The NHL All-Star Game—which is always an exciting contest—takes place this weekend in Ottawa. I think it's on Sunday at 4 p.m. on NBC Sports Network. Here is why you should watch, if the game actually is on that channel at that time.
1) The players get to pick their teams, which—even though the draft already happened last night—adds a wrinkle to the whole thing. No longer are we confined by the NHL's silly East/West or North America/World dichotomies. The Senators' Daniel Alfredsson, who captains one team with the Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist, took all the Senators in the draft. So Erik Karlsson, Jason Spezza, and Milan Michalek are all on Team Alfredsson, as is former Senator Brian Elliott. So are the Sedin twins. But Daniel went four rounds before Henrik. Tension!
2) There will be a lot of goals. It used to be that the All-Star Game was the only respite from the toxicity of the clutch-and-grab era—totals of 14, 13, 26, 13, 11, and 10 from 1999-2004—but things are better now. Nonetheless, the post-lockout games have still yielded bonkers scores: 12-9, 8-7, 12-11, 11-10. They're close games filled with goals. What better for the casual hockey fan who wouldn't stay awake through a defensive struggle?
3) Drake. Drizzy Drizzy Drake Drake. He'll be performing during the second intermission of the game in the spot that usually belongs to Lifehouse or Switchfoot or Staind or whatever band is riffing on Creed's formula these days. We love Drake around these parts, and found his new album Take Care exceptional. He'll probably do "Headlines," and that'll be a lot of fun. Don't forget: he's the most important musician in Canada during the 11 months of the year that Michael Bublé is in mothballs.
4) There is nothing else on. This game is three hours before the Pro Bowl on NBC. Are you listening? This game was literally scheduled to lead into and accommodate the Pro Bowl.
Top image via Jesse Spector's Tumblr.