As part of All-Access All Things All-Star coverage on NHL.com this weekend in Ottawa, Detroit Red Wing goalie Jimmy Howard will be blogging his thoughts and experiences as one of the under-fire goalies in the skills-saturated All-Star Game. Here's his second entry, all about his thoughts on the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday night at Scotiabank Place.
KANATA, Ont. -- What a special night. To be rubbing shoulders with the best in the NHL, never in my wildest dreams before this season did I think I would be here at Scotiabank Place for the Skills competition, but it was amazing.
Of course, what wasn't amazing was my showing in the Fastest Skater competition. I wrote Friday that it was the one event that I wanted no part of, but as a first-time All-Star I didn't think it was my place to go up to Zdeno Chara and tell him to take me out of it.
He probably wouldn't have taken to a demand quite well.
So, I had to do it, and I have to admit, I was shaking a little bit before I got up to the blue line and waited for the whistle. Then I almost went down in my turn so, I was like, 'Let's pull it back here and be extra cautious.'
It wasn't so much that I was worried about my health because I trust myself on skates, but I definitely didn't want to be the guy that went flying into the tires. On that turn I said to myself, 'Take it nice and slow and get across the blue line.'
I didn't want to turn into some type of YouTube sensation, you know, the NHL goalie that blows his tire and flies into the tires.
That would probably sit with me for the rest of my career.
So, I got smoked by Jonathan Quick. It was pretty bad, basically to the point where Quickie could stop and look back at me.
It's OK, though. The rest of the night was a blast. I thought it was so clever to see Patrick Kane pull out the Superman cape and then the glasses just topped it off, but it was also fun watching Corey Perry take it back to the mini-stick days in the Breakaway Challenge.
I didn't get to be a goalie in that event, but it was fun watching Carey Price and Brian Elliott have a good time with it. Price even went no-look, turning his back on one of the guys.
I had a few things up my sleeve that I would have pulled out if I was in that Breakaway Challenge. Most of them were ideas I got from Chris Osgood, who tells me all about some of the crazy stuff one of his old partners, Kevin Hodson, used to do.
Maybe I'll save all of my tricks for next year. Hopefully.