Calgary Flames

Sunday Census: All-Star Game, love for David Rittich, and Tkachuk forever

Welcome back to The Sunday Census. Throughout the week, The Win Column will be posing topical and intriguing polls on Twitter (@wincolumnblog) to gauge the fan-base’s stance on pressing issues. Want to make sure your opinion is taken into effect? Vote in the polls, start a debate, and propose alternative suggestions on the polls!

To the 97% of people who said either Matthew Tkachuk or David Rittich, you were correct.

The NHL all-star weekend has officially concluded, and it was the Tkachuk family that stole the show in St. Louis the past few days. The league’s new favourite legacy family was on full display, and they did not disappoint. Almost all our predictions for storylines to watch out for came true, including Keith Tkachuk joining Matthew and Brady Tkachuk in the shooting stars competition, Mark Giordano hammering a puck at over 100 mph, and Rittich being an absolute joy to watch every second he was on screen.

The all-star event isn’t that entertaining, let’s not lie about that. The skills competition is overall quite boring, the new shooting stars event was pretty terrible in general, and the outside of Tomas Hertl putting on a Justin Beiber mask, nobody did anything hilarious or crazy to steal the show.

That being said, the Flames boys were at their absolute best in all events and deserve a ton of stick taps for what they did. I’m always fascinated by how incredible Matthew Tkachuk is. He’s a brilliant speaker, is clearly a very intelligent person not only about the game of hockey but just in general, and the relationship he has with his family is inspiring. We’re lucky to be able to see him wear our city’s colours on a nightly basis.

Giordano had himself another great all-star event. He’s pure class in everything he does, showed why he’s one of the best defensemen in the world, and hammered a puck at over 102 mph in the hardest shot competition.

And, as we all expected him to, Rittich had himself a weekend full of fun and laughter every step of the way. Rittich wasn’t named to the original team. He wasn’t voted in as the last man in. He wasn’t even on the ballot. But make no mistake, he was absolutely deserving of an all-star nod and ended up being the best goalie in the all-star game tournament last night.

Rittich soaked up every moment of his first all-star appearance, and it showed. He was constantly a player the media gravitated towards for interviews and reactions and he was loving it. He’s got an incredible personality and just loves to have fun. That’s what this event is all about and he embodied it through and through.

There were lots of fun moments over the weekend, but the Flames and Oilers dominating the games was fun to see. Giordano was almost always on the ice with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, and Tkachuk was usually out there with the two Vancouver Canucks Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes. Tkachuk was, in my opinion, the most fun player to watch in the games.

Seemingly every shift he was trying out new moves and pulling the puck between his legs and behind his back just to put on a show for the fans. It’s like he started playing NHL with skill stick controls for the first time and was just experimenting with all the loose puck dekes the game had to offer. The best moment, as chosen by the majority of respondents, was the second goal for the Pacific Division when Tkachuk dropped the puck between his legs to set up Draisaitl for a nice goal.

Good thing Draisaitl stayed on the ice because the chemistry between him and Matthew was *chef kissing fingers* good.

The ASG weekend is over and now the real work begins. Hopefully, just as the intensity and drive to win increased in the second half of all the games last night, the Flames turn up the intensity and drive to win in the second half of the season.

First game back is Tuesday against the Blues. Let’s go.

Want to be a part of the conversation next time around? Follow us on Twitter @wincolumnblog and be sure to keep a look out for our polls throughout the week.

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