The Central Division got absolutely crushed, 10-3, by the Pacific Division in the first leg of the 2017 NHL All-Star Game on Sunday. The 20-minute 3-on-3 game was completely dominated by the Pacific, which rolled out to a 5-1 lead after 10 minutes and didn’t let up to advance to the final.
The game opened with all four Blackhawks — Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Corey Crawford — on the ice for the Central, but you’d be forgiven if you didn’t get much out of watching them. The foursome didn’t seem particularly engaged right from the beginning, and ended up giving up a bunch of goals as a result.
Corey Crawford allowed five goals in the first 10 minutes, which seemed pretty terrible until Devan Dubnyk did the same. Other than a sniping goal from Toews early on, there wasn’t much to celebrate from this game as a Blackhawks fan.
Instead, there were a bunch of fans commenting on how the Central didn’t seem to be trying particularly hard. Not that the NHL All-Star Game is ever a display of intensity, but after the game, Drew Doughty commented that he was surprised the Pacific won so easily. “Maybe we had a little more drive than them,” he told NBC’s Pierre McGuire.
The Pacific had loads of breakaway opportunities in the game, and took advantage to rack up 10 goals. More impressively, they somehow allowed the Central to score just three. Toews’ goal was the only one by a Chicago player.
The Blackhawks don’t always get up for relatively unimportant games in the regular season, so it’s not surprising they weren’t exactly up for going full-tilt in a meaningless 3-on-3 exhibition. Still, considering how much the league talked up the Blackhawks over the past few days, fans probably expected a more exciting effort.