(Nashville, TN) — Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi was one of four hometown players to appear in the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition and the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game. He was joined by defenseman Shea Weber, forward James Neal and goalie Pekka Rinne. Josi is doing a blog for NHL.com this weekend to detail his experiences. This is the final installment, discussing the 9-6 loss his Central Division team absorbed in the semifinals and his experiences throughout an unforgettable weekend.
The All-Star Game was a lot of fun. Everything about it was amazing; coming to the rink, the entrance during the introductions and then playing the game and being out there with all those great players and playing with them was a great experience for me.
Before the game even started, our coach Lindy Ruff came up to us before the game and said all of the Predators were going to start the game and that was really cool. To get me, Shea Weber, James Neal and Pekka Rinne all out there for the first shift and to hear the reaction from the crowd, that was a cool experience.
A lot of thanks to Lindy for doing that.
I can’t say enough about the crowd. The fans really brought some atmosphere to the game. The whole weekend, the hockey fans here showed how passionate they are and how loud they can be. We have great fans and a lot of players from other teams this weekend have been telling them how great the fans are and how cool it is to play here. I think it was a great opportunity for Nashville and they did great.
The player introductions for the game today were different. I never had it like that with a live band and all the smoke as we came out onto the ice. It was definitely really cool. After the introductions, we had to wait because we were playing in the second game. We sat in the room and relaxed and watched the first game. When something funny happened, we laughed and commented on the game. It was a lot of fun.
Finally, it was our turn to play and there was a lot of excitement for it, but it did not turn out the way we wanted.
I scored a goal late, but it was too late, they already had the win. It was amazing to be able to score, though. I think at the end, both teams wanted to win. Obviously, it is an exhibition game and it is supposed to be fun, and it was fun, but both teams wanted to win and it showed. After the game, you were a bit disappointed. I wish we had won and were playing for the championship.
It was cool to score, but the whole weekend was great. There were so many highlights: the red carpet, the skills competition, the game and all the other stuff too, but I enjoyed every minute of it.
That second goal by John Scott was unreal. He came down and buried it top cheese. That was a great shot. I think it’s a great story. Matt Duchene was behind him on the breakaway, but he couldn’t get all the way back there, but that’s OK. We weren’t too hard on the guys and we just tried to have some fun with it. There wasn’t much complaining. It was awesome too when Patrick Kane went after Scott to fight him after Kane scored that goal. Kane did good. I don’t know who won that fight.
I think the 3-on-3 format is really good for the games. It’s fun playing in it and I think it is more fun for the fans watching it too. There was more space out there, so you need to skate a lot.
Now, I have dinner plans with my family. My father and my brother, Yannick, are in town. Then, I’ll take the day off Monday and just relax a bit before we go back to practice Tuesday. My dad got in Friday night and Yannick got in yesterday and they really enjoyed everything. It has been a really great experience for all of us.
I’m happy I got to be a part of all this.