The 2023 NHL All-Star Game is a weekend-long event that brings together the best players in the league. It begins with a skills competition and ends with a tournament of three-on-three games on Saturday night.
This season, Edmonton Oilers duo Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl will be on the Pacific Division team, while Toronto Maple Leafs star Austin Mathews will lead the Atlantic.
The Atlantic Division is one of the three original Eastern Conference divisions, and features a number of classic and modern NHL rivalries. The division includes the Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators, as well as the New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning.
The division is made up of 30 teams that play 82 games each season. Each team plays 41 home and road games, and they face eight non-divisional intra-conference opponents.
This division was formed in 1993 and reformed in 2013 as part of a league realignment. Its name was changed to the Metropolitan Division, which consists of the Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers, Washington Capitals, Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning, in addition to the New Jersey Devils, who were moved from the Atlantic Division in 2013.
Since the formation of the league, the division has had its share of ups and downs. The Atlantic was the first division in the NHL to be shortened by a lockout in 1994-95, and it also saw its entire season cut short by a pandemic in 2015-16.
Last year, the Devils were the worst team in the NHL in goals per game, and this is a major area that could improve this season with a new coach and a healthy Zach Parise. But the Atlantic has one of the strongest defenses in the league and they also have a few young players who can score, such as Florida’s Matthew Tkachuk and Ottawa’s Brady Tkachuk.
On Saturday, the Atlantic defeated the Metro Division 10-6 in a semifinal matchup of the two divisions to claim the 2023 All-Star Game. The Atlantic was paced by Florida’s Matthew Tkachuk, who had a hat trick in the win and helped his team earn home-ice advantage.
Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin had two goals each, but they teamed up for two 2-on-0s that were called back. That was a big part of the Metro Division’s loss to the Atlantic Division, which sparked a huge reaction from the fans in the arena.
The National Hockey League is a professional hockey league in the United States and Canada. The NHL has a total of 32 teams, divided into two conferences and four divisions.
Western teams play 28 or 29 games in their own geographic division-four or five against each one of their six other divisional opponents-and 21 or 22 games against the seven remaining non-divisional intra-conference opponents-three games against every team in the other division of its conference, with one cross-division intra-conference match-up occurring in four games (one team from each division plays only 28 intra-division games in a given season, and rotates its two divisions each season).
Eastern teams play 30 games in their own geographic division–four or five against each one of their seven other divisional opponents–and 24 games against the eight remaining non-divisional intra-conference teams–three games against every team in the other conference. The league rotates its divisions every year, and teams from the same conference play each other twice in the regular season-home and road.
Since 2014, the top three teams in each division plus the two wild-card teams in the conference with the next highest number of points qualify for the playoffs. The winner of each conference plays the lowest-seeded wild-card team, and the other division winner plays the highest-seeded wild-card.
The 2023 NHL All-Star Game took place on February 4 in Sunrise, Florida. It was the first All-Star Game to be played in an abbreviated 3-on-3 format.
Central Division defeated Atlantic Division in the All-Star Game final, 7-5. Arizona’s Clayton Keller, Dallas’ Jason Robertson and Colorado teammates Cale Makar, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen scored for the Central in the final.
Pacific Division lost to Atlantic Division in the All-Star Game semifinal, 10-6. Bo Horvat and Elias Pettersson scored for the Pacific, which also got goals from New York Islanders’ Johnny Gaudreau and Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.
Matthew Tkachuk was named All-Star Game MVP after he finished with four goals and three assists in the two games. Tkachuk, who had picked the Florida Panthers as his team for the All-Star Game, was a member of the winning team in both of his previous All-Star appearances.
The Metropolitan Division is the newest addition to the National Hockey League, formed in 2013 as part of a realignment that places some of the clubs in more geographically appropriate groupings. It currently has five clubs in the New York City area, with one team located in Washington, D.C. and another in Philadelphia.
Matthew Tkachuk, a Florida Panthers standout who was chosen for the NHL All-Star Game after he left the Calgary Flames, scored three goals and added two assists as the Atlantic Division beat the Central Division 10-6 in the second semifinal at FLA Live Arena on Saturday. He also won the MVP award for his efforts in the game, which helped the Atlantic advance to the final against the Central Division.
Tkachuk was part of the Atlantic Division’s 3-0 start, which included a breakaway goal by Detroit’s Dylan Larkin that put the home team ahead in the first half of the 20-minute final. The Atlantic also got a goal from Toronto Maple Leafs center Mitch Marner and an assist from Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov.
Ovechkin, the Washington Capitals captain, got a pair of assists in the skills competition. He tucked in a give-and-go with Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby at 6:19 and wristed one past Boston goaltender Linus Ullmark at 11:58.
The tournament of games is a three-on-three tournament that sees teams from each of the four divisions compete against each other in 20-minute 3-on-3 games. The winners earn the $1 million prize and claim a spot in next year’s All-Star Game.
If you’re looking to watch the 2023 All-Star weekend, you can find it on ABC and ESPN Plus. You can also stream the games using a cord-cutting live TV streaming service like SlingTV or DirecTV Now.
In the skills competition, players try to hit Styrofoam targets that are placed in the four corners of a goal. Players must hit all four in the shortest amount of time to advance.
The Atlantic Division’s win over the Central Division in the first semifinal was led by a hat trick and an assist from Florida Panthers left-wing Matthew Tkachuk, who enjoyed his home-ice advantage at the NHL All-Star Game. His brother, Brady Tkachuk of the Ottawa Senators, had a goal and an assist in the second semifinal as the Atlantic advanced to the final against the Central Division.
The Pacific Division is home to the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks. It has also hosted the expansion Mighty Ducks of Anaheim since 1993.
The division features a strong group of players, including Connor McDavid, Jarome Iginla and Leon Draisaitl. Their names alone should be enough to generate interest in this game.
But there are other stars to watch as well, like Arizona’s Clayton Keller and Winnipeg Jets defenseman Josh Morrisey. Combined, those two have a combined 43 assists this season and could have a major impact in their first All-Star Game.
Regardless of the results, this is a fun game that will feature plenty of high-scoring action. It’s also a chance to see which NHL stars are the best in the league.
In fact, it’s likely that McDavid will be crowned the All-Star Game MVP for the fourth straight year after finishing with four goals and six assists. He’s the clear favorite to do so, but there are a number of other players who could also make a significant impression in this matchup.
That said, there are a number of other talented Central Division players to look out for, including Nashville’s Roman Josi, Edmonton’s Elias Pettersson and Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon. All of them could put up some nice numbers on this stage, which would give the Central a good chance to cover the spread against the Pacific.
If the Central can get some scoring from Robertson, that could help their cause even more. He has 32 goals and 33 assists this season and could hit the 100-point mark if he keeps up his impressive play.
Another player to watch is Chicago’s Seth Jones, who has a strong skill set and can put up points on the power play. He is also an excellent penalty killer.
The Central has a chance to win this game, but it will be tough for them to do so. They have a lot of talent in the group, but that talent could be overwhelmed by the Pacific’s star power.
The Central won the All-Star Game in 2021 and will have a good chance to repeat that feat this year. But they’ll have to do it without a few key players from that squad, including Alex DeBrincat and Nazem Kadri. That means that they’ll need to find some new stars to help them along the way.