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NHL Skills Competition 2016 results

DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUBS!
DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUBS!
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday night brought a lot of action as the NHL continues it's All-Star Weekend in Nashville. Some of your favorite stars took to the ice for the skills competition, with record setting performances, impressive trick shots, and some real burners in the hardest shot competition. The event is just for fun, and the players certainly had some fun with it. It had a bit of everything, and even some tender moments. Lets get into it and see how it all played out.

FASTEST SKATER

This is a fairly simple event. All you have to do is skate fast. There were 4 rounds with each round featuring a skater from the East against a skater from the West. Each round winner earns a point for his conference, and a bonus point goes to the events fastest skater.

The Detroit Red Wings rookie forward Dylan Larkin ran away with this event, and quite literally proved he's the fastest NHL skater ever. Turning in a time of 12.894 seconds, Larkin set the new NHL record. The fastest skater opened the show and the East ruled the event, winning 5 of the 6 points awarded for the event while the West only mustered up 1 lonely point.

Results

East vs West

Winners in bold

Round 1

Dylan Larkin - 12.894 vs. Roman Josi - 13.527

Round 2

Brandon Saad - 13.634 vs. Matt Duchene - 14.026

Round 3

Erik Karlsson - 14.630 vs.Taylor Hall - 13.654

Round 4

Kris Letang - 14.081 vs. Dustin Byfuglien - 14.203

Score
East: 5
West: 1

BREAKAWAY CHALLENGE

There were definitely some fun moments in the breakaway challenge. The tops for this guy was Brent Burns bringing out his son, along with Joe Pavelski and his son. The kids took the puck and Pavelski's boy deftly dropped a pass to Lil' Burns who ripped a wrister into a wide open net. Why was the net left unattended? Corey Schneider was set in net to block the shot, but at that very moment Roberto Luongo decided to settle his differences with Schneider, and there was a goalie fight side show. That couldn't have been planned. *wink wink, nudge nudge*

P.K. Subban would win the event however, proving that the East has more twitter voters than the West does. Subban did show an impressive pair of shots though. His first one he juggled the puck a dozen times off his stick blade, before dropping it down to his foot where he kicked it back up to his stick and juggled it a few more times. The finishing touch, a backwards spin where he batted the puck out of mid-air towards the goal. Crazy hand-eye coordination on display there.

Subban's second shot had him showing a lighter side, and a brand new jersey. He skated out onto the ice wearing old number 68 of the Florida Panthers, and a wig to match the numbers owner. Jaromir Jagr was in stitches watching himself skate in on goal and score, complete with the Jagr salute.

Burns second shot was silly as well as he pointed up to the video board and the lights went out. We then saw the evolution of Burns set to the tune from Star Wars. When the lights came back up, somebody had replaced Burns with Chewbacca in a San Jose Sharks jersey. Chewie has a fierce slapper, and Corey Schneider wanted no part of it.

Score
East: 1
West: 0

ACCURACY SHOOTING

This is a pretty familiar event. 4 targets in a goal, the object is to destroy them all as fast as possible. 5 points would be awarded in the event, 1 for each head-to-head winner and 1 for the fastest overall. They would finish with the East winning 3 points in the event and the West with 2. John Tavares would win the extra point for the East with the fastest completion of the event.

Results

East vs West

Winners in bold

John Tavares - 12.294 vs Patrick Kane - 20.000

Patrice Bergeron - 23.362 vs Joe Pavelski - 14.088

Claude Giroux - 17.254 vs Corey Perry - 13.771

Evgeni Malkin - 16.179 vs Jamie Benn - 16.664

Score
East: 3
West: 2

SKILLS CHALLENGE RELAY

This was definitely the most involved event of the night. 5 events in the relay, one-timers, passing, puck control, stick handling, and goalie goals. Each conference gets 2 heats with different players in each heat, as well as 3 skaters for each heat on the one-timer challenge, each shooting from an increasingly difficult angle. Each challenge must be completed before the next can begin.

This would be the first of two events featuring a Minnesota Wild player. Devan Dubnyk, the Wild's only All-Star helped his heat win the event with the fastest time and gave the West a much needed bonus point. The East was impressive in both heats, but would only win the first heat. Scoring for the event went 2 points to the West, 1 to the East.

Results

HEAT 1

EAST

One-timer right shooters:
Aaron Ekblad - Florida Panthers
Erik Karlsson - Ottawa Senators
Steven Stamkos - Tampa Bay Lightning
One-timer passers: Patrice Bergeron - Boston Bruins
Mini-net passer: Nicklas Backstrom - Washington Capitals
Puck control relay: Justin Faulk - Carolina Hurricanes
Stick Handling: Claude Giroux - Philadelphia Flyers
Goalie Goals: Braden Holtby - Washington Capitals

East time: 1:38.41

WEST

One-timer right shooters: 
Shea Weber - Nashville Predators;
Drew Doughty - Los Angeles Kings
Corey Perry - Anaheim Ducks
One-timer passers: Taylor Hall - Edmonton Oilers
Mini-net passer: Daniel Sedin - Vancouver Canucks
Puck control relay: Johnny Gaudreau - Calgary Flames
Stick Handling: Patrick Kane - Chicago Blackhawks
Goalie Goals: Pekka Rinne - Nashville Predators

West time: 2:15.471

HEAT 2

EAST

One-timer left shooters:
Ryan McDonagh - New York Rangers
Leo Komarov - Toronto Maple Leafs
Ryan O'Reilly - Buffalo Sabres
One-timer passer: Jaromir Jagr - Florida Panthers
Mini-net passer: Evgeny Kuznetsov - Washington Capitals
Puck Control relay: Kris Letang - Pittsburgh Penguins
Stick handling: Dylan Larkin - Detroit Red Wings
Goalie Goals: Ben Bishop - Tampa Bay Lightning

East time: 1:44.47

WEST

One-timer left shooters:
Mark Giordano - Calgary Flames
James Neal - Nashville Predators
Vladimir Tarasenko - St. Louis Blues
One-timer passer: Matt Duchene - Colorado Avalanche
Mini-net passer: Jamie Benn - Dallas Stars
Puck Control relay: Roman Josi - Nashville Predators
Stick handling: Tyler Seguin - Dallas Stars
Goalie Goals: Devan Dubnyk - Minnesota Wild

West time: 1:27:69

Score
East: 1
West: 2

Hardest Shot

A true fan favorite. How hard can you fire the rock? There are 4 rounds in the event, with each round a member of the East going head-to-head against a member of the West. A point for the hardest shot in each round, and the hardest shot overall earns his team a bonus point. The hometown favorite going into this was also last years winner of the hardest shot. Shea Weber did not disappoint his fans either, firing the puck just over 108 MPH. HOLY SMOKES!

Results

East vs West

Winners in bold

Aaron Ekblad - 93.4 MPH vs Dustin Byfuglien - 99.6

Evgeni Malkin - 97.0 MPH vs Tyler Seguin - 95.0 MPH

Steven Stamkos - 103.9 MPH vs John Scott - 95.9 MPH

P.K. Subban - 102.3 MPH vs Shea Weber - 108.1 MPH

Score
East: 2
West: 3

SHOOTOUT

The final event of the evening was the shootout. 3 rounds with 6 shooters for each team in each round. Whomever scores the most goals wins. The first and third shooter for each team, would shoot a puck worth 2 points as well, just to make things a little more interesting. The teams would alternate shooters with a 2 minute running clock. Once time expired, the round was over. The team from the East would shoot against the West's goalie in each round.

Results

Shootout Round 1

East:
Evgeni Malkin - Pittsburgh Penguins
Jaromir Jagr - Florida Panthers
P.K. Subban - Montreal Canadiens
Ryan O'Reilly - Buffalo Sabres
Leo Komarov - Toronto Maple Leafs 
Aaron Ekblad - Florida Panthers
Goalie: Roberto Luongo - Florida Panthers  
Total goals: 8

West:
Patrick Kane - Chicago Blackhawks
Matt Duchene - Colorado Avalanche 
Brent Burns - San Jose Sharks
Mark Giordano - Calgary Flames 
Vladimir Tarasenko - St. Louis Blues 
Daniel Sedin - Vancouver Canucks
Goalie: Devan Dubnyk - Minnesota Wild
Total goals: 0

Shootout Round 2

East:
Patrice Bergeron - Boston Bruins 
Nicklas Backstrom - Washington Capitals  
Steven Stamkos - Tampa Bay Lightning
Evgeny Kuznetsov - Washington Capitals 
Ryan McDonagh - New York Rangers
Justin Faulk - Carolina Hurricanes
Goalie: Braden Holtby - Washington Capitals
Total goals: 9

West:
Joe Pavelski - San Jose Sharks 
Taylor Hall - Edmonton Oilers
Jamie Benn - Dallas Stars 
James Neal - Nashville Predators 
Johnny Gaudreau - Calgary Flames 
Dustin Byfuglien - Winnipeg Jets
Goalie: John Gibson - Anaheim Ducks
Total goals: 2

Shootout Round 3

East:
Claude Giroux - Philadelphia Flyers
Dylan Larkin - Detroit Red Wings
John Tavares - New York Islanders
Kris Letang - Pittsburgh Penguins
Erik Karlsson - Ottawa Senators
Brandon Saad - Columbus Blue Jackets
Goalie: Cory Schneider - New Jersey Devils
Total goals: 3

West:
John Scott
Shea Weber - Nashville Predators 
Tyler Seguin - Dallas Stars
Corey Perry - Anaheim Ducks 
Drew Doughty - Los Angeles Kings 
Roman Josi - Nashville Predators
Goalie: Pekka Rinne - Nashville Predators
Total goals: 2

Score
East: 17
West: 4

FINAL

East: 29
West: 12

Final thoughts

Overall it was a fun event. It's meant to be after all. There was some great moments, especially in the breakaway challenge. The players really had a lot of fun with that event. John Scott was the star of the entire show though. The fans in Nashville showed him endless support during the event, and he was the only player out there without a team jersey on. He was traded from a West team to the East (and sent to the AHL even) after the rosters were made, so he was wearing his All-Star jersey for the event.

I'm not going to get to heavy into the Patrick Kane situation on the event. Let's just say the fans were less than friendly towards the guy, despite him trying to elicit some cheering out of them by reminding them that for the weekend, he was on their team. It hardly worked.

The highlight of the event for me was Brent Burns bringing his kid along with Joe Pavelski's kid out during the breakaway challenge. Maybe I'm a sucker for the little variety of human beings, but that moment was awesome. Letting your kid take your shot in the breakaway challenge on such a huge stage, that's a moment that will live with those kids forever.

The main event takes place Sunday night, and it will be very interesting to see how the players take to the new format this year. Tonight's event determined the order of the games tomorrow. Since the East won the event, they got to choose to either play their game first or second tomorrow. They elected to go first. The puck drops for the Metropolitan Division vs Atlantic Division at 5 pm central time. We'll get the Central Division vs Pacific Division game at 6 pm with the final between the winners from both conferences taking place at 7 pm.