How to watch
When: 7:00 PM
Where: NBCSN or NHL.tv
Hello and welcome to my running commentary on the NHL All-Star Game Skills Competition. I’ll be typing out my thoughts and republishing as the night goes on, so if you don’t see certain results, just hit refresh!
Going into tonight’s Skills Competition, the rosters for each event are posted below. As the events finish, I will highlight the winner in each category and will also add my observations. I will be illustrating these events with the photos and commentary from our two Raw Charge reporters at the game, @GeoFitz4 and @justing. Follow the @RawCharge twitter account for more.
This year, the winner of each category will pocket $25,000 dollars, so there is actually something at stake!
Please note that a pirate-clad Victor Hedman has arrived at the All-Star Skills Competition, but not as a competitor. Instead, he’s been given the job of Assistant to the Equipment Manager, and will be helping to keep players nice and tidy during the competition.
#Gasparilla2018 is alive and well in the #NHL as All-Stars #Senators Erik Karlsson and #TBLightning @heds77 enter the arena decked out as pirates as they arrive for the Skills Competition in Tampa. The two players, both from Sweeden, got dressed at Hedman's place before arriving. pic.twitter.com/WyNWjiVtCv— Dirk Shadd (@DirkShadd) January 27, 2018
So. Arrrrrr you ready?
With thanks to Joe at the Tampa Bay Times for the list of skaters in each category.
7:00 PM: My husband has left the room at the first strains of the Hockey Night in Canada music. “I don’t have enough alcohol for this,” he says. Luckily I do. L’chaim, y’all.
7:05 PM: Brian Boyle takes the ice and the crowd erupts into cheers. My heart.
Brian Boyle appears on the scoreboard. Cheers ensue with him looking up and saluting the cheers. Now a Brian Boyle chant has broken out in the arena.— Raw Charge (@RawCharge) January 28, 2018
7:08 PM: Gerard Gallant up with the HNIC panel, boasting on his team. That’s fine, VGK. Our eyes are on you.
7:09 PM: “Did that one guy just talk about ‘the stiffness of his shaft’?” My husband has alcohol and has returned to the room.
7:11 PM: Can I just say that I appreciate the inclusion of Wheelchair Rugby in this Canadian sports commercial? Thank you, Canada.
When are you guys showing the MMA portion of the evening— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) January 28, 2018
7:15 PM: “I am happy to see that Marchy made the trip down here,” Sidney Crosby says. Maybe Brad Marchand will host the MMA portion of the evening...
7:17 PM: Awkward. HNIC is going on and on about Stamkos and Kucherov’s chemistry, and they, uh, are not currently on a line together.
7:21 PM: PK Subban and Brent Burns are discussing their outfits. Very cute. “How do you watch this stuff all the time?” My husband asks. “I usually mute the sound.”
7:29 PM: HNIC is reciting pirate poetry. Husband has ripped off his headphones and thrown them at me, screaming “YOU WIN! PUT THEM ON!”
7:32 PM: Being there sounds amazing though [Krystof is Amalie Arena’s organist]:
7:37 PM: I like how you think:
These Tampa fans should applaud Tavares more since he’s a future Bolt— B (@eyetotelescope) January 28, 2018
Too busy cheering for Karlsson - will work on Tavares next— Saima (@Saima_1226) January 28, 2018
7:38 PM: I am strangely charmed by Brad Marchand’s grin as he waves at the loudly boo-ing crowd.
Competition categories (winners will be highlighted)
Enterprise NHL Fastest Skater
The simplest of all competitions. The fastest skater to complete one lap around the ice wins.
7:44 PM: Fastest skater time! HNIC is betting strongly that it’ll be Connor McDavid.
13.579 on the clock for Point.— Raw Charge (@RawCharge) January 28, 2018
7:49 PM: HNIC is saying that smaller guys are faster. You’d think they were reading Stevie Y’s drafting strategy. (After Werenski, Rakell, and Hanifin, Point is still best.)
7:52 PM: I’m sad for America. Not even Jack Eichel can beat Brayden Point.
7:54 PM: Connor McDavid repeats his fastest skater record. Point is second though. Yay.
NHL: The skaters will achieve maximum acceleration as they exit the turn behind the net.— Winging It In Motown (@wingingitmotown) January 28, 2018
Neil DeGrasse Tyson: Well, actually....
Brayden Point, Tampa Bay Lightning
Zach Werenski, Columbus Blue Jackets
Rickard Rakell, Anaheim Ducks
Noah Hanifin, Carolina Hurricanes
Josh Bailey, New York Islanders
Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers <— Winner
Dunkin’ Donuts NHL Passing Challenge
A three-skill challenge featuring eight players.
- Target Passing - player must complete four passes to targets that light up randomly
- Give and Go - player must complete four passes through a course set up in the neutral zone
- Mini Nets - player must pass over an obstacle and into a mini net before completing a final pass into the game net
Whoever completes all three skills the fastest wins.
Meghan Duggan is out to demonstrate the passing challenge before Kucherov goes first.— Raw Charge (@RawCharge) January 28, 2018
8:00 PM: It’s 8 PM and we have five events left.
8:01 PM: Kucherov, oh god, this third tiny net is his bane.
He's having trouble with the saucer pass portion. He also skated off without finishing the last part of hitting the empty net. 1:39.562 time for Kucherov. Doubt he wins this one.— Raw Charge (@RawCharge) January 28, 2018
8:04 PM: Claude Giroux has bested Kucherov by a lot. PK Subban suggests that it’s because his hair is shorter.
8:07 PM: While Brayden Schenn set the time to beat, PK is on HNIC discussing how beautiful Erik Karlsson and Victor Hedman look in pirate gear. I mean, he’s not lying.
8:10 PM: Eric Staal sets the new time to beat at under a minute. Age defeats youth!
What’s Victor Hedman been up to as Assistant Equipment Manager?
8:12 PM: No actually this guy beats age:
Pietrangelo really quick through the first second, slower on the second but has a chance to take the lead. And he does. 8 seconds better than Staal.— Raw Charge (@RawCharge) January 28, 2018
8:16 PM: We all fall asleep waiting for Drew Doughty to hit the tiny nets, but the winner is declared.
Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning
Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers
Brayden Schenn, St. Louis Blues
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyotes
Eric Staal, Minnesota Wild
Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues <— Winner
Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins
Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
GEICO NHL Save Streak
A breakaway challenge that focuses on the goalie, not the shooter. Five goalies will compete to see who can stop the most breakaways in a row.
8:26 PM: Oops, sorry, I had to go make some tea. Henrik Lundqvist is gorgeous. Wait, what are we doing? Looks like the longest streak is 5, though.
Subban not deterred by the lack of fun in the competition, throws his glove and Lundqvist and then tries a trick shot which keeps the streak going.— Raw Charge (@RawCharge) January 28, 2018
8:28 PM: Carey Price is giving color commentary for the save streak. Why isn’t he on the ice? “I know some guys who know some guys.”
8:30 PM: “Who’s the best player, Carey?” “Oh you know Sid is pretty good.” — I mean, what were you expecting?
Boeser with a snipe ends it for Hellebuyck at 3. Lundqvist on top with five. Rinne is next is net to face the Metro.— Raw Charge (@RawCharge) January 28, 2018
8:32 PM: I now have learned that Carey Price wanted to be a defenseman like Bobby Orr. Meanwhile, Pekka Rinne sets the streak at 13 and Lundqvist looks handsomely disappointed.
Giroux scuffs a slapshot and that's finally what stops Rinne's streak at 13. Gonna be tough to beat that one.— Raw Charge (@RawCharge) January 28, 2018
8:36 PM: This is adorable. Fleury gonna Fleury.
Atlantic will take on Fleury. And Fleury has chosen the music during his portion. It's the Frozen sound track.— Raw Charge (@RawCharge) January 28, 2018
8:38 PM: Kucherov and Stamkos both pull fun moves but are stymied by Fleury’s BFFs, the posts.
Fleury has taken the lead with 14. Kucherov can help Vasy by ending this streak.— Raw Charge (@RawCharge) January 28, 2018
8:40 PM: “KUUUUUUCH” rings out over the ice as he stops the streak.
Subban with a goal ends Vasilevskiy in the event with a long streak of just three. Fleury with the win.— Raw Charge (@RawCharge) January 28, 2018
Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers, vs. Central Division
Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets, vs Pacific Division
Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators, vs. Metropolitan Division
Marc-Andre Fleury, Vegas Golden Knights, vs. Atlantic Division <— Winner
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning, vs. Central Division
Gatorade NHL Puck Control Relay
Another three-skill competition featuring eight skaters:
- Stickhandling - player must control a puck around eight pucks set up in a straight line.
- Cone Control - player must control a puck around through eight cones set up in a zig-zag
Gates - player must shoot or guide a puck through a series of gates with rungs. As the player approaches, a rung will light up and that is the one the player has to get the puck through
8:47 PM: I am bored and I’m trying to figure out why. It’s probably very exciting to be in the arena; perhaps it’s that PK Subban is no longer on the air? I hope that after he retires, he has a long career in broadcasting. Or you know what else would be fun? Bringing the US Women’s National Team into the HNIC panel as color commentators, and have them weigh in as experts in their sport. They are right there in the rink, guys, and it would add some much-needed juice to this event.
I would love to see the women's players involved, there have definitely been dull moments (like the entire neutral portion of the passing, most of the shootout) I'm sure it's better in the arena.— Chris Hockman (@ChrisHSport) January 28, 2018
I’d settle for just being able to hear the in-arena interviews. You can’t announce the All Star events seriously, you’ve gotta have fun wth it, and these announcers aren’t.— Tyler Moore (@TheRevTy) January 28, 2018
Anything goes breakaway challenge should come back— Zach ⚡⚡⚡ (@ZachRosenswag) January 28, 2018
So this is why being at Amalie Arena is much better:
Back from the intermission. Best Kessel is in the ice to demonstrate the next competition.— Raw Charge (@RawCharge) January 28, 2018
9:00 PM: Not enough drunken Ovechkin. I think that’s my conclusion. Anyway, here we are with the next thing.
9:02 PM: Wee Gaudreau was pretty cool.
9:04 PM: Stamkos is talking to HNIC about Brayden Point. “He’s going to be a household name pretty soon. But Connor is going to be the champion of this event for a long time.”
9:05 PM: “Do you have any advice for John Tavares?” “We haven’t even talked about it actually.”
9:07 PM: McDavid can’t beat the smol American!
9:08 PM: “You look around and 20,000 people are watching you try to put a puck in a little net and your hands start shaking a bit, and guys are chirping you...” This is Stamkos’s explanation for why Auston Matthews sucked at this event.
9:10 PM: The other American wasn’t as good, and Gaudreau’s hands win it.
Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames <— Winner
Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers
Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators
John Tavares, New York Islanders
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs
Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
PPG NHL Hardest Shot
Pretty simple. Whoever shoots the puck the hardest wins. Each player gets two attempts and the attempt with the highest MPH is the one used.
9:17 PM: HNIC people are now getting a little critical of the event and suggest that the league brings back Zdeno Chara just to make this more competitive.
9:18 PM: “The slapshot is a disappearing shot in the game because it takes too long to get off.”
Ovechkin currently leads with a 98.8 after three.— Raw Charge (@RawCharge) January 28, 2018
Klingberg can't beat Ovechkin and he's the winner. He'll still take a second shot though and record a 101.3 and gets a big cheer from the crowd when the speed shows up.— Raw Charge (@RawCharge) January 28, 2018
9:23 PM: Do you guys remember the “best” All-Star Game in recent history back in 2015, when there was a live draft and Ovechkin was drunk and trying his best to get picked last? I can’t believe I miss that but I totally do. Or okay, even last year’s John Scott experience was kind of entertaining.
John Klingberg, Dallas Stars
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals <— Winner
P.K. Subban, Nashville Predators
Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks
Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning
Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting
A staple of skills competition for decades, players will attempt to break targets set up at the four corners of the net. There are some new twists this year. An additional target is set up at the “five hole”. Also, the targets will light up randomly and the shooter must shoot at the lit-up target. The player that breaks all five targets in the shortest amount of time wins.
9:26 PM: Hey HNIC, why aren’t you talking about any of this:
Hillary Knight now to demonstrate the accuracy shooting.— Raw Charge (@RawCharge) January 28, 2018
Her time might actually have held up through the competition. She did really well.— Raw Charge (@RawCharge) January 28, 2018
Pretttttty sure she was second quickest of everyone. Boeser won, but I think she beat the rest of the field which included Stamkos, Crosby and Kopitar.— Mark Harris (@TweetsByHarris) January 28, 2018
9:27 PM: DO YOU GUYS SEE THE WORD “PROBABLY”? I SEE IT.
Erik Karlsson said he and his pirate hat did go out and experience a little bit of Gasparilla today. “How can you not. I’ll never be here for it again. Probably not.”— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) January 28, 2018
9:31 PM: Brian Boyle’s time held up until Brock Boeser showed up.
Target finally replaced and Rat Face can take his turn. Plenty of boos coming down.— Raw Charge (@RawCharge) January 28, 2018
9:37 PM: The boos raining down have done their work and Marchand’s time sucked. What’s fantastic and also beyond weird is that all Atlantic get to be on a team together tomorrow. I guess Tampa needs to get used to cheering him right quick.
Well... Apparently Kopitar is the worst at accuracy shooter.— Raw Charge (@RawCharge) January 28, 2018
9:40 PM: Will Stamkos beat Boeser? “There are 20,000 people who are counting on it.” No pressure.
9:41 PM: Pressure. Boeser wins and we’re done.
Brian Boyle, New Jersey Devils
Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets
James Neal, Vegas Golden Knights
Brock Boeser, Vancouver Canucks <— Winner
Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins
Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning
So what have we learned?
Hell if I know.
See you guys tomorrow.