Blog Entry

NHL skills contest results, highlights

Posted on: January 28, 2012 11:28 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2012 11:35 pm
 
By: Adam Gretz

The NHL wrapped up its Super Skills competition on Saturday night with Daniel Alfredsson's team, loaded with all of the hometown Ottawa Senators, picking up the overall win by a 21-12 margin. Below is the complete list of winners in all of the invidual events, including Patrick Kane in the Breakaway challenge and Zdeno Chara taking home yet another championship (and record) in the hardest shot contest, as well as some of the highlights (and lowlights) from the night.

2012 NHL Super Skills Results
Competition Winner
Fastest Skater Carl Hagelin (New York Rangers)
Breakaway Challenge Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks
Shot Accuracy Jamie Benn (Dallas Stars)
Skills Challenge Relay Team Alfredsson
Hardest Shot Zdeno Chara (Boston Bruins)
Elimination Shootout Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning)

Zdeno Chara makes the hardest shot contest the must-see event: I understand what the NHL is trying to do with the breakaway challenge (it's basically the Slam Dunk contest, in hockey form) and at times on Saturday night it was the highlight of the night, whether it was Kane putting on the Superman cape, Anaheim's Corey Perry busting out the knee-hockey stick and using it to score a goal, or Montreal's Carey Price stopping a shot with his back turned to the shooter. Great stuff.

But the must-see event, at least as long as Chara is taking part in it, remains the hardest shot contest, If for no other reason than to watch in amazement at the freakish speeds these guys can fire a piece of frozen rubber across the ice. Watching Chara in this event right now is like watching a home run hitter get himself in a rhythm and hit one titanic fly ball after another in a home run derby.

At this point it's his event, and everybody else is just taking part in it for his amusement. Even Shea Weber, a guy that hit 106 on the radar gun Saturday night, couldn't get near him. Chara has won the event five years in a row, and not only does he keep winning, but his shots keep getting faster and faster, and he keeps shattering his own records.

It's worth asking if 110 MPH is in play next season in Columbus. I wouldn't bet against it.

Change that wasn't an improvement:
The NHL used a new format for the fastest skater contest this season, having the players line up side by side, skate in a straight line down the ice, make a narrow, short turn, and then head back in the opposite direction. In years past the players would simply skate all the way around the ice, the complete length of the rink, making it easier to compare players and their times from year-to-year. The new approach almost seemed to slow the players down because it didn't give them enough of a chance to really show what they can do speed-wise.

On a positive note, for the second year in a row goalies competed in one of the rounds, with Los Angeles' Jonathan Quick blowing away Detroit's Jimmy Howard. And yes, they have to skate with all of their equipment on, which definitely adds a bit of unintentional humor.

Fortunately for the two keepers this year neither one of them took a spill in the corner like Boston's Tim Thomas did last season.

Event that doesn't seem to work: The Skills Challenge relay. Dump it. It's basically a giant obstacle course that involves just about every skater on the two team's taking part in a series of events, including passing, one-timers, shot accuracy and puck control. Unfortunately, it just doesn't seem to work or generate much excitement.

It's by far the longest event from start to finish, taking nearly two-and-a-half minutes for one team to complete the course, and it seems to suck a lot of the life out of the crowd.

Helmet camera's are always cool: St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott, who received a nice ovation from the Ottawa fans as one of the many former (and current) Senators to play in the game, had a helmet cam throughout the night -- along with Howard -- to give a first-person look at some of the events. That included during the breakaway challenge when Elliott was in the cage attempting to stop Kane's slapshot with what turned out to be a trick puck that broke into four pieces on its way to the net.

Of course, given the way that Elliott is playing this season for the Blues it's not much of a surprise that none of the pieces ended up in the back of the net, while he even managed to glove one of them out of the air.



Previously at Eye On Hockey

Kane's Superman wins breakaway challenge
Chara sets another record
More 2012 All-Star Game coverage

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

Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2012 3:47 pm
 

NHL skills contest results, highlights

Because a 6 foot 9 player using the same stick as a 5"10 guy is much more fair.



Since: Aug 15, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2012 12:26 pm
 

NHL skills contest results, highlights

using a bigger stick than everyone else gives Chara a real big advantage.  he can get a lot more whip on the stick thus propelling the puck faster, Make everyone use the same size stick and then lets see who really has the hardest shot. 



Since: Jan 16, 2012
Posted on: January 29, 2012 9:10 pm
 

NHL skills contest results, highlights

I used to love the skills competition.  It seemed like chaos on the ice.  All the players not involved laying on the ice talking on their cellphones.  The best was when they were trying to talk to Hartnell (he was micced for the event) and he was too busy posting on twitter to hear them.  Definitley not for the fans.  I agree that the breakaway challenge needs to go away or put a defenseman charging in from behind so the shooter has to move with some urgency because that is what makes a real breakaway exciting.



Since: Nov 27, 2008
Posted on: January 29, 2012 1:59 pm
 

NHL skills contest results, highlights

Most of it was kinda boring, aside from the shootout competition (Patrick Kane and John Tavares were by far the best, and Carey Price was hilarious!) and the team relay where Pavel Datyuk and Craig Smith put on a show. I barely saw Jonathan Quick, which was disappointing.



Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: January 29, 2012 1:42 pm
 

NHL skills contest results, highlights

Rigged? I was on the ice last year for the ALL Star Game in Carolina. I was a Hurricanes employee and responsible for the on ice portion, targets, moving obstacles, etc. They cannot rig the competition. There are too many people involved behind the scenes that do not have a vested interest in the NHL. Trust me if it was rigged, in todays world it would hit Twitter in one minute. 



Since: Jan 17, 2007
Posted on: January 29, 2012 11:44 am
 

NHL skills contest results, highlights

ANyone else think the hardest shot competition was rigged?  The KHL, for those of you who didnt see it, had a guy shoot the puck like 107 or something like that in their skills competition.  The NHL said something about the distance to the net was different and that it didnt compare to the NHL shot competition.  Then, this year Chara crushes his old record?  I don.t know.  Not trying to be a conspiracist.  Just found it kind of coincidental.   



Since: Jan 17, 2007
Posted on: January 29, 2012 11:44 am
 

NHL skills contest results, highlights

ANyone else think the hardest shot competition was rigged?  The KHL, for those of you who didnt see it, had a guy shoot the puck like 107 or something like that in their skills competition.  The NHL said something about the distance to the net was different and that it didnt compare to the NHL shot competition.  Then, this year Chara crushes his old record?  I don.t know.  Not trying to be a conspiracist.  Just found it kind of coincidental.   



Since: Mar 20, 2011
Posted on: January 29, 2012 10:09 am
 

NHL skills contest results, highlights

Why wasnt Datsyuk shooting PS? Everyone knows he has the best hands in the league.



Since: Mar 30, 2011
Posted on: January 29, 2012 8:38 am
 

NHL skills contest results, highlights


The breakaway comptition was stupid. Kane with a cape and all the Lacrosse moves Perry was doing is ridiculous. I know they are trying to make it interesting but that was just lame. Chara again light up the radar gun with that canon of a shot. Never realized how fast Greeining is either.



Since: May 12, 2008
Posted on: January 29, 2012 8:24 am
 

NHL skills contest results, highlights

Is there a reason this writer uses apostrophes in his pluralized words? Does CBS Sports have any editors at all, or is this story so low on the priority list that they just didn't look at it? Another shining example of 21st century journalism.


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