I watched most of the All-Star game earlier today. I think it was only the second time I've done so. The first time was all the way back in '82, when it was at the Capital Center. My mom worked for the bank where the Capitals regularly borrowed, so the bank had several seats. Apparently, nobody else wanted to go, so we did. I really don't remember anything about the game itself. I think it's the only time I ever saw Gretzky in person, and I don't even remember anything about his play. I suppose it's possible that I didn't really know anything about anyone outside of the Caps (and not a lot about them; I loved going to games, but didn't track them in the paper, for instance).
Anyway, getting back to today's game... I've got to say, it isn't much to see, as far as hockey is concerned. Unless someone was getting a breakaway, or trying to prevent one, everybody was moving at half speed (or less). I knew it was a defense-optional event, but it's one thing to know it intellectually, and another to actually see it.
It really didn't make for interesting hockey, although OV tried, when he threw his stick at Duchene (I think) on a 1-on-0 breakaway. But overall, it was actually pretty boring. It also didn't help that everyone was trying for the pass for the pretty goal instead of just shooting. OV, in particularly, should have taken several more shots.
The end result was a hockey game with no hitting, little marking in the defensive zone (the forwards were particularly slip-shod), and an absurd number of breakaways. I really can't see how this can increase the league's profile, or generate more fan interest.