On January 10, 2018, the NHL all-star roster was revealed for each division between the players and coaches for the 63rd Annual All-Star Game. The all-stars will partake in the skills competition on January 27th and play in the game on the 28th.
The skills competition is made up of entertaining challenges such as shootouts and speed trials. While some people enjoy watching the most experienced hockey players do challenges at unmatchable skills, others enjoy watching the competitive game between the best players in the league.
Ari Wister, a member of the varsity ice hockey team, thinks the game itself is more fun to watch. “I enjoy watching the game more because I like to see great players who compete against each other come together to play other great players,” Wister said. Wister is a lifelong Washington Capitals fan whose favorite player is Alex Ovechkin.
Wister claims Ovechkin is his favorite player because he “thinks he has always been great,” and he has “loved him his whole life.” Ovechkin will play in his 7th all-star game and is named the captain of the Metropolitan division according to nhl.com.
The all-star game will do a 4-vs-4 format for the third year opposed to a regular game being 6-vs-6 (both including goalies). The new format has been successful, according to David Robinson, a senior and also an NHL enthusiast.
“I like the new format. The higher scoring and fewer players on the ice make the game more exciting to watch,” Robinson said. The all-stars are able to play ice hockey in any environment, so changing up the style of the game and watching how the best players adapt is entertaining for fans.
While some players unanimously deserve to be an all-star, people believe that some players deserved to be an all-star more than others. John Carlson, a defenseman for the Washington Capitals, is among one of the top players who was controversially not named an all-star. Robinson is one of the people who firmly believe he should have made the roster.
“I think he should have made the roster because he is a high-scoring defenseman who moves the puck well, and he’s much better than most of the defensemen that made it for the Metropolitan division,” Robinson said. The other defensemen in the Metro division are Noah Hanifin of the Carolina Hurricanes, Seth Jones of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The all-star selection is just another achievement for some people such as Patrick Kane (7th) and Carey Price (6th), but also a milestone for other first-time all-stars such as Jack Eichel, Blake Wheeler, Alex Pietrangelo, and many more. Since the all-star teams are composed of six forwards, three defensemen and two goalies as opposed to 12 forwards, nine defensemen, and two goalies, the rosters are much more selective, making it more symbolic.