Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck kept a diary for the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Game in St. Louis. Hellebuyck played the second period for the Central Division in its 10-5 loss to the Pacific Division in the second semifinal Saturday. He allowed six goals on 16 shots, and the Central was eliminated.
In this entry, the second-time NHL all-star talks about what the experience was like for him and some of the memories he will take from the weekend.
What an incredible day this was even though it didn't work out the way I wanted it to. I wanted to win, of course, and that didn't happen, but this was still an amazing experience.
Just being in this event, being with the greatest players in the world, it's an honor. And I'm glad I'm able to see myself with them.
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Even before the game, it was amazing. Wayne Gretzky was on one bench and Brett Hull was on our bench today. Yesterday, a bunch of the Blues alumni were involved in the skills competition. All of it was amazing.
It's awesome when all these guys come back and reconnect. The current players will look back on this one day and be so happy that we participated in this game and had those experiences.
But it wasn't just those guys, it was all the current players we got to play with for the past two days that was special.
You realize there are a lot of great players involved in this game as you hear them all getting introduced to the crowd, but it really hit me when I was sitting on the bench during the first period of our game. I was sitting there and watching the game and it was really fun to watch and see how smooth everyone is and the smiles on everyone's face. They were having such a good time out there.
And then, because we are in the same division as the St. Louis Blues, the crowd was behind us and they were really into the game and what was happening, which was nice. Anytime the crowd gets into it, it makes it a lot more special. This game is for them. I can only imagine what the Blues players felt about the support and playing in front of the fans who were so enthusiastic. For me, it was awesome being out there.
I know the numbers aren't there. I gave up six goals and we lost, but I'm happy. I feel like I came in and I did what I wanted to do. So, as a whole, I was pretty happy. Yeah, not the way I envisioned it going exactly, but I put the effort that I wanted.
It's hard on goalies in this game. Everyone wants to see offense, and we understand that. For me, I was looking for that one save, and I had a couple of chances at it.
Now that this over, I'm going to go and rest a bit and maybe play some golf and get back at it when we start back up with the regular season in a few days.