The starting lineups for the NHL All-Star Celebrity Shootout read like a guest list for the Emmys, Oscars or Grammy Awards — with a few Stanley Cup-winning hockey players thrown in the mix.
Justin Bieber, “True Detective” star Taylor Kitsch, Cuba Gooding Jr., Tim Robbins and Jerry Bruckheimer were among the familiar faces hidden under hockey helmets as Team (Wayne) Gretzky took on Team (Mario) Lemieux Saturday afternoon from the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.
While most players inspired cheers from the crowd when they were announced before the puck dropped, Biebs got boos — but he’s used to that, right?
The “Sorry” singer took an early shot on goal — which didn’t go in, and earned more jeers — but Gretzky teammate Nicklas Lidstrom quickly made up for it by whacking the puck in the net.
On the sidelines, E! News’ Ken Burns had an exclusive injury report for the commentator, revealing: “I’m a little hungover!” Now that’s not going to help his accuracy.
On a more serious note, Canadian actor and huge hockey fan, Alan Thicke, is gone but was far from forgotten. Not only was youngest son,
The Anaheim Ducks’ “Finnish Flash” Teemu Selanne soon evened up the score for Team Lemieux. Then Biebs got another (failed) penalty shot, and lots of jabs from the commentator. “What did you mean, ‘Oops, sorry’?” Yep, the cheese factor was way up there in the commentators’ box.
Even Hall of Famer Gretzky gave him grief, saying they could take
Gretzky’s team began hammering up the score, when Borje Salming got a sweet assist from Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane (yep, he’s pretty darn good).
After getting heaped with praise for his portrayal of former NFL star O.J. Simpson in FX’s “
Bieber finally got his moment of glory and hit the last goal of
In the very un-serious press conference afterwards, Gooding Jr. opened with a mock speech, “I’m happy to be traded to Toronto. I think my first intention was to show my mom there’s color in there.”
As for Bieber’s determination to score, “Twenty-five shots later, he finally made it. I was shocked how well he could play!” the “Jerry Maguire” star marveled.
He went on to say that he did get bit nervous before the game. “When Patrick [Kane] came in the locker room and took his jacket off, I realized I’m in trouble. He came in the last minute and said ‘I want to skate in this game.’”
Gretzky agreed, saying “Players like Kane jumping in gave it some credibility.”
When asked about Cuba’s goal, the coach wasn’t quite as polite: “There’s a lot of great players who aren’t great skaters but still ended up scoring goals.” That doesn’t really sound like a compliment …
The competition level amped up next with the NHL Skills contest as the league’s most smokin’ hockey fan, Snoop Dogg, DJed during the player announcements. (He was back again, a little hazier, later in the night to perform at the VIP after party).
It looked like fun and games on the ice, but it was serious stuff as the NHL’s biggest players flew the pucks through (Gatorade) cones, down little ladders and across the length of the rink.
As jerseys for every team filled the ice, you’d think think they were playing in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals judging by the intensity.
The new Four Line Challenge event quickly separated the champs from the also rans as they had two chances to make a shot through a very small hole with the line moving further and further back.
Even though NoCal rivals San Jose Sharks were playing on the L.A. Kings’ Pacific division, their players still garnered angry boos from the stands. Tough crowd.
The fan favorite of the night — aside from the cuddly team mascots — was obviously Ducks center Ryan Kesler’s little son, Ryker, who stole the show skating and scoring like a pro.
The 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend festivities conclude with the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 29 (12:30 p.m. PT / 3:30 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).
See below for the full roster of the Celebrity All-Star Shootout.
# Team Lemieux (Black) #Team Gretzky (White)
77 Ray Bourque 6 Justin Bieber
21 Peter Forsberg 88 Patrick Kane
91 Sergei Fedorov 4 Rob Blake
17 Jari Kurri 11 Mike Gartner
19 Larry Robinson 88 Eric Lindros
27 Scott Niedermayer 5 Nicklas Lidstrom
44 Chris Pronger 19 Joe Sakic
20 Luc Robitaille 18 Denis Savard
26 Peter Stastny 21 Borje Salming
24 David Boreanaz 12 Cuba Gooding Jr.
37 Taylor Kitsch . 19 Jerry Bruckheimer
91 Riker Lynch 25 Joe Nieuwendyk
32 Ross Lynch 44 Billy Flynn
7 Ron MacLean 7 Michael Rosenbaum
13 Steven R. McQueen 3 37 Tim Robbins
8 Teemu Selanne 20
22 Vincent Piazza 72 Ken Baker (goalie)
4 Angela Ruggiero 1 James Badge Dale (goalie)
2 Mr. Zhou (goalie)