Just kidding, obviously.
A shootout was a fitting end to an exhibition game that predictably featured zero defense and not a whole lot of "try" until the 5-minute OT period. No coincidence that the OT period's scoreless five-minute stretch happened to be the most entertaining stretch I saw.
When I saw Alex Ovechkin rocking back and forth during the anthems, I hoped maybe the teams would at least come out and at least skate hard. Seriously: I thought to myself, "Ovie's a showman. He's ready to rock this thing and set some sort of record I don't know about because All-Star trivia is the most trivial of trivia." Sadly, that wasn't to be, either. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me 15 years in a row...
But if this exhibition makes anyone happy, I'm happy. Always good to see people enjoying hockey, and Montreal sure pulled out the stops, from weekend festivities that attracted droves of fans to a truly bizarre pre-game mix of flying violins and cheesy rock chords that made good ol' born-and-bred Americans across the country (well, where they watch hockey, anyway) mutter, "What kind of Euro-French fluff is this?"
While Mark Streit's two assists (one on a goal by Zach Parise, an All-Star whose draft day Islanders fans still rue) early in the game keyed no such shootout win, the weekend was another excuse to highlight how his absence has keyed the Montreal powerplay's continuing dysfunction:
"Last year everything was perfect," he said. "The guys on the power play just fit together, everybody was a passer and a shooter, it just worked out. ... The chemistry was unbelievable. But they still have a lot of great players with a lot of skill, enough skill to have a really successful power play. I can't say I'm the reason why it doesn't work anymore."
Typical modesty from Streit. Deep inside I suspect he knows he's a difference-maker. The Canadiens are still converting at just 16.1%, good for 24th in the league.
I only had this game on in the background as I accomplished other Sunday things. Did you watch? Did you have any favorite moments? Or are you just ready to get on with the juicy part of the NHL season, and the full-on tank on the Island?