A SURPRISE IN LAS VEGAS

As I said in my last post, for my last full day in Las Vegas before I went back to the cold of New York City, the plan was to visit as many casino hotels as possible and take in everything else happening in Las Vegas for that weekend.

Not only were hockey players invading the home of the Vegas Golden Knights, T Mobile Arena, but over at Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders football team, the NFL All Star game, the Pro Bowl, had football players invading Las Vegas also.

It was the first time in sports history that two sports leagues were having their all star games in the same city, and not only was Las Vegas more than ready for it, the Sports Diva was in her element.

This is what I came for, to see all the hockey goings on in town.

I didn’t go to the Fan Fest on Friday because I was trying to rush back to my hotel in Downtown Las Vegas and pack for a 6am flight the next day.

Plus I wanted to see my favorite part of any sports all star game.

Not the all Star game itself, but the festivities before like the Home Run Derby in Baseball, The Slam Dunk and 3 Point Contest in Basketball and in hockey, Fastest Skater, Hardest Shot, Most Accurate Shooter, Mascots Dance Off and the Breakaway Competition in which players from the different teams come up with creative ways to score on the goaltender .

As for the football all star skills competition, nope, sorry not a fan of that.

Anyway, as I said, I had plans for Friday.

My Vegas Golden Knights friends had other plans for me.

My friend LB: “Jo Ann where are you now?”

“I’m just walking into Resorts World now.”

My friend LB: “Lisa and I are staying at Park MGM.”

Park MGM Hotel and Casino are across the street from T Mobile Arena, but I figured we were going to watch the Skills Competition from the girls room.

“Okay, I was going back downtown to my hotel and watch the Skills Competition.”

My friend LB:”Lisa has an extra ticket to the Skills Competition, you wanna go?”

I didn’t know if half of Las Vegas Boulevard could hear me screaming, but the Sports Diva screamed as though one of her teams had just won the championship or something.

Oh hell yeah, I wanted to go.

Packing could wait, the Sports Diva had a hockey All Star Skills Competition to go to.

Need I mention that LB and Lisa are Vegas Golden Knights seasons tickets holders so we sat in their seats watching the mascots act the fool with fans, dancing with the Vegas Bellas, who are the showgirls who preform at Golden Knights games.

The mascot dance off was won by the Pacific Division mascots from Vancouver, Los Angeles,Anaheim, San Jose and of course, Chance from Las Vegas, who did a routine with the showgirls to a song by The Weekend, “Blinded By The Lights.” Very appropriate for Vegas if you ask me.

The Metropolitan Conference mascots, led by Gritty from Philadelphia, Sparky The Dragon from The New York Islanders, Iceburgh, the Pittsburgh Penguins mascot, and The Eagle from the Washington Capitals, came in second dancing to The Harlem Shuffle.

Outside of the Fastest Skater and Hardest Shot Competition, which was won by Jordan Kyrou of the St. Louis Blues (and really is one of the fastest skaters I have ever seen and I’ve seen some pretty fast hockey skaters in my time)and Victor Hedman of the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning, everyone was waiting for the Breakaway Competition.

The event was won by Alex Pietrangelo of the home town VGK, but even the Vegas fans were booing this decision.

Like me, they thought it should have gone to Trevor Zegras of the Anaheim Ducks, who shot into the net blindfolded while the mascots threw dodgeballs at him.

It could have even gone to Alex Debrincat from the Chicago Blackhawks, who dressed like Alan from the movie The Hangover.

You can’t get any more Las Vegas than that.

Debrincat brought the house down when he came out with Derek Carr, the quarterback of the Las Vegas Raiders who threw a football , which Debrincat caught and then shot it into the net.

It got really crazy when the All Stars were announced and the loudest boos weren’t for players from the Los Angeles Kings or San Jose Sharks, the rivals of the VGK, no it was reserved for Tom Wilson of the Washington Capitals, who believe it or not is the second most hated man in hockey.

After the competition was over, it was time for me to go get something to eat and finally pack because the shuttle van was coming to take me to the airport at 3:30am.

I always love my 30 Plus Teams Tours of Las Vegas, but this one was really good and what a surprise.

Youpi and SpartaCat, the Ottawa Senators mascot, meeting the crowd
Blades the bear, the Boston Bruins mascot