NASHVILLE–It was an important day for all concerned with the NHL All-Star weekend as the first-ever $1 Million, winner-take-all 3-0n-3 divisional tournament was won the the Pacific 1-0 in the Championship game. Anaheim’s Corey Perry scored the only goal of that game, beating Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop in the 14th minute of the 20-minute game.
Highlights of the game from nhl.com can be seen here. Please note the NHL is launching a revamped site TODAY and there may be some performance issues with the site.
The Atlantic Division, coached by Gerard Gallant of the Florida Panthers, had three players participate and all had their moments in the sun.
Florida Panthers Roberto Luongo, Aaron Ekblad and Jaromir Jagr on the ice before Saturday’s skills competition.
Roberto Luongo stopped 12 shots in 10 minutes in his half of the championship game. In the first game Second year defenseman Aaron Ekblad, now a two-time all star by age 19, scored to tie the preliminary game with the Metropolitan Division team at 3-3, which was decided with PK Subban’s goal. The legend Jaromir Jagr had his opportunities and a grand moment, too, scoring on a breakaway in the preliminary game.
It was his first appearance in an all-star game since 2004. Highlights of that game can be seen here:
Selected by fans as the top votegetter in the Atlantic Division, Jagr participated even though early in the voting he request fans vote in younger players. Several notable players, including Pittsburgh Penguins Kris Letang, Evgeny Malkin and many others including Montreal’s Subban were looking forward to playing with and against Jagr this weekend. Subban trumped them in the Skills Competition Saturday by donning a Jagr’s Panthers jersey, a wig and an old JOFA helmet like Jagr wore at the begining of his career. He punctuated it with a a goal in the breakaway challenge, putting on a right-handed version of stickhandling of his boyhood hero that won him the event. Video of that moment is presented here:
PK Subban paid tribute to Jagr in the Breakaway Challenge of Saturday’s NHL Skill competition in Nashville.
But this was not only a thank you from fans, peers and media for Jagr’s Hall-of-Fame career which began in 1990 and still has no selected end date. It was an unlikely participant, John Scott, scoring two goals in the Pacific’s wild 9-6 win in the second qualifying game Sunday. Scott was voted in by the fans as captain of the Pacific.
The highlights of that game including Scott’s goals are here:
The 6′ 8″ former defenseman turned forward has had an undistinguished career as an NHL fringe player. After voting was finalized he was traded from the Arizona Coyotes to the Montreal Canadiens, who immediately dispatched him to their AHL team. Outrage was widespread in many circle and the NHL remained quiet for a few weeks then announced Scott would be participating. The trade came at a particularly inconvenient time for Scott and his family as his wife is expecting twins within the next few weeks. Playing on the winning Pacific team enabled Scott to pocket $90,000 as his share of the $1 million prize shared by his teammates. Winning the event MVP meant Scott and his expanding family have a new car to drive.
That happy ending for Scott was okay with Jagr:
“You hate to lose, but if I ever wanted to lose, ever, I’m glad I lost today.” – Jaromir Jagr, in reference to John Scott.
The lifetime legend Jaromir Jagr speaks to hero-for-a-day John Scott of the wininng Pacific Division team Sunday in Nashville.
Already sold out at the arena, this jersey may prove to be a popular collector’s item if Nashville was Jagr’s last All-Star appearance
SEASON RESUMES TUESDAY IN WASHINGTON
The Florida Panthers were leading the Atlantic Division by five points after defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs Jan. 26 at BB&T Center.
Staying on top means continued team play, strong defense, and improved offense. The team leader in scoring until last week, Jagr is second on the team in goals (15 to Reilly Smith’s 16) and points (33 to Jonathon Huberdeau’s 34). As the Panthers battle to stay ahead of the pack and qualify for the playoffs for hte first time in many years, Jagr’s ascent up the NHL all-time scoring lists will continue to be important for Florida’s first-line right wing. Here’s the latest Jagr-O-Meter:
JAGRometer.com will be in Washington for the game.