Blog Entry

All-Star skills challenge lineups announced

Posted on: January 27, 2012 5:49 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2012 5:56 pm

By Brian Stubits

For a lot of fans, Saturday is the highlight of All-Star weekend, not Sunday when they play the actual game. Saturday is the skills night, the NHL's version to the NBA's popular Saturday night with the slam dunk contest and three-point shootout.

Instead we have the shootout challenge and accuracy shooting contests, just as entertaining if not more so.

With the rosters finalized in Thursday night's draft, we were able to draw the lines for the skills competitions. Captains Daniel Alfredsson and Zdeno Chara further clarified that by naming the competitors for Saturday's events.

And away we go.

Fastest Skater
Class Team Alfredsson Team Chara
Backward Kris Letang (Penguins) Brian Campbell (Panthers)
Goalies Jonathan Quick (Kings) Jimmy Howard (Red Wings)
Rookies Carl Hagelin (Rangers) Colin Greening (Senators)
All-Stars Keith Yandle (Coyotes) Phil Kessel (Maple Leafs)
All-Stars Erik Karlsson (Senators) Marian Hossa (Blackhawks)

The highlight of last year's fastest skater competition might well have been the battle between Tim Thomas and Cam Ward. Remember Thomas blowing a tire around the first net? In case you don't, here's your reminder.

This year's contest will feature Jimmy Howard and Jonathan Quick. OF COURSE Quick is in the fastest skater competition. He had to be, right?

I'm going to go with Team Alfredsson here for the best showing. Watch out for the rookie Hagelin to maybe turn in the best time.

Breakaway Challenge
Class Team Alfredsson Team Chara
Rookie Sean Couturier (Flyers) Ryan Johansen (Blue Jackets)
All-Star John Tavares (Islanders) Patrick Kane (Blackhawks)
All-Star Logan Couture (Sharks) Corey Perry (Ducks)
Goalie Brian Elliott (Blues) Carey Price (Canadiens)

This is the NHL's best equivalent to the Slam Dunk competition in basketball. Four chances, four moves, see what you can do. Here's an example of what it looked like last year from one of this year's competitors, Corey Perry.

I see Kane and I see Perry on one team. Yea, that's where I'm going to go on this one. I know, I know, more disrespect for Couture.

Accuracy Shooting
Class Team Alfredsson Team Chara
Rookie Matt Read (Flyers) Cody Hodgson (Canucks)
All-Star Jason Spezza (Senators) Tyler Seguin (Bruins)
All-Star Steven Stamkos (Lightning) Jamie Benn (Stars)
All-Star Daniel Sedin (Canucks) Marian Hossa (Blackhawks)
Passer Alex Edler (Canucks) Phil Kessel (Maple Leafs)
Passer Dan Girardi (Rangers) Ryan Suter (Predators)
Passer Claude Giroux (Flyers) Jordan Eberle (Oilers)
Passer Henrik Sedin (Canucks) Brian Campbell (Panthers)

Here is the 3-point contest equivalent. If you like guys who excel at the fundamentals, this one is a little more up your alley, but it does keep "fun" in fundamentals. It's impressive to watch.

It's fast, though, that's the only downside. Would be cool to see them do it on two nets or from much further back, maybe even at the blue line.

Well the defending champ is back in it with Daniel Sedin and he crushed it last year, so I think I see a clear favorite in this one. And this time he'll be able to have his brother passing the puck to him as well.

Hardest Shot
Class Team Alfredsson Team Chara
Rookie Justin Faulk (Hurricanes) Luke Adam (Sabres)
All-Star Daniel Alfredsson (Senators) Dennis Wideman (Capitals)
All-Star Jason Spezza (Senators) Dion Phaneuf (Maple Leafs)
All-Star Shea Weber (Predators) Zdeno Chara (Bruins)

Here is our buzz-worthy event. This has probably become the most popular event of the weekend contests. Who doesn't love a booming slap shot?

Poor Luke Adam, though, he's just hoping not to get embarrassed in the process. "Hardest shot?! Will it be embarresing when I don't break 80? #toughbreak"

Wideman doesn't stand much of a chance to compete in this one either.

Ah, who am I kidding, this is a two-man show. It's a battle between Weber and Chara, with Weber still trying to finally beat Chara in this event.

Quite frankly, Chara's only competition in this event is the radar gun. And the KHL, if you believe the accuracy of their radar guns.

There are two other events too, those being the Skills Relay and the Elimination Shootout. You can see those lineups at right here.

What event will be the best in your book? Which team will win the overall battle?

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.


Since: Sep 17, 2007
Posted on: January 28, 2012 7:08 pm

All-Star skills challenge lineups announced

It goes without saying that every Wings player is best at everything and the NHL is just giving the other players a chance. Is that good enough for Detroit fans?

Since: Apr 4, 2010
Posted on: January 28, 2012 7:05 pm

All-Star skills challenge lineups announced

wow...I found it on my suck ass cable's on some channel I didn't even know I had. 

Since: Aug 28, 2011
Posted on: January 28, 2012 4:25 am

All-Star skills challenge lineups announced

It's definitely disappointing to see the one of the most gifted and creative players in a shootout not in the lineup. However, as a Wings fan, I'd rather he rest the wrist that plagued him last year.

Since: Nov 18, 2006
Posted on: January 27, 2012 11:29 pm

All-Star skills challenge lineups announced

No Pavel Datsyuk on the breakaway? Glad he was chosen #1.

Since: May 12, 2008
Posted on: January 27, 2012 11:23 pm

All-Star skills challenge lineups announced

Nevermind I now see the link to the other 2 skill challenges.  Everyone must get to do something in the skills challenge.

Since: May 12, 2008
Posted on: January 27, 2012 11:19 pm

All-Star skills challenge lineups announced

Does not everyone participate in the skills challenge?  How is Malkin the NHL scoring leader not it it?

Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: January 27, 2012 7:04 pm

All-Star skills challenge lineups announced

I know there are a lot of hard shooters in the NHL, but watch out for Dennis Wideman. He can bomb.

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