The 2020 All-Star Game will take place in St. Louis on Saturday. For the fifth season in a row, the games will be a 3-on-3 tournament format between each NHL division. The Metropolitan Division walked away with the win last season, beating the Central Division in the final game by a score of 10-5.
The Metropolitan Division has faced the most changes to its roster between injuries and players sitting out. The captain was originally Washington’s Alex Ovechkin, who has once again decided to sit out for All-Star Weekend. Kris Letang of the Penguins will be taking his spot.
With almost its whole roster out with injury, a few people taking spots are Chris Kreider and Niko Hischier, while TJ Oshie was voted the last man in. Braden Holtby will be manning the crease for the Metropolitan.
The NHL’s leading goal-scorer, David Pastrnak, will be leading the Atlantic Division this season. His Boston teammate, Tuukka Rask, was initially going to take the lead between the pipes for the division before he suffered a concussion that will keep him out of the games.
Andrei Vasilevskiy and Frederik Anderson will be in net for the Atlantic to take Rask’s place. A player to keep an eye on from this division is Tyler Bertuzzi. Being stuck in Detroit will take a toll on anyone’s career, but look for him to shine with other stars around him.
Nathan MacKinnon will be leading the Central Division this year. He has a lot of firepower on his side with Patrick Kane, Ryan O’Reilly, and Tyler Seguin. Jordan Binnington will be defending the crease on his home ice this year, with his teammate Alex Pietrangelo in front of him on defense.
David Perron was voted as the last man in for the Central Division, giving it a total of four St. Louis players defending their ice for this season’s All-Star Game.
Connor McDavid is currently leading the NHL in points and will take the captain’s spot for the Pacific Division. He is teamed up with his regular-season teammate, Leon Draisaitl, which should give the Pacific a nice advantage in this format. The two Oilers will be joined by players like Tomas Hertl, Elias Pettersson, and potential rookie of the year Quinn Hughes.
Taking the net for the Pacific will be Jacob Markstrom and David Rittich after Marc-Andre Fleury had to bow out with an injury. The Pacific may have some of the best skaters out of all four teams, but its lack of talent in net compared to other teams may come back to bite it in such a fast-paced high-scoring game.
What To Expect
The first game will be between the Metropolitan and Atlantic Divisions. While the Atlantic is without its original starting goalie, the Metropolitan is missing more than half of its roster with injuries. I like the Atlantic to take this game and move on to game three.
Game two may feature the two best teams in this competition. The Central has the advantage over any other team when it comes to goalies with Jordan Binnington in net at home. It is not short on skaters either, but the Pacific may have the best duo between McDavid and Draisaitl. I will take the Pacific to pull this one off and move on to face the Atlantic in the final.
Between the Pacific and the Atlantic, they have the top goal scorer in the league as well as the top two in points in the NHL. Both teams will be without their starting goaltender, which should turn this into a very exciting, high-scoring final. I will take the Pacific Division to walk away with the All-Star Game Championship this year.