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Rask, Marchand Soak In All-Star Weekend

Bruins enjoy first NHL-All Star experience in LA

by Caryn Switaj @NHLBruins /

LOS ANGELES - Brad Marchand and Tuukka Rask, NHL All-Stars. 


The Bruins duo soaked in all that the star-studded weekend in Los Angeles had to offer, with stars, celebrities and legends all coming together for the NHL's annual event. 


The weekend kicked off on Friday night with the NHL 100 gala to announce the full list of the NHL's 100 Greatest Players, as the league celebrates its centennial year. Festivities continued with NHL All-Star Media Day and the Skills Competition on Saturday, before everything wrapped up with the game on Sunday. 

Though Marchand and Rask didn't come out on top with the Atlantic Division falling to the Metropolitan Division on Sunday, the weekend was about much more than the game. 


Both of the Bruins enjoyed being involved in their first All-Star weekend, as opposed to catching everything on TV. 


"It was a lot of fun," said Marchand, who assisted on linemate Auston Matthews' goal. "It was great to see things from this side."


"Normally I'm watching, and to be here and see what kind of goes on and see the activities that are here, being part of it with all the guys, it was a lot of fun, especially this year with the Top 100 being here and getting to see all the older players from past generations. So it was a dream come true."


Marchand wheeled around the ice in usual fashion, and though he didn't hit the back of the net in the game, he had a good chance and was robbed by Capitals netminder Braden Holtby.


Rask shared the net at the other end with Montreal goalie Carey Price. 


"I think the whole experience was great," said Rask. "Being here with all the players and the legends, just enjoying your time and trying to have fun with it. The whole experience was great."


Though Rask wasn't on the winning side of the game, he enjoyed the 3-on-3 format.  


"Well, I think it's pretty entertaining to watch," said Rask. "Not so much fun to play goalie, but I guess if you set your mind to it right way and try to enjoy it and have a good time, I think the entertainment value is pretty good."


"It was just about having a good time."


Rask went 5-for-5 in the shootout of the All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday, with Marchand scoring on his lone shootout attempt as the Atlantic Division won the skills portion of the weekend. 


The unique part about this year's event was the legends that took part in the weekend, including Bruins legends Bobby Orr, Ray Bourque, and Johnny "Chief" Bucyk, among others. Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux kicked off that portion of the weekend with Orr on Friday night. 


Before Sunday's game, all of the legends lined up on the ice before the current all-stars made their way to the ice for pregame introductions. Each dropped a puck for an all-star as a "ceremonial puck drop." It was a special moment, especially for the current NHLers. 


"It was pretty cool to skate by them and say hi to everybody. A lot of legends there," said Rask, who noted how he grew up watching Lemieux and Gretzky. "It was a lot of fun."


"It was pretty incredible, to look over and see the players and they basically paved the way to the NHL today so it was great to see those guys, meet a few of them, and something I'll always remember," said Marchand, who mentioned a few of the former players he was excited to meet. 


"I met Wille O'Ree, which was pretty cool, and Johnny - obviously Chief, I'll give Chief a shout-out, I love Chief, but honestly all of them," smiled Marchand. "Guys I grew up watching, I thought it was pretty cool, like Joe Sakic, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, those guys and so it was great. I was like a fan out here, so it was a lot of fun."


Being in Los Angeles, there were also a few celebrity sightings throughout the weekend, like Rask seeing Bradley Cooper, and sitting next to Matt Damon on his flight from Boston. 


"On the plane, on the way here. [I talked to him] just a little bit, I didn't want to bug him," smiled Rask. "I just asked him about the Patriots' chances to win the Super Bowl because I knew he was a Pats fan."


Now, it's back to the Bruins and back to the season. 


Rask and Marchand will join their teammates in Tampa, where the team kicks off a back-to-back against the Lightning on Tuesday, before heading to D.C. to face the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night. 


"We're ready for a good run," said Rask. "It was a good thing to end the last couple of games on a good note, get the wins, and hopefully we can keep that going for a good playoff push."


Video: NHL All-Stars, Rask and Marchand arrive in LA

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