As the hockey season shifts to around mid-season, the NHL All-Star break has just begun for the leagues star players to show off their skills to the fans across the country. This year, the event has taken place in the beautiful Tampa Bay, Florida home of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Despite there being so many talented players, only a selected few were voted in from each division. This year, the league decided to change up a few of the events and came up with six total events for players to compete for their division (Pacific, Central, Metropolitan, and Atlantic). The events that occurred were the fastest skater, passing challenge, save streak, puck control relay, hardest shot, and best accuracy. The results for these challenges follow below:
The fastest skater competition involves a total of 8 skaters going around the rink one at a time and whoever gets the fastest time is the winner, pretty straight forward. The winner of this event was without a doubt Edmonton Oilers young star Connor McDavid as he completed a full lap around the rink in a time span of 13.454 seconds. The competition was fairly close as Tampa Bay forward Brayden Point came close with a time of 13.579, but McDavid’s speedy legs led him to take this one.
The passing challenge consists of 8 players aiming and passing the puck to one of the four targets as they light up, then going to center ice to do the Give and Go section and then race to the other end and saucer pass into four mini nets, fastest time wins. defenseman for the St. Louis Blues, Alex Pietrangelo, crushed the competition as he completed the entire circuit in 46.610 seconds.
The save streak is a new event this year that is pretty straight forward. 5 goalies and all the remaining 36 skaters competed. The goalies task is to complete consecutive saves, tallying up a save streak, but once the division captains scores, that goalies turn is over. Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers had a 5 save streak. Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck had a 3 save streak. Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy had a 3 save streak. Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne had a huge 13 save streak, which seemed tough to beat, but Vegas Golden Knights goalie, Marc-Andre Fleury just snuck away with the win with a 14 save streak. Fleury’s spectacular performance gave him and the Pacific division the win.
The puck control relay consists of 8 players going around the rink while showing off their stickhandling skills, then the skater zig-zags through cones while still in possession of the puck, and then the player must shoot the puck into a lighted rung of a gate. Calgary Flames forward, Johnny Gaudreau crushed the competition with a time of 24.650 seconds.
The hardest shot contest has been the same and around in the past for years, but the game consists of players shooting the puck into the net as hard as they can and the fastest MPH recorded wins. Although there were no record-breaking shots this year, Washington Capitals forward, Alex Ovechkin, won the contest with a speed of 101.3 MPH.
The accuracy shooting contest consisted of 8 players where each player is positioned 25 feet from the net and must shoot at 5 LED targets in the net and whoever breaks all the targets wins. The winner of this contest won by a landslide as Vancouver Canucks rookie Brock Boeser completed the contest in just 11.136 seconds. The only other person close tp that was Brian Boyle of the New Jersey Devils with a time of 11.626 seconds.
That would conclude the skills portion of the 2017 All-Star games. Next would be the actual game itself where members from their divisions will face another division 3-on-3 and whoever wins goes on to face the other winner. The beginning matchups will be the Central vs the Pacific and the Metropolitan vs the Atlantic.
The Pacific division defeated the Central division 5-2 and moved on to face the winner of the Metropolitan/Atlantic winner. The Atlantic division defeated the Metropolitan division 7-4. The final matchup was the Pacific division vs the Atlantic Division where the Pacific division won 5-2 to take home the 1 million dollar prize.
With another All-star game in the books, the hockey fans can now look forward to next year’s All-star game which will take place in San Jose, California.
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