Weekend full of All-Stars for NHL and NFL

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Jack Sweeney, Staff Writer

 

The 2015 NFL Pro Bowl took place Sunday, Jan. 26, between Team Irvin and Team Carter in Arizona.

This was the second Pro Bowl where teams were selected by draft instead of conference. Hall of Famers Michael Irvin and Chris Carter picked their own teams, with some of the league’s best players at their disposal.

It was a close game all of the way to the end, until Jimmy Graham caught a one-yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan, giving Team Irvin the 32-28 lead. Matt Stafford threw for 316 yards and scored two touchdowns, earning him the name of the offensive MVP.

JJ Watt was named defensive MVP, logging an interception and knocking down multiple pass attempts. Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes, of Team Irvin, snagged a ridiculous interception and turned in a potentially MVP-worthy performance.

Once again, the game lacked genuine physicality but at least gave the fans a fairly competitive game to watch – a game with over 1,000 yards of total offense.

While the Pro Bowl usually marks the end to the NFL season, the NHL All-Star weekend merely marks the halfway point to the NHL season.

Teams were picked similarly to the way Pro Bowl teams were picked, except two active players were given the opportunity to pick the teams.

Those two players were Columbus’ Nick Foligno and Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews. Not only was there an All-Star game on Sunday, but there were skill competitions on Saturday night as well. The first competition was for the league’s fastest skater. Each team picked four skaters, and each race consisted of one skater from each team.

The Lightnings’ Jonathan Drouin won the competition for Team Foligno with the fastest time of 13.103 seconds. Team Foligno also won the next competition with help from Columbus’ Ryan Johansen, who came up with the most creative breakaway shot. Patrick Kane helped Team Foligno win the Accuracy Shooting contest with a time of 13.529 seconds, which was the best of any participant.

The All-Star game had no shortage of goals for either side, but in the end Team Toews won 17-12, which is the highest amount of goals ever scored in an NHL All-Star game. Ryan Johansen was named MVP of the game with two goals and two assists on the night. The regular season resumes on Tuesday for the NHL, and the Blackhawks will resume Wednesday, Feb. 4 in Los Angeles, where they will play the Kings.