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Captain Islander: Civil War - Tavares to oppose Nielsen, Okposo at All Star Skills competition

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You gotta be kidding me with this crap.

Buffalo Sabres v New York Islanders
I don’t like it when you two fight.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Oh come on. Seriously? What sick, sadistic son-of-a-bitch thought up this idea? Why not just have everyone’s parents come out and have an argument at center ice on national TV instead?

At Saturday’s NHL All-Star Skills Competition, Islanders captain John Tavares will once again do his part to help the Metropolitan Division best all the rest in various mini-games. Only this time, he’ll be directly opposing two dudes who he was teammates with for seven of his eight seasons in the NHL.

In the Gatorade NHL Skills Challenge Relay, Tavares will battle Frans Nielsen, now (sadly) of the Red Wings, in the passing portion of the five-pronged Atlantic Division vs. Metro Division event. And in the DraftKings NHL Accuracy Shooting competition, Tavares will face current Sabre Kyle Okposo, another guy he’s, um, kinda tight with. Tavares is the defending accuracy shooting champion.

There are other events but honestly, who cares about them? This is clearly a league-initiated conspiracy to use Islanders fan paranoia and angst - among the highest in the NHL since the early 1990’s - as a cheap way to goose viewership. And I am outraged!

Best-on-Best is one thing. But Best Friend-on-Best Friend is something entirely different, and not something that comes along that often. And I for one refuse to be used as a pawn in the NHL’s ratings game. I’ll spend that evening either at the movies watching M. Night Shyamalan’s new multiple personality thriller Split or at home playing the apparently terrifying Resident Evil 7: biohazard. Both will probably be more calming to my nerves than this torture.

(...shit. who i am kidding. I’ll watch it. sigh)

The show airs Saturday night on NBCSN in the U.S. and on CBC, Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT). Other events include the new Honda NHL Four Line Challenge, the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater, and the Oscar Mayer NHL Hardest Shot, which will generates jokes all by itself for months.