Eichel and Skinner Both Score During the NHL All-Star Game
I've never been a big fan of All-Star games in any of the major pro sports. I usually don't bother to watch them, but the format change the NHL made a few years ago transformed what was usually a long, tedious and boring game into a thrilling, high-scoring, "must watch" event.
Instead of one 60-minute game, it's now three 30-minute games involving four teams representing the league's four divisions, the Atlantic, Metropolitan, Central and Pacific, The winners of the first two games meet in the third for the championship and the winning team divides a million dollars.
But one of the other significant changes to the All-Star game was to adopt a three on three format like the NHL uses in regular season overtime games. It really opens up the ice and produces offense and goals.
Both of the Buffalo Sabres representatives at the All-Star game, Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner scored a goal for the Atlantic division, but it was in a 7-4 loss to the Metropolitan division in the first of the two preliminary games. The game was tied 3-3 when Eichel mishandled the puck in the offensive zone and it led to the go-ahead goal for the Metropolitans. Then in the championship game the Metropolitans defeated the Central division All-Stars 10-5.
Former Sabre Ryan O'Reilly, now with the St. Louis Blues scored a pair of goals and had four assists in a losing cause for the Central division All-Stars.
In the All-Stars skill competition on Friday night, Eichel came in second to Connor McDavid in the fastest skater competition. Skinner beat Rangers' goaltender Henrik Lundqvist in the shootout event and was also a participant in the Puck Control event.
This year's NHL All-Star weekend was held in San Jose, California. Next year it'll be held in St. Louis.