Tim Thomas chatting it up with goalie Carey Price. (Photo Credit: Marc DesRosiers-US PRESSWIRE)

Notes From The South: NHL All-Star Skills Competition

Chara claims new record. (Photo Credit: Eric Bolte-US PRESSWIRE)

Team Alfredsson destroyed Team Chara 21-12 in Saturday’s All- Star Skills Competition, despite Zdeno Chara’s new 108.8 mph hardest shot record. If I were a goalie, I would call in sick each time my team played the Bruins.

You can catch up on all the All-Star line-ups, skills rules, and results here, but here are my thoughts from the South…

Opening Ceremonies

  • Pre-game interviews with Joey The Junior Reporter were adorable as usual. My favorite moment was Joey’s interview with Henrik Lundqvist.

Joey, “My mom thinks you’re dreamy.”

Lundqvist, “Tell your mom thank you.”

Joey turns to his mom off camera, “He says thank you.”

  • The booing of the Maple Leafs got a little old, but I enjoyed when Joffery Lupul tug on his Toronto sweater and laughed as he was assaulted with verbal lashings upon entering the ice. Allow us to reflect on Raleigh’s southern hospitality for a moment…
  • I also though Team Alfie gave more love to the welcoming Mighty Mites on the ice versus Team Chara. Karma?
  • Favorite tweet: Justin Faulk, “Shootout during warm-ups, wonder if Wardo would let us do this?”

Fastest Skater Skills Competition

  • First up was Brian Campbell against Kris Letang. Letang’s tight, quick pivot and turn won him the contest.
  • Jonathan Quick had some impressive power strides to beat Detroit’s Jimmy Howard.
  • Phil Kessel out skated Keith Yandle as he nearly blew a tire coming around the turn.
  • Holy heavens, Erik Karlsson was a bullet whipping past Marion Hossa. No contest.
  • Rookies Carl Hagelin and Colin Greening would skate twice with the fastest times. The first round was a close call with a slight lead by Hagelin, but Team Alfredsson would win the round with a clear defeat by Hagelin in the second try.
  • Favorite tweet: Tyler Seguin, “And one event is finished. Guess we’re losing. Time to bounce back. Haha.” Sorry Tyler, didn’t happen.

    Patrick Kane sweeps the puck past Brian Elliott in the breakaway challenge. (Photo Credit: Eric Bolte-US PRESSWIRE)

Breakaway Competition (Score: 2-Chara, 4-Alfredsson)

  • This was definitely the most entertaining event of the evening. The creativity and flair was definitely a crowd pleaser.
  • The winner of this round was Patrick Kane with good reason. His first attempt was a little juggle and skate-to-tape that landed in Elliott’s glove, but the then the show really started. In a Superman cape and Clark Kent glasses, Kane flew (belly on ice style) toward the net with a personal glove pass to his stick for a goal. His last shot was a memorizing one as the puck exploded into several pieces upon impact. Poor Carey Price stood there stunned, not knowing which piece to snag. Well played Kaner, well played.
  • Another notable moment was Brian Elliott “Tebowing” in the crease as he waited for a shot.
  • Columbus Blue Jacket rookie, Ryan Johnansen, had a decent showing but told Elliott after his third shutdown, “You gotta move!”
  • Corey Perry also used a notable prop when he stopped mid way to drop his gloves and retrieve a mini goalie stick from his breezers. He even managed to score on Price from his awkward stance.
  • Best block of the night goes to Carey Price as he stopped Logan Couture backwards! Yes, facing the glass and using the reflection as his eyes, Price prevented a goal from last season’s Calder Memorial Trophy Finalist (Skinner shoutout!).
  • Favorite Tweet: Justin Faulk, “Some impressive moves in the shootout! Gotta love when the goalies get into it!”

Accuracy Shooting Competition (Score: 3-Chara, 4-Alfredsson)

  • Jamie Benn stole the show a time of 13.58 seconds in the first round, and an impressive 10.20 showing against Matt Read in the final round. The Dallas Stars’ winger showed amazing poise as he settled each puck and shot with calm, soft hands. I would pay to have him on my Beer Puck team. Call me Jamie.
  • The biggest surprise was Steven Stamkos eventually skating the puck in after 44.68 seconds. You can’t win them all
    Steven.

    Jamie Benn in the skills challenge. (Photo Credit: Marc DesRosiers-US PRESSWIRE)

Skills Relay Challenge (Score: 6-Chara, 6-Alfie)

  • The one-timers bored me, the passing portion got lengthy, the puck control relay is often seen in practices, and we already saw the accuracy shooting. The only drill of this round that amused me was the stick handling. My jaw drops at the speed and perfection of this skill.
  • Overall, this category needs some work. Perhaps the NHL can watch old Nickelodeon reruns of Temple of the Hidden Doom and GUTS for some fresh obstacle course ideas. I would personally like to see Zdeno Chara attempt to skate through a mob of mascots while being slimed.
  • Favorite tweet: Paul Bissonnette, “One of the All Star Skills should be having Daniel and Henrik not wear name bars on their jersey’s and have players guess who’s who.”

Hardest Shot Competition (Score: 6-Chara, 9-Alfie)

  • Luke Adam and Justin Faulk were the rookies representing the hardest shot competition. It was a close call, but Adam won with 98.3 mph opposed to Faulk’s 95.9 mph shot. Caniacs were very proud of their solo Canes’ participant.
  • Although Alfresson and Spezza had respectable bullets, the competition was truly between Shea Weber and Zdeno Chara. Weber reached 106 mph in the final round, but Chara beat his own record with an astonishing 108.8 shot.
  • Favorite tweet: Mike Murphy, “Chara shoots 108mph. #warrior stick. Congrats to Warrior on all the stick sales they’re about to make haha. #makeitrain.”

Elimination Shootout (Score: 9-Chara, 11-Alfie)

  • Stamkos redeemed himself winning 3-for-3 in the final skills competition.
  • I really enjoyed the round for the goalie action. I saw enough of the skaters. Concluding the evening with watching Henrik Lundqvist and company was like a delicious dessert after a fulfilling meal.

Congratulations to Team Alfredsson for the victory. Chara’s team will attempt to redeem themselves this evening in the All-Star Game. The weekend has been fun, but I anxiously await to see my Carolina Hurricanes return to the ice Tuesday against the stubborn New York Islanders. It’s Tavares shutdown time Canes!

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Tags: All-Star Brian Elliott Carey Price Henrik Lundqvist Jamie Benn Jonathan Quick Justin Faulk Kris Letang NHL Patrick Kane Shea Weber Tim Thomas Zdeno Chara

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