After 50+ games in the NHL season, the best of the best now get to unwind and showcase their skills. This years NHL skills competition will feature a multitude of events that will show the best players putting their skills to the test. There will be 5 events featuring 6-10 skaters per event. Now without further adieu let’s see who came out on top for each competition.
Prepare for the Super Bowl match-up Here!
Starting off the competitions was the fastest skater competition. The participants were as follows. Connor McDavid (EDM), Chris Kreider (NYR), Jack Eichel (BUF), Quinn Hughes (VAN), Nathan MacKinnon (COL), Anthony Duclair (OTT) Travis Konecny (PHI), and Mathew Barzel (NYI). McDavid has won this event 3-times and will be looking to add to his titles. Kreider started the event posting a 13.5 second run giving a solid opener. Next up was MacKinnon who posted a slower time of 13.9 seconds, which surprised many who had him as a front runner. Hughes is the only defence-man in the event and he posted a 14.2 second time. Senators Duclair went next and posted almost 14 seconds dead. Konecny was next to go and posed a 14.1 second run. Up next was Jack Eichel who went 13.5 even with a stumble. Mathew Barzel was next and he put up a blistering 13.2 second time! Then was the turn of the defending champ Connor McDavid who went 13.2 but just shy of Barzel. With a time of 13.175 seconds, New York Islanders forward Matthew Barzel would win the NHL fastest skater event!
Next up was the goalies in the save streak competition. The competitors were all the goalies. Bradon Holtby (WSH), Andrei Vasilevskiy (TBL), Tristan Jarry (PIT), Frederik Andersen (TOR), Connor Hellebuyck (WPG), Jordan Binnington (STL), David Rittich (CGY), and Jacob Markstrom (VAN). The reigning champ of this event Henrick Lundqvist was not there to defend his title so we’d have a new champ this year. Starting off with Markstrom of the Canucks. Markstrom managed a streak of 5, but it was enough to win some money from broadcaster Kevin Bieksa. Up next was Tristan Jarry who started the season as the backup of the Penguins. His biggest streak was only 4 so not enough to get a win. Taking the crease next was Andersen of the Leafs. His top streak ended up being 7 which put him above with Markstrom. Up next was Connor Hellebuyck who made 4 saves. Next another all-star newcomer David Rittich who made 4 saves. Up next was veteran Braden Holtby who had a streak of 5. This would open the door for Andrei Vasilevskiy who put forth a streak of 9 to take the lead. Now was the turn of the home team goalie Jordan Binnington. He managed a streak of 10 to win the event after Leon Draisaitl hit the post.
Now the top snipers in the league get to show their stuff. The participants for the Accuracy shooting competition are as follows. Mark Scheifele (WPG), Tyler Bertuzzi (DET), Nico Hischier (NJD), Tomas Hertl (SJS), Leon Draisaitl (EDM), Johnathan Huberdeau (FLA), Jaccob Slavin (CAR), and Alex Pietrangelo (STL). First up was Mark Scheifele who hit all 5 in 15.1 seconds. Up next was Bertuzzi who got all 5 in 13.9 seconds. Next to the plate was Hischier who got them all in 19.6 seconds. Hertl was up next and he managed 4-4 and took up to 17.1 seconds to get the last one. Up next was Draisaitl who got them in 10.3 seconds for the new leader. Then Huberdeau got them in 13.7 seconds. This would set up Slavin who’d be our first defence-man who got them in 9.5 seconds and take the lead. Finally was the turn of the hometown captain Pietrangelo who went 13.8 making Jaccob Slavin the winner of the competition!
Women’s Elite 3 on 3:
This years all-star game would feature a game putting members of team Canada against team USA in a Women’s 3 on 3 game. Canada would open the score as Rebecca Johnston would score on the breakaway for a quick 1-0 lead. The USA started pouring the pressure keeping Canada on the defence for the better half of the period. Marie Philippe Poulin would try to lead an offensive but the goalies were not giving anything. That would end the 1st period at 1-0 Canada with the USA leading in shots 11-7.
Canada would start the 2nd period a lot like the 1st as the’d score a goal. This on off the stick of Daoust who’d beat Cavallini over the right pad for a 2-0 Canada lead. the USA would respond though as Hillary Knight would go on a breakaway and bury the puck 5-hole on Debiens to cut the lead to 2-1. The States tried to get the equaliser they’d come up just short as Canada would take it 2-1. The USA would out-shoot Canada 18-14 but the play of Debiens in net stole the game for Canada.
Another skill that will feature a new winner is the hardest shot competition. The contestants for this event are. Shea Weber (MTL), Mark Giordano (CGY), John Carlson (WSH), Elias Pettersson (VAN), Victor Hedman (TBL), and Seth Jones (CBJ). There were only 6 contestants in this skill but there was also a special shot from Al MacInnis who ripped off a 100.4 mph shot! Next up was Seth Jones who’s first shot was 98.8, and his second was 96.2 which set the bar for the event. Up next was Mark Giordano who started with a 100.8 and then had a 102.1 setting the new bar to beat. Then was the turn of Victor Hedman who’d score a 97.3 and 102.1 tying Giordano for the lead. Up next was the only forward in Elias Pettersson who took the lead with a 102.4 and then hit a 100.3. Then was the turn of John Carlson who shot a 102.4 and 104.5 making him the new leader with one shooter to go. Shea Weber is the favourite to win and did with a 105.9 then topped that with a 106.5! With that rocket Shea Weber would win the hardest shot competition.
A brand new event to this year is the shooting stars competition, and it is certainly a strange one. The event features players shooting at targets from basically the stands and they get 7 shots. The first ever contestants to this event were as follows. Brady Tkachuk (OTT), Matthew Tkachuk (CGY), David Perron (STL), Mitch Marner (TOR) Tyler Seguin (DAL), David Pastrnak (BOS), Patrick Kane (CHI), Ryan O’Reilly (STL), Marie-Philippe Poulin (CAN), and Hillary Knight (USA). Up first was Perron who scored 14 points to open the event. Up next was Mitch Marner who scored 22 points, propelling him in the lead. A lead that would have to be beat by Marie-Philippe Poulin who scored 15 points. Now here come the Tkachuks starting with Matthew who scored 20 points, so just shy of Marner. Now to see which Tkachuk has more skills Brady would go and score 6 points. This would bring a serenade of boos for Patrick Kane who’d score 22 points, putting him in a tie with Marner. So would Tyler Seguin beat that score? Seguin would score 14 points so not quite. Now Hillary Knight would try to beat the score set by Marner and Kane. Knight would score 14, putting her just behind her Canadian counterpart. Now the leagues leading scorer David Pastrnak would go and score 10 points with one to go. Hometown player Ryan O’Reilly would have to beat 22 to win. He’d score 14 meaning Marner and Kane would go to a tie break. Marner’s round would result in a miss, and Kane would get a 2 and win the event to a shower of boos.
That would conclude the 2020 all-star skills competition. There were a lot of great skills shown today and we’ll recap the winners. The fastest skater went to the New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzel with a time of 13.175. The save streak winner was Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington with 10 in a row. The winner of the accuracy competition was Carolina defence-man Jaccob Slavin who hit all 5 targets in 9.5 seconds. The women’s 3 on 3 went to team Canada as they took the game 2-1. Hardest shot went to Shea Weber of the Montreal Canadiens as he cranked out a 106.5 mph rocket. Finally the shooting stars competition went to sudden death and Blackhawks super star Patrick Kane would win with 24 points. The skills competitions are over, and tomorrow the game begins in St. Louis Missouri.