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CANONSBURG, Pennsylvania – All right, everyone. Back to work!
Following a four-day break for the NHL All-Star Game and a three-hour flight to the wintry Steel City, the Winnipeg Jets were back on the ice for practice today at the Southpointe Iceoplex in Canonsburg, PA.
One thing Dustin Byfuglien can never be accused of is being underdressed. In true form, he was prepared for the glamour of All-Star Weekend by bringing a pair of custom neon skates to Columbus which were produced for him by the Winnipeg-based company, VH Footwear.
The neon striped skates earned plenty of play around the dressing room and in the media as the only uniquely themed blades at the event.
Sunday’s 60th NHL All-Star Game was a record-setting offensive display.
Philadelphia Flyers forward Jakub Voracek led the way with three goals and three assists as Team Toews defeated Team Foligno 17-12, setting a new NHL record for goals scored in the exhibition contest.
The previous record was set in the 51st All-Star Game back in 2001. North America and The World combined for 26 goals, with Bill Guerin winning the MVP award on the strength of a five-point performance.
Tonight, with two goals, two assists and a game-high seven shots on goal, Ryan Johansen (Team Foligno) of the hometown Columbus Blue Jackets was awarded the MVP honours.
New York Islanders forward John Tavares tied an NHL All-Star record with four goals. Dany Heatley was the last to accomplish this feat back in 2003. Four others, including Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux, have also achieved that mark in the past.
In total, 25 players recorded multi-point nights and only two players — Anze Kopitar and Zemgus Girgensons (Team Foligno) — were held off the scoresheet altogether.
Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien recorded an assist in 18:22 of ice time.
All-Star Captains Nick Foligno, Patrick Kane & Drew Doughty huddled around a computer screen on Saturday morning, reviewing their roster and deciding whose skill set gave them an edge over Team Toews in the NHL All-Star Skills Competition later that night. By noon, Dustin Byfuglien would find out his captains planned to deploy him in the hardest shot competition and in the breakaway relay.
Dustin Byfuglien went head-to-head with Nashville Predators defenceman Shea Weber in the Hardest Shot competition at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition.
Byfuglien registered 95.8mph in his first attempt, followed by a 97.3mph shot in his second.
Weber countered with the highest mark of the night, 108.5, with his second shot.
Weber's winner was only 0.3mph off the NHL record of 108.8, set by Zdeno Chara in 2012.
In his second event of the night immediately after, Byfuglien scored a beautiful backhand goal in the shootout, adding another goal to the winning total. Overall, Team Foligno defeated Team Toews 25-19.
Downtown Columbus is flooded with a rainbow of NHL jerseys this weekend. From Sharks teal, to Bruins black, and Jets polar night blue. Proudly wearing their team’s colours, hockey fans from near and far found their way to the NHL’s All-Star showcase to see the best the league has to offer.
While awaiting the weekend’s main events on Saturday night and Sunday, there were many activities before and after for fans to take part in. NHL All-Star FanFest at the Greater Columbus Convention Center offered fans the chance to meet their favourite mascots, test their skills in one of many shooting galleries, and get their picture taken with the Stanley Cup. One station even had fans try their accuracy by firing pucks into a stack of washing machines.
At all times during the weekend, young fans were able to interact with the NHL’s mascots. There was even a mascot showdown on Saturday afternoon where all 26 of the NHL’s costumed characters competed in a series of events. At one point, Winnipeg’s Mick E. Moose paired up with the Predators’ Gnash in a three-legged relay race.
Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien has been chosen to participate in the Hardest Shot and Shootout events tonight for Team Foligno at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition.
Alex Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos and Brent Burns will also compete for Team Foligno in the Hardest Shot and will go up against Aaron Ekblad, Brent Seabrook Justin Faulk and Shea Weber for Team Toews.
The action gets underway at 6:00pm CT on CBC.
Team Foligno vs. Team Toews. Who has the edge on the back end? The NHL Network breaks down and compares the defensive lineups after the NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft.
Our take? Doughty, Keith, Shattenkirk, Burns, Ekman-Larsson and Byfuglien -- it doesn't get much better. Advantage Foligno.