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Skill Competition Takes Center Stage As All-Star Weekend In Full Swing

The NHL’s All-Star Weekend is in full swing as the rosters have been set via last night’s fantasy draft between Team Staal and Team Lidstrom. Tonight the action continues with the SuperSkills competition between the two squads. Here’s the highlights for the night:

Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater

Touted rookie Taylor Hall will take the stage first for Team Lidstrom in the night’s first event. There will be six races with a skater from each team taking the ice at the same time. The two players with the best time will compete in the final race. Notable players: Ryan Kesler (Michigan native), Steven Stamkos, Martin St Louis, plus goalies Tim Thomas and Cam Ward.

Blackberry NHL Breakaway Challenge
Alexander Ovechkin gets a shot at a three-peat in this event that encourages creativity and style. Each player will get four shots with no time limit and the winner will be voted on by the fans. The participants are:

Team Lidstrom: Anze Kopitar, Henrik Sedin, Evgeny Dadonov
Team Staal: P.K. Subban, Corey Perry, Ovechkin

McDonald’s Accuracy Shooting
Shooters will try to hit four foam targets, each positioned on a corner of the net, from 25 feet away in the fastest time. The players with the fastest time will go head-to-head like the fastest skater competition. This will be the first of two events for Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom, as he is Team Lidstrom’s (obviously) passer. Notables: Rick Nash Daniel Sedin, Kesler, Brad Richards, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews.

Skills Challenge Relay

The NHL’s description of this is a mouthful, so I’ll just let you read their official rules:

This new event for 2011 is an all-around competition that will showcase the one-timer, passing, puck control, stick-handling and accuracy shooting in four exciting relays. In the one-timer event, three shooters (with the assistance of one passer) must score three goals over an eight inch barrier; in the passing event, one passer must complete a pass into each of the six nets set up around the rink; in the puck control event, one skater will skate through a series of cones while keeping possession of the puck; in the stick handling event, one skater will control the puck through a series of obstacles; and in the accuracy shooting event, one player will take aim at four targets. Each skill must be completed before moving on to the next skill in this timed relay event worth a total of eight points. The group with the fastest time will score four points, second place will score three points and third place will score one point.

Got all that down? Lidstrom will be a more active participant in this event and take part in the relay.

Hardest Shot
Zdeno Chara gets a four-peat opportunity in this popular event. The goal is simple: shoot the puck into the net harder than the other person. Shea Weber will be Chara’s main competition, but I’d look at Rick Nash as a darkhorse. Chara will be tough to dethrone: he holds the all-time record at 105.4 miles per hour.

Discover Elimination Shootout
The last event of the night will pit every single player in tomorrow’s All-Star game against each other in a survivor shootout. If you score, you move on. If you’re stopped you’re out. Every goal will count as a point for that player’s respective team.