56th National Hockey League All-Star Game

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56th NHL All-Star Game
56th National Hockey League All-Star Game (logo).jpg
1 2 3 Total
West 1 2 4 7
East 5 0 3 8
Date January 27, 2008
Arena Philips Arena
City Atlanta, Georgia
MVP Eric Staal (Carolina)
Attendance 18,644
← 2007 2009 →

The 56th National Hockey League All-Star Game was held on January 27, 2008 at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, home of the Atlanta Thrashers, during the 2007–08 NHL season. It was the only time the All-Star Game was held in Atlanta, as the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg in 2011 as the new Winnipeg Jets.

Atlanta had originally been scheduled to host what would have been the 55th NHL All-Star Game in 2005, however that game was canceled due to the NHL Lockout of 2004–05.

Players in this game, like the 55th National Hockey League All-Star Game, wore Rbk EDGE jerseys. The jersey logos had been redesigned, showing a simple logo that displays East and West on the respective conference jerseys, captain and alternate captain patches on the right side (instead of left), and the player's number below the logo.

Diversity honored[edit]

As Atlanta is a place of significance to the American civil rights movement (among the hockey-related achievements is John Paris Jr. becoming the first black to coach a pro hockey team, the Atlanta Knights of the International Hockey League), and 2008 is the 50th anniversary of Willie O'Ree breaking hockey's color barrier with the Boston Bruins, the NHL chose the All-Star weekend to honour the diversity of the league.

Changes in the All-Star program[edit]

Philips Arena before the NHL Skills competition began

The previous year's YoungStars game and skills competition, which lead up to the main game, were criticized for the lack of excitement: the YoungStars game saw a lack of effort by the players overall, while the shootout portion of the skills competition was criticized for being too boring - in the previous year, at three different points in the skills competition, each goaltender would take on four opposing players in regular penalty shots - which in itself is not too different from what was seen in regular-season play.

For this year, to raise interest in all-star festivities, no YoungStars goaltenders were named - instead, the YoungStars played in a three-on-three game (of two running six-minute periods) halfway through the skills competition, with the regular all-star goaltenders in net. There was only one faceoff at the start of each half - if the puck goes out of play, another puck was thrown onto the ice. If a goal was scored, the three players retreated to their own side of centre ice before being able to attack again. For either side to win the YoungStars game, the team must score greater goals in both halves. Brandon Dubinsky of the New York Rangers was named the Youngstars MVP for scoring 2 goals and an assist.

Furthermore, the skills competition itself was changed dramatically - the Fastest Skater competition is now a sprint instead of a lap around the arena (a final showdown portion has also been added), while the traditional Puck Control Relay was changed to the Obstacle Course event, where stick handling, saucer passes, one-timers, and goaltenders attempting to score by shooting pucks the length of the ice into an empty net (itself a former All-Star Skills event called Goalie Goals) is featured. Both changes were made to further reflect game conditions. The traditional Shooting Accuracy remains, though a final showdown stage (consisting of having to shoot four targets in nine seconds with only four pucks, and if still tied, one shot in three seconds at one target) is held to determine an individual winner. Hardest Shot is the only event unchanged from previous years.

But by far the greatest change is in the shootout portion: two events are based on the shootout: in the Elimination Shootout, skaters shoot against the all-star goaltenders, with a skater being eliminated if they fail to score. The second shootout-based event, the Breakaway Challenge, incorporates elements from the National Basketball Association's All-Star Slam Dunk Contest: three players from each team (as selected by the all-star team captains) will be judged on their style and creativity by a panel of four judges as they attempt to score on a non-NHL goaltender. The judges may award up to nine points, and a bonus point is added should the skater score. The judging panel this year consists of Dominique Wilkins, a former two-time Slam Dunk Champion with the Atlanta Hawks, former Thrashers captain Scott Mellanby, Canadian actor Taylor Kitsch, and broadcaster Bill Clement. The two skaters (one from each team) with the highest scores face off in a final showdown to determine the winner of the event.

Rosters[edit]

Eastern Conference Western Conference
Coach: Canada John Paddock
(Ottawa Senators)
Canada Mike Babcock
(Detroit Red Wings)
Assistant Coach: United States Don Waddell
(Atlanta Thrashers)
United States Ron Wilson
(San Jose Sharks)
Starters:

United States 39 – G Rick DiPietro (New York Islanders)[1]
Slovakia 33 – D Zdeno Chara (Boston Bruins)
Russia 79 – D Andrei Markov (Montreal Canadiens)
Canada 4 – F Vincent Lecavalier (Tampa Bay Lightning) - (C)
Sweden 11 – F Daniel Alfredsson (Ottawa Senators)[2]
Russia 17 – F Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta Thrashers)[3]

Canada 30 – G Chris Osgood (Detroit Red Wings)[4]
Canada 3 – D Dion Phaneuf (Calgary Flames)
Sweden 5 – D Nicklas Lidstrom (Detroit Red Wings)
Canada 12 – F Jarome Iginla (Calgary Flames) - (C)
Russia 13 – F Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit Red Wings)
Canada 61 – F Rick Nash (Columbus Blue Jackets)[5]

Reserves:

Czech Republic 29 – G Tomas Vokoun (Florida Panthers)
United States 30 – G Tim Thomas (Boston Bruins)[6]
Czech Republic 15 – D Tomas Kaberle (Toronto Maple Leafs)
Canada 51 – D Brian Campbell (Buffalo Sabres)
Finland 44 – D Kimmo Timonen (Philadelphia Flyers)
Russia 55 – D Sergei Gonchar (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Canada 12 – F Eric Staal (Carolina Hurricanes)
Canada 10 – F Mike Richards (Philadelphia Flyers)
United States 19 – F Scott Gomez (New York Rangers)
Canada 9 – F Jason Spezza (Ottawa Senators)[7]
Canada 91 – F Marc Savard (Boston Bruins)[8]
Slovakia 18 – F Marian Hossa (Atlanta Thrashers)
Canada 26 – F Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Russia 8 – F Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals)
Russia 71 – F Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins)[9]

Russia 20 – G Evgeni Nabokov (San Jose Sharks)
Canada 34 – G Manny Legace (St. Louis Blues)
Canada 2 – D Duncan Keith (Chicago Blackhawks)
Canada 25 – D Chris Pronger (Anaheim Ducks)
Canada 27 – D Scott Niedermayer (Anaheim Ducks)[10]
Canada 55 – D Ed Jovanovski (Phoenix Coyotes)
Canada 10 – F Shawn Horcoff (Edmonton Oilers)
Slovenia 11 – F Anze Kopitar (Los Angeles Kings)
Canada 15 – F Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks)
Canada 19 – F Jason Arnott (Nashville Predators)
Canada 97 – F Joe Thornton (San Jose Sharks)
Sweden 33 – F Henrik Sedin (Vancouver Canucks)
Slovakia 9 – F Marian Gaborik (Minnesota Wild)
Canada 18 – F Corey Perry (Anaheim Ducks)[11]
Canada 63 – F Mike Ribeiro (Dallas Stars)[12]

Notes
  • ^1 Martin Brodeur was named to the East All-Star Team as a starter, but did not play in favor of resting over the break. Tim Thomas was named as his replacement on the roster, while Rick DiPietro was named as his replacement on the starting lineup.
  • ^2 Roberto Luongo was voted to the West all-star team as a starter, but did not play (personal). Chris Osgood was named as his replacement in the starting lineup (no roster replacement was named as the reserves had not been announced at the time).[1]
  • ^3 The top line of the Ottawa Senators (Alfredsson, Heatley, Spezza) was the first forward line to be named in their entirety to the All-Star Game since 1981, when the Los Angeles Kings had their top line named.[2]
  • ^4 Sidney Crosby was named to the East all-star team as a starter, but did not play due to injury. Evgeni Malkin was named as his roster replacement, while Ilya Kovalchuk was named as his replacement on the starting lineup.
  • ^5 Henrik Zetterberg was named to the West All-Star Team as a starter, but did not play. Mike Ribeiro was named as his replacement, while Rick Nash was named as his replacement on the starting lineup.
  • ^6 Sergei Zubov was named to the West All-Star Team, but did not play. Scott Niedermayer was named as his replacement.
  • ^7 Dany Heatley was voted to the East all-star team, but was unable to play due to injury. Marc Savard was named as his replacement.
  • ^8 Paul Stastny was named to the West All-Star Team, but was unable to play due to injury. Corey Perry was named as his replacement.

Summary[edit]

WEST 7 - 8
(1-5, 2-0, 4-3)
EAST Philips Arena (18,644)
Atlanta, Georgia
First period
Nash 0:12 Referees:
1:20 Staal (Campbell, Malkin) Rob Martell
9:43 Markov (Richards, Hossa) Brad Watson
13:35 Ovechkin (Spezza, St. Louis)
15:10 Campbell (Malkin, Lecavalier) Linesmen:
17:49 Ovechkin (2) (St. Louis, Spezza) Lyle Seitz
Second period Pat Dapuzzo
Nash (2) (Datsyuk) 9:34
Niedermayer (Thornton, Sedin) 15:08 MVP:
Third period Eric Staal (Carolina)
Getzlaf (Jovanovski) 0:41
Nash (3) (Iginla) 1:56
4:08 Hossa (Gomez, Chara)
Phaneuf (Getzlaf, Arnott) 5:07
Gaborik (Sedin) 10:57
12:35 Staal (2) (Kovalchuk, Savard)
19:39 Savard (GWG) (Campbell, Staal)

W - Tim Thomas L - Manny Legace TV: Versus, CBC, RDS

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ "Canucks' Luongo to skip All-Star Game". January 9, 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-01-31. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  2. ^ Podnieks, Andrew (2000). The NHL all-star game : 50 years of the great tradition. Toronto: Harper Collins. p. 169. ISBN 0-00-200058-X. 

External links[edit]