Hockey

2016 NHL All Star Game on Sunday preview

2016 NHL All Star Game on Sunday preview

2016 nhl all star game on sunday preview imagesThe least important game of the NHL season goes on Sunday as the 2016 All-Star Game will be played from Nashville, Tennessee. You can analyze the tail of the tape all you want with this one – the bottom line is players don’t necessarily try all that hard. However, the regular season games will resume on Tuesday as the teams head down the home stretch of the 2015/16 season.

The frontrunners at this point in the campaign are the Washington Capitals. The Caps have seized top spot in the Eastern Conference over the last couple of months, all but burying the competition. For example, the Florida Panthers, the other division leader in the east, are a full 11 points back of Washington in the Eastern Conference standings. With that kind of lead, it’s hard to picture the Caps not taking first place in their conference, and they have a better chance than the other contenders for the best record in the entire league.

Currently, Alexander Ovechkin is ‘sidelined’ as the best player on the Caps will not be participating in Sunday’s All-Star Game festivities. It was recently announced that Ovi has a lower-body injury, one that he has played through for at least a couple of months. However, Ovechkin missing the All-Star Game is more of a gesture towards how insignificant the players consider it to be as opposed to an attestation about how serious the injury is. If the Caps were playing on Sunday, and not the East All-Stars, then I think Ovechkin would be on the ice playing.

The surprise team in the league, in a good way, has to be called the Florida Panthers. Jaromir Jagr in the center position and Roberto Luongo in net has really worked for Florida thus far this season. The Panthers were one of the teams considered least likely to win the Atlantic Division from the season’s onset. However, heading into the All-Star Game, they are five points up on the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Recent headlines in the NHL have not been too catchy as the break has caused a bit of a lull. However, according to NHL.com next season’s All-Star Game will go from Los Angeles, Vince Gill is going to be singing the American National Anthem at this year’s game, and Gary Bettman has been talking about the “expansion process.”

Sunday’s schedule for the All-Star Game starts at 5 pm ET with Team Metro against Team Atlantic. It continues at 6 pm with Team Pacific against Team Central. At 7 pm, the two conference all-star teams will politely ‘collide’ as everyone will be doing their best not to get injured. By the end of it all, sports fans in North America will be screaming for next week’s Super Bowl to hurry up and arrive.

NHL games that matter pick up on Tuesday with a very busy schedule. In fact, that day will feature the game of games at the moment as the Florida Panthers will be in Washington to face the Capitals.

Hockey
@GrandSlambert77

Shane is a sports writer with a big interest in tennis, but he's also a noted writer about travel and fiction. Plus he can handle long walks in the cold Canadian tundra!

More in Hockey

Top 5 NHL underachievers so far in 2016 17 images

Top 5 NHL Underachievers so far for 2016-17 season

Shane LambertFebruary 17, 2017
Montreal Canadiens Fire Michel Therrien, Sign Claude Julien 2017 images

Montreal Canadiens Fire Michel Therrien, Sign Claude Julien

Shane LambertFebruary 15, 2017
Edmonton Oilers trade rumors as deadline nears 2017 images

Edmonton Oilers trade rumors as deadline nears

Shane LambertFebruary 11, 2017
Montreal Canadiens in Trouble in Atlantic Division 2017 images

Montreal Canadiens in Trouble in Atlantic Division

Shane LambertFebruary 4, 2017
Edmonton Oilers Look Good for Playoffs as Trade Deadline Nears 2017 images

Edmonton Oilers Look Good for Playoffs as Trade Deadline Nears

Shane LambertJanuary 27, 2017
Washington Capitals Gaining Momentum in NHL 2017 images

Washington Capitals Gaining Momentum in NHL

Shane LambertJanuary 20, 2017
Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks re emerging in NHL standings 2017 images

Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks re-emerging in NHL standings

Shane LambertJanuary 7, 2017
Columbus Blue Jackets franchise history   faves for Stanley Cup 2016 images

Columbus Blue Jackets franchise history – faves for Stanley Cup

Shane LambertDecember 29, 2016
columbu, connor mcdavid, devan dubnyk tops as nhl breaks 2016 images

Columbus, Connor McDavid, Devan Dubnyk tops as NHL breaks

Shane LambertDecember 24, 2016

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

You will only receive one per day. You'll also get a free THE WALKING DEAD graphic novel with your subscription