All eyes will be on the Shark Tank this weekend. San Jose will host the 2019 National Hockey league All-Star weekend and supporters from all over the world will be eagerly anticipating this year’s event.
The Atlantic Division emerged victorious against the Metropolitan Division last year, earning a 7-4 victory in regulation. Plenty of punters will fancy the Atlantic, led by players from the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning, to advance to the NHL All-Star Final again.
But writing the Metropolitan Division off would be foolish. Arguably the most competitive division in ice hockey, players will be ready to go to war this weekend and we could see a shock outcome in this particular battle.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Atlantic Division vs Metropolitan Division clash. If nothing else, one thing is for sure: the All-Star Weekend tends to throw up lots of excitement and entertainment. Neutrals will NOT be left disappointed this weekend.
Toronto Stars To Make The Difference For Atlantic Division
Auston Matthews, one of the best players in the National Hockey League, was voted by the fans to lead the Atlantic Division alongside fellow Canadians Nathan MacKinnon and Conor McDavid. With these three men on the roster, the Atlantic Division will be full of confidence and it would take a brave man to back against them.
With fellow Maple Leafs star John Tavares also on the roster, Matthews’ line could flourish at the Shark Tank. The 21-year-old has notched 43 goals in 35 games for Toronto this year and punters will expect Matthews to make a positive impact on All-Star Weekend.
Matthews and Tavares will both combine on the same team for the annual 3-on-3 games and it will be fun to see the two Toronto stars in action. With a bit of luck, the Maple Leafs players could take centre-stage – although the three Lightning players will have something to say about that.
Ovechkin Absence Will Hurt Metropolitan Division
No Alexander Ovechkin, no party. The Washington Capitals star had been selected to lead the Metropolitan Division by supporters but he will play no part of All-Star Weekend this year. NHL followers are split on his decision, with Toronto star Tavares criticising the Russian for letting the fans down.
However, the show still goes on and NHL fans will be hoping that the Metropolitan Division can avoid an embarrassing defeat this weekend. The All-Star schedule is rigorous but most players enjoy the thrill of performing alongside rivals and teammates on a different stage. This is no different for those players representing the Metropolitan Division.
Sidney Crosby, Claude Giroux and Kyle Palmieri will lead the Metropolitan Division for the 2019 All-Star Weekend and punters will be quietly confident that these three men can cause an upset. The Atlantic Division will be favoured heavily after dominating the regular season this year but 3-on-3 action levels the playing field.
The Atlantic Division are the team to beat here. Winning this contest will not be easy though and the Metropolitan Division could spring a shock if the Atlantic fall short. For neutrals, this is a more one-sided affair on paper than the Pacific Division vs Central Division contest.
Canadian hockey fans will be hoping to see Auston Matthews and John Tavares shine on All-Star Weekend. This is Tavares’ fifth consecutive appearance at the NHL event and Toronto supporters will be watching the two Maple Leafs very closely over the next few days.
TIP: Atlantic Division to win
CORRECT SCORE: Atlantic Division 6-3 Metropolitan Division