This weekend's NHL All-Star Game festivities have been anticipated for weeks. With the new 'Fantasy Draft"-style team selection process, interest in the game is at an all-time high.
Not as highly publicized, however, are the changes to the Game Day Eve Skills Competition. The inclusion of rookies into each mini-game, backwards skating and Fastest Goalie into the Fastest Skater competition and the Skills Relay added a huge opportunity for interesting banter and trash-talking amongst the teams. Our man behind the scenes captured some of these moments.
Claude Julien: I think I heard you wrong. I thought I heard you say Thomas was doing Fastest Skater.
Assistant: It's true sir. Against Ward.
CJ: Get me Tuuka. Tell him he's probably going to start the majority of the games while Thomas is on IR.
Asst.: Yes sir.
Henrik Sedin: Daniel just told be he's going to go 4-for-4. We might want to find someone who can match that.
Nicklas Lidstrom: Huh? You haven't spoken to Dan in over an hour. Wait... is it true? Telepathy?
HS: No, no. Haha. Cell phone.
NL: Oh, of couse. Haha. (skating away)
HS (in his head): That was close.
Daniel Sedin (in Henrik's head): Yes. We must be more careful next time.
Claude Giroux: That was some good passing into those little nets Patrick. hat's your secret?
Kane: I just imagined it was Michael Leighton's five-hole and they went right in.
CG: I hate you.
PK: I know. Have you seen my ring? Its HUGE.
Green: So, you know I'm not really going to try to beat you, right?
Stamkos: Yeah, I figured as much.
Green: I only really go fast backchecking after I turn the puck over.
Stamkos: I know. You always sound close when you're chasing me up the ice.
Green: I'm not. I have loud skates...
Ovie: I will shoot puck faster than Chara this year.
Bettman: We'll see about that. (looks over at radar gun operator and makes the 'throat slash' motion)
Mark Staal: Wow. That Justin Bieber is a great hockey player!
Eric Staal: Huh? That was Skinner, bro.
MS: This isn't the celebrity shootout?
ES: Um... there is no celebrity shootout.
MS: So why is Taylor Lautner here?
ES: Taylor HALL. HALL.
MS: Oh! (puts away Twilight fan book) I was just kidding. Hehe.
MS: Please don't tell Jordan.