Monday, January 30, 2012

Team Chara Defeats Team Alfredsson 12-9 in All-Star Game, Gaborik Named MVP With Hat Trick

Marian Gaborik channeling his inner Artem Anisimov following his first goal against Henrik Lundqvist.

The talk coming into today was all about Daniel Alfredsson being the captain of his own team in Ottawa for the All-Star Game, but it was Marian Gaborik that wound up stealing the show when it was all said and done. Gaborik led Team Chara to a 12-9 victory with three goals and an assist in the game and was named the MVP of the All-Star Game following the contest. All three of Gaborik's goals came in the first period on Henrik Lundqvist.

Click below to read more on the game, and how Marian Gaborik paid tribute to Artem Anisimov after scoring his first goal in the game.

As you can imagine, there was lots of ribbing going on between Marian Gaborik and Henrik Lundqvist after Gaborik went out and recorded a hat trick against his own goaltender. Lundqvist said on Thursday that Gaborik wanted to play for Team Chara in the All-Star Game so that he could play against Lundqvist, and the two have been trading shots at each other over Twitter the past several days. It all made for some good fun between both guys and Lundqvist said during the game when he was mic'd up that he was never going to hear the end of it from Gaborik. After the game, Lundqvist Tweeted that the Rangers need to sign Gaborik for the rest of his life since he can't stop him from scoring. (Gaborik, if you'll remember, had five goals in a game against the Rangers with Lundqvist in goal while he was with the Minnesota Wild.)

The best moment of the game was Marian Gaborik's celebration after scoring his first goal against Henrik Lundqvist. As you can see from the above picture, Gaborik proceeded to skate over to the boards and pretended to snipe Lundqvist using his stick as a rifle the exact same way Artem Anisimov did earlier this season in a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. It was truly hilarious and worth watching again if you haven't seen it. John Tortorella, who was an assistant head coach for Team Alfredsson, joked during the game when he was interviewed on the bench that he was going to fine Gaborik $1,000 for his goal celebration.

You can watch the "Gabo-Rik Rolled" video from here.

I thought the game as a whole was actually surprisingly fun to watch. I normally just tune in and out, but after Gaborik scored three goals in the first period I was glued to the screen to see if he would score anymore for the remainder of the game. Well, it was that combined with the fact that there was really nothing else on to watch all day long.

In addition to Gaborik's stellar performance, here's how the other Rangers fared in the game: Lundqvist made 9 saves on 12 shots in one period of work, and Dan Girardi had an assist in 15:20 of ice time (it was actually called a goal at first, but apparently the puck barely was deflected by Jason Spezza on the way in). Girardi must've been thoroughly confused playing only 15 minutes in a hockey game considering he's used to playing nearly double that amount on a regular basis.

Overall, this weekend was a nice showing for the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist was an assistant captain on Team Alfredsson, Marian Gaborik won MVP for the game and Carl Hagelin is now officially the fastest skater in the NHL. Not a bad showing for the first-place New York Rangers, who will go back to work Tuesday in Newark against the Devils.

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