Giroux Named MVP, Metropolitan Team Wins NHL All-Star Game

LA VEGAS – If any hockey executive is still unsure whether Claude Giroux can deliver on the biggest stages, the Philadelphia captain’s most valuable player performance in the NHL All-Star Game once demonstrated his skills under pressure Moreover.

Giroux scored three goals and the Metropolitan Division beat the Central Division 5-3 on Saturday in the final 3-on-3 game to win the NHL All-Star Game.

Giroux has excelled under the bright lights as he nears a critical moment in his career: it’s well known in the NHL that the 34-year-old star could be on the move ahead of next month’s trade deadline after spending his entire career with the Flyers.

“I’m not going to think about it now,” Giroux said. “Just enjoy the weekend. There’s a lot to figure out, but that’s for another day.

The seven-time All-Star won his first MVP award with two goals in the final and another in the semi-finals. Giroux also picked up the $1 million check shared between the winning players as captain of the Metropolitan team – a job he belatedly got in place of Alex Ovechkin, who tested positive for COVID-19. 19 earlier in the week.

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“It’s funny how everyone was on the same page today, when we’ve never played together before,” Giroux said.

New Jersey’s Jack Hughes, 20, the youngest All-Star, also scored three goals for the Metropolitan team in the All-Star’s first extravagant trip to Las Vegas, which became a major milestone for the top league. hockey since the Vegas Golden Knights expansion entered in 2017.

Giroux clearly took the All-Star showcase seriously, though he was thinking more about a relaxing weekend with his family than his NHL future. After 985 career games at Philadelphia, Giroux is an asset that could be cashed in by Philadelphia before he reaches unrestricted free agency this summer.

“Every time you represent your team, it’s been an honor to put on this jersey,” Giroux said. “For 14 years it has been a lot of fun and representing this team is great.”

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Frederik Andersen of Carolina was the top goaltender, allowing just three goals and one assist.

After a year-long hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NHL’s mid-season showcase has returned with the 3-on-3 tournament format introduced in 2016 and used in the previous five All-Star events.

Hughes scored twice for the Metropolitan team in their 6-4 win over Pacific in the first semi-final. Alex DeBrincat and Jordan Kyrou then scored twice apiece in Central’s 8-5 win over Atlantic in the second semi-final.

The Pacific loss disappointed a home crowd who wanted to cheer on their three Golden Knights All-Stars in the Finals. Vegas coach Peter DeBoer kept the event in perspective – and even confirmed that Las Vegas nightlife may have played a role in the lackluster performances of the world’s biggest hockey talents.

“We got off to a slow start,” DeBoer said. “It was probably due to nightlife in Las Vegas last night, but we finally got into the game. … I’ll be honest with you, I’m a bit hungover today. I’m not going to No lie to you, yesterday I was all about skills (competition), and there were some great things going on, but today is a little hazy for me.

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BOO THIS MAN

Washington’s first All-Star, Tom Wilson, scored for the Metropolitan team on the game’s first shot just 13 seconds into the opening faceoff, deeply annoying the Vegas crowd. Sin City has booed Wilson at every opportunity since his last jab at Vegas’ Jonathan Marchessault in the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals ultimately won by the Caps on the ice at T-Mobile Arena.

Wilson’s goal was the second-quickest to start an All-Star Game in any format, topped only by Rick Nash’s 12-second goal in 2009.

“I actually like it,” Wilson said. “I think it’s all about the fun. We have good memories in this rink.

JACK’S WEEK

Hughes scored his third goal on a breakaway in the first period of the final. His development as a point-per-game scorer in his third NHL season was one of the few bright spots of the winter for the bottom-placed Devils.

“The first game was pretty sleepy, so it’s good we got that one,” Hughes said. “By the second game, the guys were connected and working hard.”

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VEGAS BABY

The whole weekend had a distinct Vegas flavor to it. Club favorite Zedd was the DJ for player introductions as skaters dressed as Elvis and Frank Sinatra walked across the rink. Machine Gun Kelly also performed on the ice before the final.

NO DAYS OFF

All-Star Weekend was scheduled for Vegas in part because the NHL wanted its best players to be on the West Coast so they could go straight to the Beijing Olympics afterwards, but the coronavirus pandemic has forced the league to skip the trip.

The Olympic gap in the NHL schedule has already been filled with catch-up games for some of the 105 dates that have been postponed by virus concerns. The league has two games on Monday and seven more on Tuesday, and NHL games are scheduled for each day of the Beijing Games.

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