The NHL All-Star weekend continued with the annual Skills Competition in Nationwide Arena. Much to the delight of the Central Ohio fans, Team Foligno, captained by Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno, prevailed over Team Toews, captained by Chicago Blackhawks star Jonathon Toews, 25-19.
There were several different categories in the Skills Competition and the results are summarized as follows:
- Fastest Skater: Tampa Bay Lightning rookie Jonathan Drouin recorded the fastest time in this category, recording a time of 13.103 seconds, using Sport-Vision’s player tracking technology.
- Breakaway Challenge: it was Ryan Johansen of the host Blue Jackets who stole the show, performing two breakaway attempts, one by doffing his Blue Jackets sweater to unveil an Ohio State University football jersey of star Buckeye quarterback Braxton Miller and the second while assisting the Blue Jackets equipment manager’s son into the net.
- Accuracy Shooting: Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks validated his reputation as having the greatest hands and playmaking skills in the NHL by nailing all four of his targets in a breakneck time of 13.529 seconds.
- Skills Challenge Relay: while this was a team effort of varying skill sets by Team Foligno and Team Toews members, Lightning superstar Steven Stamkos showed off his marksmanship skills by scoring from absurd angles to pace Team Foligno.
- Shootout: Phil Kessel validated the trade by Team Foligno from Team Toews by dominating the shootout competition, blowing by Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford to seal the victory for his captain, and
- Hardest Shot: saving the best for last, Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber obliterated the field by recording an other-worldly shot of 108.5 Miles Per Hour (MPH), narrowly missing the all-time record hardest shot by Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara who recorded a shot of 108.8 MPH. Weber’s shot was even more impressive as he had missed his first attempt, thus being forced to put the shot into the net.
It was a spectacle that, as usual, didn’t disappoint, setting up the finale, the NHL All-Star game. As defense and checking are nowhere to be found for this game, it should be time to break out the calculators to tally the final score but this game is not about the purists, it’s for the benefit of the fans as it should be.