The NHL All-Star Game doesn't appeal to everyone, for good reason. It's not a game to go 100 miles per hour, it's not a game for crushing hits and, frankly, it's not a game for defense. That might turn away folks looking for some serious, hardcore hockey, but for everyone else, it means a chance to watch the best players in the world rack up goals.
The only ones who shouldn't be having fun, in my opinion, are the goalies. Those guys will be getting bombarded with shots all evening, and I imagine most of them share Corey Crawford's sentiment:
How does a goalie approach an All-Star game? Corey Crawford: "Just pray before the game you don’t get lit up too much." #Blackhawks— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) January 23, 2015
So if there's one thing to expect Sunday in Columbus, it's some sad goaltenders and a ton of offense. With five Chicago Blackhawks and many of the NHL's biggest names involved, this year's All-Star Game should be a blast. Here's everything you need to know for the big game.
First-timers like Seabrook are pumped
We keep talking about Sidney Crosby skipping the event and the frustration that comes with big stars taking off the weekend, but there are a lot of first-timers in Columbus who are thrilled to be there. Frankly, as much as I wish guys like Sid and Evgeni Malkin want to play, I get why they don't, and would rather focus on guys who want to be there anyway.
Like Brent Seabrook, for example.
"I remember going to the All-Star Game in Vancouver," Seabrook, who will play for Team Toews, told NHL.com. "My dad took me and my brother. It was pretty cool to be able to be there and watch those guys skate around and play the game. That was definitely something that I dreamed of and I never really thought it would come true."
One of the beauties of the NHL is that there's so much talent, a guy like Crosby can take the weekend off and we're still left with an incredible group. I mean, c'mon, Patrice Bergeron is one of the best two-way players of this generation and he's just making his first appearance this year. Like Seabs, he's excited:
"I'm just happy to be here, trying to soak everything in," Bergeron said. "It's another thing I can say that I was part of and I lived the experience, and I know how it's like. Definitely something that when I'll look back on my career, I'll be happy that I've done it."
This is the stuff the All-Star Game is really about, even if it still sucks that arguably the best hockey player in the world doesn't want to play.
Forwards: Jonathan Toews (C), Ryan Getzlaf (A), Rick Nash (A), Tyler Seguin, Jakub Voracek, John Tavares, Vladimir Tarasenko, Patrice Bergeron, Patrik Elias, Tyler Johnson, Filip Forsberg, Johnny Gaudreau
Defensemen: Shea Weber, Brent Seabrook, Aaron Ekblad, Ryan Suter, Mark Giordano, Justin Faulk
Goaltenders: Corey Crawford, Roberto Luongo, Jaroslav Halak
Forwards: Nick Foligno (C), Patrick Kane (A), Ryan Johansen, Anze Kopitar, Steven Stamkos, Phil Kessel, Claude Giroux, Bobby Ryan, Radim Vrbata, Zemgus Girgensons, Alex Ovechkin, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Defensemen: Drew Doughty (A), Duncan Keith, Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Burns, Kevin Shattenkirk, Oliver Ekman-Larsson
Goaltenders: Carey Price, Marc-Andre Fleury, Brian Elliott
How to Watch
Time: 4 p.m. CT
Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus
TV: NBCSN (U.S.); CBC, TVA Sports (Canada)
Stream: NBC Live Extra