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Carly Peters' Live Commentary - NHL All-Star SuperSkills Competition

by Carly Peters / Minnesota Wild
Hey State of Hockey Legion! We might have a few days of mandatory time off from Wild games, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy live, "in-game" commentary of tonight's NHL All-Star SuperSkills competition in Raleigh, N.C.

As you probably know by now, both Wild players at this weekend's All-Star festivites - Brent Burns and Martin Havlat - were drafted last night to Team Lidstrom. If you missed the NHL All-Star Fantasy Player Draft last night, check out the recap here.

As far as tonight goes, the All-Stars will be joined by the rookies on the ice to battle in tonight's Honda NHL SuperSkills competition. They always say that hockey's a team game, but for tonight, it's all about individual skill. Sure, the guys will be hoping to earn points for their team, but you know they also want the ego-boost that must come with beating the rest of the best.

Martin Havlat will participate in the accuracy shooting competition and skills challenge relay, while Brent Burns will participate in the hardest shot competition. Both will compete in the elimination shootout, along with the rest of the All-Stars.

As Glen Andresen says, "Let's Do This!"

- - -

The players are announced as they skate through smoke that resembles a water fall with their name and number projected on it. It's a pretty cool look. Brent Burns is announced and looks like a completely different person now that he's shaved his beard completely and slicked his hair back. Even Marty Havlat looks like he's trimmed up his facial hair. You'd think the All-Star Game was sponsored by Gillette or something.

After Team Lidstrom is announced, it's Team Staal's turn. We knew they would be with all three Carolina All-Stars on the roster, but they're confirmed as the crowd favorite with loud cheers from the fans.

Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater™

The Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater™, the first event of Honda NHL SuperSkills®,
will consist of six preliminary races with two players skating at one time taking one lap of the ice; the players from each team with the fastest time for their team will then meet in one final match race.  One of the races will be between two players skating backwards.

Team Staal wins the flip of the puck but defers to pick second for which player will skate first.
The first match up is close as Kris Letang slightly edges Duncan Keith. Michael Grabner beats fellow rookie Taylor Hall in the first match of the rookies. Tim Thomas wipes out behind the net as Cam Ward wins the comical race between goalies. Martin St. Louis just beats Ryan Kesler, before Steven Stamkos tops Mike Green. There is some timing difficulty, but it looks as though Matt Duchene has topped Marc Staal.

The finals line up as a rookie battle, as Michael Grabner gets the point for Team Staal after beating Taylor Hall.

Final Times:

Team Staal 
Kris Letang – Pittsburgh Penguins - 16.132
Michael Grabner – New York Islanders - 14.061
Cam Ward – Carolina Hurricanes - 18.895
Ryan Kesler – Vancouver Canucks - 14.786
Mike Green – Washington Capitals - 15.200
Marc Staal – New York Rangers - No Time  

Team Lidstrom
Duncan Keith – Chicago Blackhawks - 16.167
Taylor Hall – Edmonton Oilers - 14.621
Tim Thomas – Boston Bruins - No Time
Martin St. Louis – Tampa Bay Lightning -14.763
Steven Stamkos – Tampa Bay Lightning -14.731
Matt Duchene – Colorado Avalanche - 14.779

Final Round  
Michael Grabner, NYI 14.238 - Event Winner
Taylor Hall , EDM 14.715

Score: Team Staal 5, Team Lidstrom 3

BlackBerry NHL Breakaway Challenge™
The fan favorite BlackBerry NHL Breakaway Challenge™ returns again this year, the event Alex Ovechkin has made his own by taking home the title each of the first two years.  A test of the amount of creativity a player can insert into a breakaway, fans in-arena and watching on television in the U.S. and Canada will be able to vote for their favorite player by texting the number that corresponds to the player of their choice to 81812.  Each skater will attempt four shots – with no limits.  Shooters can start their attempt from anywhere with full access to the offensive zone, including behind the net.  NHL penalty shot rules do not apply.  The shooter with the highest fan vote will score four points for his team, second place will score three points and third place will score one point.

Team Staal 
P.K. Subban – Montreal Canadiens - Subban wears hometown favorite Jeff Skinner's jersey to get lots of cheers from the crowd. His attempts include lots of turns, trying to hit the puck out of the air, but he does not score on any of the three rookie attempts. 
Corey Perry – Anaheim Ducks - Perry plays lacrosse with the puck, cradling it in the air but hits iron on his first attempt. His other attempts don't compare and he's not able to convert on any of them. 
Alex Ovechkin – Washington Capitals - Unlike last year, Ovechkin doesn't use any props but saves his best for his last attempt. He takes the puck down using the top of his stick, then switches the stick quickly and scores with the blade of his stick.
Team Lidstrom
Evgeny Dadonov – Florida Panthers - Dadonov can't convert on any of his three rookie attempts, but takes a fourth and converts on a between the legs shot.
Anze Kopitar – Los Angeles Kings - Kopitar has a nice stick-to-foot soccer attempt and picks the puck up with his stick between the legs, but doesn't convert.
Loui Eriksson – Dallas Stars - Eriksson scores on his third attept after circling the net multiple times and spinning around until Carey Price (and I) started to get dizzy.

If there was a theme between all of the competitors, it was attempting to bat the puck in after bouncing if off the stick.Perry's lacrosse attempt was my favorite, but I don't pick the winner, text messages do. Sorry, Corey.

Fan-Voting Results:
1. Alex Ovechkin - 38.5% - Event Winner
2. PK. Subban - 21.3%
3. Loui Eriksson 18.5%

Score: Team Staal 12, Team Lidstrom 4

McDonald's NHL Accuracy Shooting™
From 25 feet in front of the net, shooters take aim at four foam targets attached to the inner side of the goalposts. The objective is to hit all of the targets in the fastest time.  A total of eight points are available.  The winner of each match scores one point.  The players with the fastest time from each team will go head-to-head in the final round for the title of the NHL's most accurate shooter and two additional team points.

Team Staal
Passer: Dan Boyle – San Jose Sharks
Passer: Paul Stastny – Colorado Avalanche

Ryan Kesler – Vancouver Canucks 9.6
Logan Couture – San Jose Sharks 12.4
Patrick Sharp – Chicago Blackhawks - - 
Rick Nash – Columbus Blue Jackets 17.9
Eric Staal – Carolina Hurricanes - -
Daniel Sedin – Vancouver Canucks 7.3 (4-for-4)

Team Lidstrom
Passer: Nicklas Lidstrom – Red Wings
Passer: Danny Briere – Philadelphia Flyers

Brad Richards – Dallas Stars - -
Derek Stepan – New York Rangers - -
Jonathan Toews – Chicago Blackhawks 8.8
Phil Kessel – Toronto Maple Leafs - -
Patrick Kane – Chicago Blackhawks 8.7
Martin Havlat – Minnesota Wild - - As Daniel Sedin goes 4-for-4, Marty struggles to hit a target, laughing as he skates away. That's OK, Marty. We like that you're saving some of your skill for Tuesday's game. I have to remember to bring some extra hats since you're going tally a hat trick and all.

Final Round
Daniel Sedin - 8.9 - Event Winner
Patrick Kane - -

Score: Team Staal 18, Team Lidstrom 6

G Series NHL Skills Challenge Relay™
This new event for 2011 is an all-around competition that will showcase the one-timer, passing, puck control, stick-handling and accuracy shooting in four exciting relays.  In the one-timer event, three shooters (with the assistance of one passer) must score three goals over an eight inch barrier; in the passing event, one passer must complete a pass into each of the six nets set up around the rink; in the puck control event, one skater will skate through a series of cones while keeping possession of the puck; in the stick handling event, one skater will control the puck through a series of obstacles; and in the accuracy shooting event, one player will take aim at four targets.  Each skill must be completed before moving on to the next skill in this timed relay event worth a total of eight points. The group with the fastest time will score four points, second place will score three points and third place will score one point.

This is a fun little relay where you know each guy is trying his hardest since the next guy on his team can't start with his duty until he finishes.

Team Staal 
Group 1
Zdeno Chara – Boston Bruins - blue line
Eric Staal – Carolina Hurricanes - mid
Daniel Sedin – Vancouver Canucks - side net
Erik Karlsson – Ottawa Senators - one timer passer
Dan Boyle – San Jose Sharks - little net passing
Tyler Ennis – Buffalo Sabres - cones
Paul Stastny – Colorado Avalanche - pucks
Corey Perry – Anaheim Ducks - targets
Total Time: 2:18

Group 2 
Kris Letang – Pittsburgh Penguins - blue line
Mike Green – Washington Capitals - mid
Claude Giroux – Philadelphia Flyers - side net
Patrik Elias – New Jersey Devils - one timer passer
Jamie McBain – Carolina Hurricanes - little net passing                     
David Backes – St. Louis Blues - cones
Marc Staal – New York Rangers - pucks
Jeff Skinner – Carolina Hurricanes - targets
Total time: 2:34

Team Lidstrom
Group 1
Nicklas Lidstrom – Detroit Red Wings - blue line
Brad Richards – Dallas Stars - mid
Loui Eriksson – Dallas Stars - side net
Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Phoenix Coyotes - one timer passer
Henrik Sedin – Vancouver Canucks - little net passing
Martin St. Louis – Tampa Bay Lightning - cones
Matt Duchene – Colorado Avalanche - pucks
Jonathan Toews – Chicago Blackhawks - targets
Total time: 2:09 - Event Winner

Group 2
Shea Weber – Nashville Predators - blue line
Dustin Byfuglien – Atlanta Thrashers - mid
Phil Kessel – Toronto Maple Leafs - side net
Martin Havlat – Minnesota Wild - one timer passer - Marty shows off his skill as the set up man, giving Weber, Byfuglien and Kessel passes for their shots.
Patrick Kane – Chicago Blackhawks - little net passing
Keith Yandle – Phoenix Coyotes - cones
Kevin Shattenkirk – Colorado Avalanche - pucks
Danny Briere – Philadelphia Flyers - targets
Total time: 2:33

Score: Team Staal 21, Team Lidstrom 11

XM NHL Hardest Shot™ - Order determined on the ice
Bruins blueliner Zdeno Chara not only won his third consecutive XM NHL Hardest Shot™ competition in 2009, but his blast of 105.4 miles an hour broke the all-time record previously held by Al Iafrate and set in 1993.  The event returns this year with six head-to-head matches.  Two players will square off in each round, valued at one point each.  The highest recorded shot (by radar in mph) will earn one point for his team.  The players from each team with the hardest single shot will meet in a final match, with two points scored to the winner, to determine the NHL's hardest shooter.

Team Staal
David Backes – St. Louis Blues - 96.6, 96.9
Tyler Seguin – Boston Bruins - 95.7, 97.1
Patrick Sharp – Chicago Blackhawks - 94.3, 94.6
Zdeno Chara – Boston Bruins - 104.1, 103.7
Rick Nash – Columbus Blue Jackets - 88.5, 91.4
Alex Ovechkin – Washington Capitals - 98.2, 97.2

Team Lidstrom
Brent Burns - Minnesota Wild - Burnsie is all smiles after Nicklas Lidstrom picks him to shoot first. Burns registers a 92.4, then a 98.4 blast to top Backes.
Cam Fowler – Anaheim Ducks - 93.7, 93.8
Anze Kopitar – Los Angeles Kings - 94.0, 94.5
Shea Weber – Nashville Predators - 104.6, 104.8
Dustin Byfuglien – Atlanta Thrashers - 101.3, 102.4
Steven Stamkos – Tampa Bay Lightning - 95.2, 101.9

Final Round
Shea Weber – Nashville Predators - 103. , 103.4
Zdeno Chara – Boston Bruins - 105.9, 105.0 - Event Winner and new event record with 105.9 MPH

Score: Team Staal 25, Team Lidstrom 15

Discover NHL Elimination Shootout™

The battle between Team Staal and Team Lidstrom will be ultimately decided as all of the All-Stars and Rookies compete in the Discover NHL Elimination Shootout™, a time-honored game of “hockey survivor.”  Shooters who score will move on to the next round in the shootout, with the All-Star goalies rotating after every third shooter.  Rounds of the shootout will continue until only one player scores and the other(s) don't; the last scoring shooter wins.  Every goal scored will count as one point for his team.

Marc-Andre Fleury:
Stops Ryan Kesler's deke to forehand
Stops Tyler Ennis off a rolling puck
Stops Dan Boyle's backhand attempt
Stops Jeff Skinner with a great pad save
Stops Daniel Sedin, forcing him wide with a backhand
Stops Kris Letang's attempted five-hole shot
P.K. Subban finally gets past Fleury, using a shot above the glove
Stops Jamie McBain's low shot

Carey Price:
Stops Taylor Hall as he tries to go across the crease with a backhand
Stops Henrik Sedin's deke attempt
Stops Keith Yandle's attempt glove side
Dustin Byfuglien scores five hole
Stops Oliver Ekmann-Larsson on a great attempt off his skate
Stops Phil Kessel with a great glove save
Stops Evgeny Dadonov five hole
Danny Briere makes it look easy, patiently scoring under the bar, glove side

Jonas Hiller:
Corey Perry scores high stick side
Michael Grabner is stopped on a backhand attempt
Stops Marc Staal
Stops Tyler Seguin after he shoots wide
Rick Nash uses a quick wrister to score over the glove
Stops Mike Green when Hiller uses his stick to block the shot
Paul Stastny is robbed with a quick glove save
Stops Patrick Elias after he goes wide and loses the puck on his way in

Henrik Lundqvist:
Stops Loui Eriksson with a poke check
Stops teammate Derek Stepan with help from the crossbar
Stops Brad Richards with a pad save
Brent Burns does some fancy moves but is stopped
Stops Duncan Keith with a quick glove save
Stops Steven Stamkos after a lot of moves
Stops Anze Kopitar after he goes backhand but it hits the crossbar
Martin St. Louis puts on a pretty performance, turning before the shot off his backhand to score

Tim Thomas:
Stops Alex Ovechkin with the right pad
Stops David Backes is stopped with a left pad along the pipe
Logan Couture scores with an awesome goal, faking Thomas with a deke and finishing with a great backhand
Erik Karlsson scores a great backhand off a sick angle along the goal line
Stops Claude Giroux with help from the post
Zdeno Chara fakes the slapshot but can't score on the backhand
Stops Patrick Sharp after he loses the puck
Eric Staal scores five hole

Cam Ward:
Patrick Kane scores five hole after some pretty puck handling
Stops Nicklas Lidstrom with the pad
Matt Duchene has the open net after a great fake but can't get the shot off
Kevin Shattenkirk scores with some nice moves
Stops Cam Fowler with a shot head on
Stops Shea Weber's attempt with a quick glove
Martin Havlat does his patented shoulder shake, Ward bites, and he scores between the legs
Jonathan Toews hits the pipe on his backhand attempt

Second Round

Marc-Andre Fleury:
P.K. Subban goes wide but can't bring the puck back across the crease
Corey Perry fools Fleury, pretending to go wide and scoring five hole
Stops Rick Nash on his attempt between the pads

Carey Price
Stops Dustin Byfuglien with the blocker
Stops Danny Briere on the backhand
Martin St. Louis again turns, brings it to his forehand and scores off the backhand

Jonas Hiller
Stops Logan Couture's straight forward shot
Erik Karlsson makes another impressive move between his legs but can't get control of the puck
Stops a low shot from Eric Staal

Henrik Lundqvist
Stops Patrick Kane off a glove
Stops Kevin Shattenkirk with a glove
Stops Martin Havlat after he shakes his shoulders, tries to go five hole, but Lundqvist pokes with his stick

Final Round

Tim Thomas
Corey Perry scores with a wicked wrister over the glove - Event Winner (3-for-3)

Cam Ward
Martin St. Louis tries his turn, forehand to backhand move again, but it stopped

Final Score: Team Staal 33, Team Lidstrom 22
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