ST. LOUIS - After the Atlantic Division defeated the Metro Division by a score of 9-5 in the first 3-on-3 match of the 2020 All-Star Game on Saturday at Enterprise Center, a familiar adorable face stepped up to the podium.
Alex Letang was ready to answer more questions about the amazing weekend he spent with his dad, Kris, who was attending his sixth All-Star Game.
"I really wanted to come to the All-Star Game and not miss this," Alex said. "I wanted to be with my dad and be at the All-Star Game and see it because that a weekend I was really waiting for. I was really excited. We came to St. Louis, just the two of us, and I really had fun. I really liked it."
Alex, 7, truly was the breakout star of the weekend. He was clearly having the time of his life, and it was so heart-warming to see how thrilled the little guy was to be there with his dad.
"It means a lot," Kris said. "Something I thought about was the fact that maybe one day I will not have a chance to go. This year was good timing. He is well-aware of what's going on and loves hockey."
After an amazing day on Friday walking the red carpet with Kris and his fellow All-Star, Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry, Alex joined them on the ice for the All-Star Skills and had a blast.
But what Alex was really waiting for all weekend was the All-Star Game. Before it started, he walked around the concourse and was super pumped to meet all the different mascots.
"They all signed my jersey!" Alex said. "I really liked when they signed it and I had fun with the mascots. It was really funny because the mascot of Vegas put me in his mouth. He eated all of my face."
While Alex was looking forward to watching his dad play, his favorite moment came after he got to his seat before the game even began.
"I really liked how when they were all in a row and he gave a 'hi,'" Alex said of his dad.
"And I waved? Aww, nice," Kris said with a smile.
While the Atlantic Division roster only had two defensemen on their nine-player roster, the Metro Division had four.
That meant that Capitals head coach Todd Reirden, who was behind the bench for the Metro, had to put the offensively-minded Letang with another defenseman, Carolina's Jaccob Slavin, and Rangers forward Chris Kreider.
Letang lined up as a forward on faceoffs and sat at that end of the bench, but wouldn't necessarily classify himself as one.
"I have no clue what I was playing," Letang said with a laugh. "I didn't know if we were a shutdown line or something like that. There's so many great players, it doesn't really matter who you play with. We tried to have fun with it. I was fine hanging out by the blue line over there, but we didn't get the result this year."
Washington's Braden Holtby played the first 10-minute period for the Metro, with Jarry sitting on the bench patiently waiting his turn. The whole time, Flyers mascot Gritty was sitting right next to him inside of the glass, trying to heckle Jarry.
"I did see him, but I tried not to make eye contact," Jarry said with a laugh.
Jarry took over for the second 10-minute period, and quickly realized the challenge he was up against.
"I guess when they first came down and made that first pass across the ice - I think that was the biggest realization just that I was out there and how fast it was all happening," he said.
The 3-on-3 is difficult enough for goalies during the regular season, but when it's all All-Stars, that goes to another level. To Jarry's credit, he looked terrific out there, coming up with some really tough stops against some really good players and showcasing his puck-moving ability.
"It was fun to be a part of and fun to be out there with some of the best players in the world," Jarry said. "You see how quick things turn and how fast the game is. It was fun to be out there."
Once Alex was done answering questions, he was ready to ask some. Alex took the PensTV microphone over to Jarry and asked him:
"How great did it feel to be a goalie?"
"It was lots of fun," Jarry replied with a smile. "They had a lot of shots and I tried to stop as many as I could."
Alex also wanted to know how much fun his new buddy had this weekend.
"Lots of fun," Jarry said. "It was lots of fun to play with your dad and have him show me everything and spend time with you and him together. That's what memories are made of."