had a dream the night before the skills competition that he missed all four targets on all of his attempts. Actually, he described it as a nightmare.
Fast-forward around 12 hours later and the results were anything but that.
Read stepped up to the plate first with his teammate Claude Giroux
feeding him the passes and smashed ALL four plates on six shots to finish a close (very close) second to Dallas forward Jamie Benn in a grand finale showdown.
Read wasn't the only Flyer to razzle-dazzle at Scotiabank Place. Rookie Sean Couturier
was the first Flyer to participate on the night, having a go at the Breakaway relay challenge. Although going 1-for-3, Couturier's goal was a beauty.
The 19-year-old juggled the puck between his skates and nearly came to a dead-stop, but did a spin-o-rama instead to score on Montreal's Carey Price.
"I was talking to him last night and he wasn't sure what he was going to do, but he had one good move and it was pretty cool to watch him [do it]," said Claude Giroux
said before the event that it would get competitive and he put his money where his mouth was by going 3-for-3 on one-timers in his portion of the Skills Challenge Relay.
His team took the relay heat and was a key factor in helping Team Alfredsson win the event by the eventual score of 21-12.
On the Team Chara side of things, Kimmo Timonen
struggled with the Passing Accuracy portion of the relay, but more than made up for his team in the breakaway relay.
Timonen scored a highlight real goal that he made look easy on Los Angeles Kings goaltender, Jonathan Quick. He was the last man standing in the elimination for Team Chara, but was eventually denied giving Team Alfredsson the victory.
Easily one of the biggest highlights of the night came from one of the Flyers biggest rival. Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara bested his own Hardest Shot record… a couple times.
Chara first fired a shot of 106.2 mph, then couldn't help but please the crowd, and most likely scare the goaltenders, with a shot of 108.8 mph.
"It's cool to meet all of these guys," said Hartnell. "You know as much as we hate the Rangers, Hank [Henrik Lundqvist] is a great guy and everyone you hate playing against is a group of really really great guys."
That was just one example of the camaraderie that goes on during this unique event. It's not the Winter Classic or Stanley Cup Final where so much is on the line and it's all about winning.
It's not the Draft where we get to see the Stars of Tomorrow.
It's the All-Star game, where it's all about celebrating hockey and its skill.
In the first official on-ice event to the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend, players arrived to Scotiabank Place just outside the city limits of Ottawa for tonight's Skills Competition.
All five Flyers arrived in similar fashion, by bus of course, but that's not what we're talking about.
"Walking into this locker room and seeing all of the different jerseys hanging in the lockers of NHL supers stars, it's pretty crazy and it's a dream come try to walk in here and see your jersey amongst the other guys," said rookie Matt Read
Read will be competing for TEAM ALFREDSSON in the Accuracy Shooting contest and admits that he is making a conscious effort not to over-think his challenge.
"I just got done playing soccer with the guys to try and keep my mind off of it. I don't want to go out there and screw up, so the more I think about it, the worse I'll be."Scott Hartnell
is at his first All-Star Game and while he admits to having a blast, he's looking forward to the competition part of tonight.
"I think once we start getting dressed we'll get a little bit more serious, but [right now] I'm just taking it all in and meeting everybody," said Hartnell. "Everyone in here is so competitive so I think once we get on the ice it'll be ours for the taking."
Hartnell will be taking part in a very familiar skill that he has seemed to perfect this season - one-timers in the NHL Skills Challenge Relay.
In fact, Hartnell has scored most, if not all, of his last five goals off of one-timers. What he doesn't know just yet is if teammate Claude Giroux
will be feeding him from their familiar spot.
"I don't know if it's going to be there or somewhere else, but we have a lot of fun and [Giroux] makes some great passes, so who knows."Kimmo Timonen
is not a first-timer to All-Star Weekend. The 13-year-old NHL veteran is still in awe, but having been through it before admits that he looks forward to tonight a little bit more.
"There's a lot of skill out there," said Timonen. "I'm almost looking forward to this more than the game tomorrow because you get to see different kind of players doing different kind of things."
Timonen will experience an event he hasn't been through before. He will partake in the Accuracy Passing challenge in which he needs to hit small-sized nets over obstacles.
Catch Timonen, Read, Hartnell as well as Sean Couturier
and Claude Giroux
for tonight's competition starting at 7 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.