Valtteri Filppula’s older brother scores a goal ten minutes in to put the West up 3-1 and I missed it because I’m the sort of engineer that has to re-do everything I do initially, so I don’t get out of work on time.
The second period was very much like watching Red Wings hockey, great skill and great moves with very, very wide open scoring chances with an extra pass that leads to a missed opportunity. Great talent on display, but no finishing. Ilari Filppula had plenty of opportunities on his own, he has great curl-and-drag moves and a good jump, and even played a bit of defense. Seems like nobody has ever played with one another out there, so the turnovers in the defensive zone rivaled those of a Rafalski-Ericsson duo. Seriously, you’d have thought the AHL goalies were both Chris Osgood gunning for his 400th win and every defenseman was Raf in disguise determined to thwart his attempt.
Jeremy Williams goal to make it 6-4 East from the off wing was about the craziest low-angle roofie I’ve ever seen, save for Bertuzzi’s game winner against Anaheim last year and every other goal by the Mule.
The highlight of the third period was the goal tending. Incredible. Curry of the Pen(i)s’ AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA (totally appropriate punctuation seems excessive, in this team’s case) and Mark Dekanich for the West from Milwaukee, both made highlight reel saves on all of the great chances by their respective opponents throughout the first 12 minutes or so of the third.
Defensemen? Sorry, but they were invisible in this game, if Brendan Smith was in it, I didn’t see him at all. If Jean-Claude van Damme beat the hell out of him and wore his uniform on the ice, surely no one would notice.
Final was 11-8 East, 85 total shots on net and your 2011 AHL All-Star Classic MVP was Bobby Butler, pride of the Senators organization.