2020 NHL All-Star Game – Skills Competition Recap
The 2020 NHL All-Star Game was held in St. Louis, MO, home of the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Blues. In most fan’s eyes, the best part of the All-Star Weekend is always the Skills Competition. This year was more of the same, with a couple of champions being dethroned and some new records set.
The 2020 NHL Fastest Skater competition looked to be locked up before it even started. Connor McDavid, the multi-time reigning champion, is well-known to be the fastest skater in the NHL by a wide margin. However, for one night, a new king was crowned.
The New York Islanders’ own Mathew Barzal put on a show, beating McDavid out by less than a tenth of a second and had a blistering time of 13.175 seconds. Some other familiar faces competed as well, as the New York Rangers’ Chris Kreider and Philadelphia Flyers’ Travis Konecny both were in the Fastest Skater competition. The full competition is below;
The most anticipated event of the night was the one that the hometown hero was in. Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington was the star of the night, coming in net last on the Save Streak competition and stealing the show.
Binnington came in and was able to stone ten straight shooters en route to a Save Streak competition win. The hometown hero, who led the Blues to their first ever Stanley Cup, was star once again.
The Accuracy Shooting competition was interesting in the fact that they went virtual for the first time. Instead of plastic targets there were customized virtual targets on a plaster board.
Jacob Slavin of the Carolina Hurricanes impressed all with a time of 9.505. Tomas Hertl looked to be the victor early on but he got stuck on the fifth target and paved the way for Slavin to win.
Elite Women’s Three-On-Three Game
Last season Kendall Coyne Schofield lit up the Skills Competition with her very impressive run in the Fastest Skater competition. This season, the NHL partnered with both Canada’s and U.S.’s Women’s National Teams to bring this Elite Three-On-Three game.
The Canadians wound up taking the game 2-1, with goals from Rebecca Johnston and Melodie Daoust. The Americans came storming back in the second half of the game, as Hilary Knight scored on a breakaway to cut the lead to 2-1.
Unfortunately for the Americans, it was too little too late. Amanda Kessel had an opportunity to tie the game up with a few seconds remaining, but unfortunately her shot was snapped up as the buzzer sounded and the Canadians won 2-1.
The Hardest Shot competition is always one of the more fun ones during All-Star Weekend. Some young studs like Seth Jones tried to claim the throne, but the winner of the competition was the old veteran Shea Weber with a Hardest Shot of 106.5 MPH.
The Shooting Stars competition this year was a fun one, as the stars got to shoot at targets from the stands onto the ice. It was a fun dynamic and a good twist to an otherwise somewhat boring competition.
Patrick Kane and Mitch Marner were tied at 22 points when they went to an overtime shootout. Marner missed his shot and Kane hit his to become the new Shooting Stars champion. Another fun tidbit for the home crowd was the presentation of two other Missouri teams.
Matthew Tkachuk wore a Yadier Molina jersey and Ryan O’Reilly wore a Kansas City Chiefs helmet.
Overall it was a good Skills Competition with some fun tidbits thrown in there. Showcasing women’s hockey is very important in growing the game, as is showcasing some new stars. Young stars like Mathew Barzal, Jacob Slavin, Mitch Marner, Seth Jones, etc. are making an impact in these competitions.
One of the most important things that the NHL needs to do is to keep marketing these young stars. Without them the NHL will always be a distant fourth in popularity. This weekend was a good start in reversing that trend.
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