Pacific Division puts aside differences to grab NHL all-star game crown

ST. LOUIS — Some of the key figures in what’s once again the NHL’s most heated rivalry briefly put their differences aside at the league’s all-star game.

It’ll soon be back to regularly scheduled programming.

Tomas Hertl scored the winner — his fifth goal of the night — as the Pacific Division defeated their Atlantic counterparts 5-4 to win the 3-on-3 showcase tournament Saturday.

The victorious squad featured Matthew Tkachuk of the Calgary Flames, as well as Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers — combatants on teams embroiled in a war of words over the last two weeks.

The Oilers and Flames have been at odds since Tkachuk levelled Zack Kassian with two huge hits in a recent testy matchup. Kassian eventually had enough and mauled Calgary’s winger/chief antagonist to earn himself a two-game suspension.

“Nothing added to the fuel to the rivalry this weekend,” Tkachuk said in the winning locker room Saturday. “This was just a bunch of really good hockey players coming and trying to put on a show.”

Tkachuk actually set up Draisaitl for a goal with a slick no-look pass in the Pacific’s 10-5 triumph over the Central Division in the semifinal, but skated straight to the bench instead of celebrating.

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20 Awesome Things about NHL All-Star Weekend: Big names, great surprises

ST. LOUIS – “It feels like Winnipeg.”

That’s how Mark Scheifele described chilly, snowy St. Louis over the NHL’s 2020 All-Star Weekend.

“Feels like home,” Scheifele smiled.

The Jets star was referring to the weather, but he could’ve just as easily been talking about the atmosphere. The mixing and meshing of hockey royalty in celebration of the game we love.

While the skies may have been grey — it’s no fluke the 2021 showcase is heading to Florida — inside Enterprise Center the personalities were colourful and the surprises were plentiful.

Little touches, like having Laila Anderson introduce the Blues’ stars and local celebrities Jenna Fischer and Jon Hamm serve as honourary coaches, went a long way.

“A well-done show. The NHL did a great job,” Jordan Binnington approved. “The boys are happy.”

Over the course of three days, we crammed our notebook with nuggets from some of the biggest names in the game (and applied earmuffs when Green Day performed, lest Billie Joe say something not so kid-friendly).

Here are 20 awesome things about the 2020 NHL All-Star Weekend.

Can’t wait to get started here at the @NHL All Star Game in St Louis

— Wayne Gretzky (@WayneGretzky) January 26, 2020

1. The Oilers and Flames played nice (for now) — and got paid

Not only did Leon Draisaitl not get off the ice when he and Matthew Tkachuk shared a shift, but he accepted a Tkachuk feed and scored for the Pacific Division, who went on to win the $1 million.

“It was a nice play by him,” Draisaitl chuckled. “This is not the time to be grumpy about anything, or whatever it is. We’re a team, and everyone here, I think, had a great time. It was a lot of fun.”

Mark Giordano knows the feud will pick right back up Wednesday.

“I thought both sides …read more



Hockey Night In Canada on favourite moments of 2020 NHL All-Star weekend

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