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The All-Star Game by the numbers

Friday, 01.25.2008 / 9:00 AM / 2008 NHL All-Star Game

By John Kreiser - Columnist

Sidney Crosby made his All-Star debut at age 19.
Crosby highlights
The 56th NHL All-Star Game takes place Sunday at Philips Arena in Atlanta (6 p.m. ET, Versus, CBC, RDS, NHL Radio). The game has evolved quite a bit from the early days, when defense and goaltending dominated. For most of the past two decades, it’s been a goal scorer’s delight; happily for the goalies, they only play a period each these days.

But it hasn’t always been that way. Here’s a look at some All-Star history … by the numbers.

0 — Points scored by Sidney Crosby in the 2007 All-Star Game, the first of his career. Crosby shouldn’t feel bad: Wayne Gretzky, who made his first All-Star appearance at age 19 (like Crosby did last year) in 1980, also went scoreless in his debut.

1 — Goals allowed by Gilles Villemure in three All-Star appearances (1971, ’72 and ’73). His 0.68 goals-against average is the lowest of any goaltender in All-Star history with two or more appearances.

2 — New York Rangers goalies on the East team in the 1971 and 1973 All-Star Games. Villemure and Ed Giacomin both were named to the East squad, marking the only time any team put two goaltenders on an All-Star team in the same season.

3 — Goals scored by the Montreal Canadiens in their 3-0 victory over the NHL All-Stars in the 1967 game, which was the first official All-Star Game played in midseason rather than before the start of the new season. It was also the only shutout in All-Star history.

4 — Goals scored by Gretzky in the third period of the 1983 game at the Nassau Coliseum. Gretzky is one of five players to score four goals in a game; The Great One is the only player to get them all in one period.

5 — Goalies named as All-Star Game MVPs. The last one was Mike Richter of the New York Rangers, who won the award in the 1994 game at Madison Square Garden.

6 — Points by Pittsburgh’s Mario Lemieux in the 1988 game at St. Louis, the most ever scored in an All-Star contest. Lemieux had three goals and three assists. Montreal’s Mats Naslund set up all three goals and finished with five assists, also an All-Star record.

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7 — Goals by the Wales Conference in the first period of the 1990 game at Pittsburgh, the most scored in a single period of an All-Star game. Seven teams, including the West in the second period last year, have had six.

8 — Sets of brothers who’ve been All-Star teammates. The most recent was the Bures (Pavel and Valeri) in 2000. Two of those brother combinations — Phil and Tony Esposito and Max and Doug Bentley — have also opposed each other in All-Star play.

9 — Consecutive All-Star Games played in goal by Glenn Hall, who took part in every game played from 1960 through 1969. His 540 minutes played (in 13 appearances) is also an All-Star record.

10 — Shots on goal by the Sharks’ Owen Nolan in the 1997 game at San Jose, tying the All-Star Game mark set by Detroit’s Earl Riebel in 1955. Nolan outscored Riebel, 3-2, and got two of his goals in just eight seconds (a record for fastest two goals) in the second period. However, Riebel’s Red Wings were 3-1 winners over the NHL All-Stars, while Nolan and the Western Conference stars lost 11-7 to the Eastern Conference.

11 — Years since there have been fewer than 10 goals scored in an All-Star Game. The East beat the West 5-4 in 1996 when Ray Bourque scored the game-winning goal with 38 seconds remaining in regulation time, delighting a hometown crowd in Boston.

13 — Goals by Gretzky and Lemieux in All-Star play. They share the career record, though Gretzky needed 18 games to get his 13 goals while Lemieux did it while playing just 10.

16 — Goals scored by the Wales Conference in a 16-6 victory over the Campbell Conference at the Montreal Forum in 1993, the most ever scored by a team in All-Star play. The 22 combined goals is also an All-Star record.

17 — Points by Bourque, the most by a defenseman in All-Star play. The Hall of Famer had four goals and 13 assists in his 19 All-Star appearances.

18 — Steve Yzerman’s age (actually 18 years, 8 months and 22 days) when he took part in his first All-Star Game. Yzerman is the youngest player to take part in an All-Star Game who was not part of a defending Stanley Cup champion.

19 — Seconds into the 1950 game that Detroit’s Ted Lindsay scored, the fastest goal from the start of an All-Star Game. That’s one second faster than Jacques Laperriere’s game-opening goal for the East in 1970.

26 — Goals scored in the 2001 All-Star Game, the most ever. Bill Guerin had three goals and two assists to earn MVP honors in North America’s 14-12 victory over the World team at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

30 — Years since a New York Islanders goaltender was named to the All-Star Team. Rick DiPietro is the first Islander netminder to make the game since Billy Smith in 1978. DiPietro will have a tough time matching Smith’s performance — Smith played 29 scoreless minutes and was named MVP even though the Campbell Conference wound up losing 3-2 to the Wales Conference in overtime.

31 — Goals allowed by Patrick Roy in his 11 All-Star appearances (250 minutes), the most by any goaltender. Roy started 10 times in those 11 games and won his only two decisions.

51 — Age of Gordie Howe (51 years, 10 months, 5 days) when he skated in the 1980 All-Star Game in Detroit. Howe, who played his final season with the Hartford Whalers, is by far the oldest player to take part in an All-Star Game; Doug Harvey, then with St. Louis, is next at 44 years, 1 month and 2 days old.


Quote of the Day

Obviously there's a lot of expectations around me but it's something I try not to focus on. I'm just trying to go out there, be myself on the ice every day, try to get better, be myself around the guys in the locker room. I think that's what's made me successful and the person that I am.

— Sabres forward Jack Eichel on transitioning from college hockey to the NHL