ST. LOUIS - Jaccob Slavin had a simple strategy heading into Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting at the 2020 NHL All-Star Skills: Hit the targets and hit them quickly.
Check and check.
Slavin, making his first NHL All-Star appearance, finished with the top time in the event after hitting the five targets in 9.505 seconds.
"I'll take it," Slavin smiled. "Eric Staal, I was sitting next to him, and he said he was doing it a little bit this morning. He was just like, 'Just shoot them as fast as you can. Don't worry about if you miss or whatever.' So, that's what I tried to do."
Slavin was the seventh of the eight skaters to shoot, which worked to his advantage, especially having no prior practice save for "[getting] the shot going a little bit" in warm-ups.
"It definitely helped. You saw how the screen worked a little bit," he said, referencing the all-digital display used in this year's event. "I didn't know exactly what to expect going into it."
Slavin's first shot missed his intended target.
"I was like, 'Uh oh, this could be a long night,'" he said.
Slavin went on to hit three targets in a row: top left, center and bottom left.
"Then, it just started rolling," he said.
Video: Accuracy Shooting: Slavin wins with superb shooting
Slavin then caught the side of the plexiglass trying to hit the bottom right target before knocking it out on a second try. Ditto for the top right target.
Eight shots and five hits, all in under 10 seconds.
Slavin is just the second player to win with a time under 10 seconds (Daniel Sedin, 8.9 seconds in 2011) since Accuracy Shooting became a timed event in 2011. And then, there were only four targets to hit, though players did have to receive passes from teammates along the goal line.
"That's pretty good company, I'd say so for sure," Slavin said.
Defensive defenseman? Accruate shooting defenseman is more like it.
"Just because they were accurate doesn't mean they were hard," Slavin joked.
They didn't have to be hard - and if they were, they might have broken the protective plexiglass in front of the digital display for a second time. They just had to be accurate.
What would Dougie Hamilton think of his defensive partner's performance?
"I hope he'd be proud. I'm sure he would have won it if he was in it," Slavin said. "Maybe I'll have to split the money with him."
The money being $30,000. Not a bad night out at the rink.
"It was a really cool experience," Slavin said. "Just seeing and being around so many great players. Some of the alumni from the Blues that got to come out, that was pretty special to see. Just having the family in the stands from my wife's side and my side, a lot of family time this week. It's been awesome."
Slavin, along with every other All-Star skater, also took part in Bud Light NHL Save Streak, taking turns in penalty shots to bust opposing goaltenders' strings of consecutive saves. Slavin faced Frederik Andersen and Andrei Vasilevskiy once each and failed to score on both. Slavin tried to get Andersen moving laterally and poke the puck past him, but Andersen came up with the left pad stop.
Slavin was then turned away by Vasilevskiy, one of the goaltender's nine consecutive stops.
The centerpiece of All-Star Weekend takes place on Saturday, as the league's four divisions square off in a 3-on-3 tournament with a cash prize on the line (8 p.m. ET, NBC).
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