Sunday, February 4, 2024

Weekend rankings: Wrapping up all-star weekend, plus two big trades

Welcome to the weekend rankings. This time, on an actual weekend.

Why are we a day early this week? After checking all the action on tonight’s schedule – (tumbleweed blows by) – we’re pretty sure this week’s rankings are locked in. Spoiler alert: They won’t be all that different from last week, because with apologies to that Blue Jackets/Blues barnburner, the six games we’ve seen since the last edition didn’t change much.

Instead, let’s use this week’s column to wrap up all-star weekend. If you missed my reports from Toronto, you can find my takeaways from the return of the fantasy draft here and my reaction to the revamped skills competition here. The summary: I thought both nights were reasonably fun.

So what about yesterday? The actual games are typically the worst part of the weekend, and have been for a while. You know the drill by now – the players don’t care, and also seem to feel that it’s deeply important that nobody accidentally gets the impression that they might care. So they skate at half speed, don’t play anything even vaguely close to defense, and insist on making a half-dozen extra passes before anyone bothers to shoot the puck. (A weird addendum to this rule is that when somebody does finally shoot, it’s completely fine to use the between-the-legs move to do it.) It all plays out with all the enthusiasm of a fan lining up to pay $60 for an all-star toque their kid will lose by Wednesday.

But yesterday, we got a little bit of… well, intensity would be too strong a word, but there was definite entertainment value. The 3-on-3 format pretty much forces the offense, and every now and then the flow would click in just right and things would get good. The first game saw a last-minute comeback win by Team McDavid, the second saw Team Matthews win a back-and-forth affair, and I’m trying to stay positive so I won’t even mention that both went to shootouts. The final stayed close most of the way before Team Matthews pulled away, sending the Toronto fans home happy.

Overall, it was a good time. But it was better for some players than others, so let's run down who came out of all of this looking like bigger stars than when they went in.

>> Read the full post at The Athletic

(Want to read this post on The Athletic for free? Sign up for a free trial.)

No comments:

Post a Comment