubby and surprisingly short. He reminded me of George Costanza.

And here is Team Chara and Team Alfredsson waiting to hear who the 2012 All Star Game MVP will be......

And the winner of the 2012 NHL All Star Game was Marian Gaborik with 3 goals and 1 assist. The crowd boo'd him for a few seconds because they were disappointed for Alfie, but after that they gave Gaborik a nice ovation too. I thought he came off really well during the 24/7 series. If he ever stays healthy, no one doubts he can be one of the league's premier scorers.

And the two captains and former teammates say a few words to each other at centre ice as they lead their teams for the post game handshake. 1) I wonder what was said 2) Chara is a foot taller 3) They both looked like they had a blast this weekend 4) I wish he was still on our backend.

And with the post game handshake, the 2012 All Star weekend was officially over. I had a blast and I hope you guys did do. I met a lot of people, had too many beers, rushed all lover to tons of events, went to the game, went to the skills competition, went to fan fest and have enough memories to last a lifetime. It was a great time and the city of Ottawa showed the hockey world why were are hockey country. Everyone had nothing but tons of praise for the city and our hockey fans. Be very proud of yourself guys. You killed it.

Now back to the 2nd half of the season and the playoff push for this overachieving team that no one outside of Ottawa believed in.

Be sure to follow me on twitter too @SensTown

Thoughts on the photo diary? To see more photo diaries hit the archive here.

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