We’ve officially reached the 2022 NHL All-Star break as the Nashville Predators sit in second place in the Central Division, and have two players representing them this weekend.
Saros is enjoying his first All-Star selection, and we have to figure there’s more to come in his bright future as the Nashville Predators franchise goaltender. He’s putting up Vezina Trophy like numbers in his first full season after Pekka Rinne‘s retirement and propelling the Nashville Predators into being the surprise team of the NHL.
As for Josi, he shockingly didn’t initially get an All-Star selection, but Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche due to a concussion and facial injury that required surgery.
Tough break for MacKinnon as he’s clearly deserving of being an All-Star, but happy to see Josi get the nod when he was also clearly deserving of a spot and got majorly snubbed originally.
As any classy player and true leader does, Josi threw all of the love back to his teammates for his successful NHL career up to this point, per NHL.com.
“It’s really cool. I’ve been very fortunate to play here for so long (11 seasons), in this great city in front of our great fans, amazing organization. I’ve had some amazing teammates.” -Roman Josi on getting an All-Star selection
This is Josi’s fourth time getting an All-Star selection. He represented the Nashville Predators in 2016, 2019 and 2020 as well. In 2016 the All-Star Game was in Nashville as it was his first selection and he was joined by three teammates, Rinne, James Neal and Shea Weber.
Josi will be in the first Fountain Face-Off
It might sound a little cheesy, but I guess we have a big reason to watch this new spectacle as part of All-Star Weekend with the “Fount Face-Off”. A competition where players will travel by boat to the floating rink in the water in front of Las Vegas’ famous Bellagio.
The basic rules is who can shoot the most pucks and hit five targets the fastest. Josi has some ridiculous accuracy with his shot, so he’s a great repsentative for this new event.
Again, it’s a little cheesy and might be a total disaster for the viewing audience, but they have my attention to see how it goes.
Saros in the Save Streak challenge
The more traditional and straightforward challenge for Saros in the Save Streak. I actually really like this event. But the competition is stacked this year, and I’m sure Saros will have some jitters being in his first All-Star experience.
Rinne competed in the Save Streak in 2019 but only managed two consecutive saves. Come on Juuse, build that streak on Friday night.
NHL All-Star Game Rosters
MacKinnon was originally voted by the fans as the Central Division captain, but due to having to pull out, Joe Pavelski of the Dallas Stars will captain the squad.
The Central Division team looks pretty dangerous in this 3-on-3 tournament that will feature plenty of razzle dazzle offensive rushes and passing, putting the goaltenders is nonstop difficult situations.
Josi is a great player for this format with his elite level of skating and ability to go end-to-end so quickly. Seeing him play alongside the likes of players like Cale Makar, Kirill Kaprizov and Nazem Kadri will be very entertaining to watch.
Sizing up the rosters, the Central Division might be a little top heavy compared to the others. I really like the Pacific Division’s chances with Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid, Mark Stone and Johnny Gaudreau all leading the way in this high-scoring format.
For the Metropolitan Division squad, I’m really interested to see the young phenom Jack Hughes compete in his first All-Star game. That squad also has the NHL’s current leading goal scorer Chris Kreider.
Should be fun seeing this event take place under the lights of the Las Vegas strip, and 3-on-3 hockey with the league’s best players is must-watch television.
The Skills Competition will get underway on ESPN at 6:30 PM CT on Friday night, and the 2022 NHL All-Star Game will be Saturday at 2 PM CT on ABC.