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After all that worrying about DiPietro starting in tonights All Star contest, he came out strong and battled – all the while impressing those around him for his slick stick handling and puck movement. Ricky allowed one goal by Rick Nash not a minute into the period, but the East stormed back scoring 5 unanswered goals. We have seen goals by Campbell, Ovechkin (2), Stall and Markov – all absolutely gorgeous passing plays.

The funniest part was how the Versus guys were talking to Ricky in the first few seconds of the game – and unintentionally distracted him (thats what I will say anyway). Osgood must have been looking down the ice, envious of the way DiPietro was holding his ground against his fellow Western All Stars.

If Ovechkin keeps up the night – he will undoubtedly be the games MVP, who was worried about Crosby not being here again?

Personally, I feel that with DiPietro at this years All Star game representing the Islanders – it will open up the eyes of players who are not very familiar with the team or what Ricky brings to the game. They may give any offer from the Islanders this off season a better look than they may have prior to this. You can tell that DiPietro is opening eyes, and opening them wide.

Keep up the great work Rick!

Just a small update: Vokoun allowed goals by Nash (2nd) and Niedermayer in the second period. The West has outshot the East by almost 4 to 1 in the second. Kovalchuk was absolutely robbed twice in the second period by Nobokov – those were the best two chances by the East.

I had to run to my own hockey game halfway through the 3rd period – but not before seeing the game tied 7-7.

The 3rd period was the most active – seeing goals from both sides, although the East eventually took the lead for good on a goal by Marc Savard at 19:39. Your MVP of the game was Eric Staal – who had 2 goals and 1 assist. Rick Nash would have gotten the MVP in my opinion with his hat trick, had Staal not scored the game winner.

Well, that caps off an exciting weekend of events – although there are a few who think it could have been executed better. I am on the fence – I think certain aspects could have been improved because the skills competition was extremely boring. I read that the players knew the format for the “slam dunk” shootout for weeks – you think they would have come a bit more prepared or at least tried something they normally wouldn’t. In the end, the second day of the weekend was the only part that kept me interested – but even then it was lacking, not sure in what areas – just wasn’t as exciting as years past.

At least we are now able to get back into the swing of hockey – the trade deadline is fast approaching and teams that are on the playoff bubble will either move up in the standings or fall out of contention – that is the most exciting part of the year for sure.

Oh – and not that anyone is wondering, but my team won 6-3 – I had a hat trick and an assist.