Saturday night brought a lot of action as the NHL continues it's All-Star Weekend in Nashville. Some of your favorite stars took to the ice for the skills competition, with record setting performances, impressive trick shots, and some real burners in the hardest shot competition. The event is just for fun, and the players certainly had some fun with it. It had a bit of everything, and even some tender moments. Lets get into it and see how it all played out.
This is a fairly simple event. All you have to do is skate fast. There were 4 rounds with each round featuring a skater from the East against a skater from the West. Each round winner earns a point for his conference, and a bonus point goes to the events fastest skater.
P.K. Subban would win the event however, proving that the East has more twitter voters than the West does. Subban did show an impressive pair of shots though. His first one he juggled the puck a dozen times off his stick blade, before dropping it down to his foot where he kicked it back up to his stick and juggled it a few more times. The finishing touch, a backwards spin where he batted the puck out of mid-air towards the goal. Crazy hand-eye coordination on display there.
SKILLS CHALLENGE RELAY
This was definitely the most involved event of the night. 5 events in the relay, one-timers, passing, puck control, stick handling, and goalie goals. Each conference gets 2 heats with different players in each heat, as well as 3 skaters for each heat on the one-timer challenge, each shooting from an increasingly difficult angle. Each challenge must be completed before the next can begin.
East time: 1:38.41
West time: 2:15.471
East time: 1:44.47
West time: 1:27:69
A true fan favorite. How hard can you fire the rock? There are 4 rounds in the event, with each round a member of the East going head-to-head against a member of the West. A point for the hardest shot in each round, and the hardest shot overall earns his team a bonus point. The hometown favorite going into this was also last years winner of the hardest shot. Shea Weber did not disappoint his fans either, firing the puck just over 108 MPH. HOLY SMOKES!
The final event of the evening was the shootout. 3 rounds with 6 shooters for each team in each round. Whomever scores the most goals wins. The first and third shooter for each team, would shoot a puck worth 2 points as well, just to make things a little more interesting. The teams would alternate shooters with a 2 minute running clock. Once time expired, the round was over. The team from the East would shoot against the West's goalie in each round.
Shootout Round 1
Patrick Kane - Chicago Blackhawks
Matt Duchene - Colorado Avalanche
Brent Burns - San Jose Sharks
Mark Giordano - Calgary Flames
Vladimir Tarasenko - St. Louis Blues
Daniel Sedin - Vancouver Canucks
Goalie: Devan Dubnyk - Minnesota Wild
Total goals: 0
Shootout Round 2
Patrice Bergeron - Boston Bruins
Nicklas Backstrom - Washington Capitals
Steven Stamkos - Tampa Bay Lightning
Evgeny Kuznetsov - Washington Capitals
Ryan McDonagh - New York Rangers
Justin Faulk - Carolina Hurricanes
Goalie: Braden Holtby - Washington Capitals
Total goals: 9
Shootout Round 3
Shea Weber - Nashville Predators
Tyler Seguin - Dallas Stars
Corey Perry - Anaheim Ducks
Drew Doughty - Los Angeles Kings
Roman Josi - Nashville Predators
Goalie: Pekka Rinne - Nashville Predators
Total goals: 2
Overall it was a fun event. It's meant to be after all. There was some great moments, especially in the breakaway challenge. The players really had a lot of fun with that event. John Scott was the star of the entire show though. The fans in Nashville showed him endless support during the event, and he was the only player out there without a team jersey on. He was traded from a West team to the East (and sent to the AHL even) after the rosters were made, so he was wearing his All-Star jersey for the event.
I'm not going to get to heavy into the Patrick Kane situation on the event. Let's just say the fans were less than friendly towards the guy, despite him trying to elicit some cheering out of them by reminding them that for the weekend, he was on their team. It hardly worked.
The main event takes place Sunday night, and it will be very interesting to see how the players take to the new format this year. Tonight's event determined the order of the games tomorrow. Since the East won the event, they got to choose to either play their game first or second tomorrow. They elected to go first. The puck drops for the Metropolitan Division vs Atlantic Division at 5 pm central time. We'll get the Central Division vs Pacific Division game at 6 pm with the final between the winners from both conferences taking place at 7 pm.
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