As part of All-Access All Things All-Star coverage on NHL.com this weekend in Ottawa, Senators forward Jason Spezza will be blogging his thoughts and experiences as one of the player hosts of All-Star Weekend. Here's his second entry, detailing a Saturday that included the Molson Canadian NHL Skills competition at Scotiabank Place. Spezza's Team Alfredsson won the competition 21-12 against Team Chara:
Today wasn't as busy for me. I didn't do as much as I did on Friday. I did a lot of personal stuff today -- had breakfast with the family and had everybody over at the house. It was real nice to see everybody because now it gets really busy the next two days, so we made sure we had a lot of family time this morning.
I was excited to get here today and made sure I got to the rink a bit early. It was really cool to hang out with all the guys in the room.
Plus, the Skills competition lived up to everything we expected. Big Z (Zdeno Chara
) broke the record and there were some great moves out there in the shooting events. The crowd was really into it and I think being in Canada probably helped the guys get excited.
The building tonight was electric, especially during the introductions. We all got good receptions, but the one for Daniel Alfredsson
was great. The guys loved to see Alfie get that respect. He's been with the same organization the whole time, played 1,100 games, played here a long, long time and it was nice for the fans to give him a loud ovation. Hopefully it will happen again tomorrow. Alfie's put a lot into this game, especially being captain of one of the teams. I know he wants to make sure everyone is enjoying themselves.
As far as the hardest-shot competition, people might forget that I even went after the shots by Shea Weber
and Big Z. But I thought I did pretty good, Alfie and I said that it would be OK if we got into triple digits; we both got over 100 and we were happy with that. But what Z did was undeniably special. It's pretty unbelievable to see somebody shoot the puck that hard.
The guys love the hardest-shot competition because there is a chance to break a record; a statistical record to be broken. I think if they did the traditional fastest-skater competition and a guy broke the record, you would see the same reaction. He already had the record coming into the event, but for him to keep breaking his own record makes it why the players react the way they do.
When it was all over, Team Alfredsson had the win and, like me and Alfie said, we are pretty happy with the results. At the end of the day, we wanted to make sure we won and they guys delivered, scoring a lot of goals in the Elimination Shootout. We did a good job and had a good time.
Until the All-Star Game on Sunday now, it's all about family time for me. I get to spend some time with my dad after the game and we have the family over the house. We'll spend some time together and, hopefully, they had a good time. I'm sure everybody is tired from all the traveling and stuff. So we'll get a good night's sleep tonight and be ready for tomorrow.
Talk to you then.