Team Alfredsson rallies to win skills competition


Team Alfredsson rallies to win skills competition

OTTAWA The Bruins were well-represented in the NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Scotiabank Place,and the players fomTeam Chara gave it their best shot inthe skills challenges. But it was the hometown Team Alfredsson that took home the 21-12 victory over Charas hand-picked playersdespite theB's Captain's squadwinning each of the first three competitions en route to a big victory with some pretty cool highlights along the way. Here are the breakdowns of each competition with some description of the Bs involvement:

Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater: It was down to rookies Carl Hagelin (New York Rangers) and Colin Greening (Ottawa Senators) in the final heat, and it appeared Haggs who I was clearly rooting for given his name won the race when his body crossed the finish line first. But a review of the tape (yes, they really went to the video replay) showed that Greenings extended stick actually crossed the line before the Rags speedy rookie.

Allstate Insurance NHL Breakaway Challenge: Carey Price nearly stole the show with his blind goaltender and backwards save stops in the crease while NHL breakaway artists converged on him. But Pat Kane eventually stole the show when he donned a Superman cape and Clark Kent glasses for a pair of winning attempts one a hand-to-stick pass on his belly that had an Up, up and away flair to it and the second an exploding puck clearly brought on by Kanes super-strength. Corey Perry finished as the runner-up after several creative moves including using a mini-stick in his final shootout attempt.

Canadian Tire NHL Accuracy Shooting: It ended with Philadelphia Flyers rookie Matt Read going up against Dallas Stars Jamie Benn fresh off an appendectomy. Benn took it in dominant fashion while Bs forward Tyler Seguin struggled with Phil Kessel feeding him passes in the preliminary accuracy rounds.G Series NHL Skills Relay Challenge: Henrik and Daniel Sedin dominated with their feathery passing and soft hockey skills and registered an easy victory for Team Alfredsson.

Blackberry NHL Hardest Shot: Zdeno Chara captured his fifth straight hardest shot title after defeating Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber yet again with a record 108.8-mph slap shot. Chara broke his own personal record with an earlier shot of 106.2-mph on the evening and then completely shattered that seconds later by becoming the first NHL player to top 108-mph with a slapper. Said Chara on the ice right after the contest was over, I had great years in Ottawa. I wanted to break the record here.

Tim Hortons NHL Elimination Shootout: It comes down to John Tavares, Jason Pominville and Steve Stamkos in the final rounds of the shootout, and Stamkos was able to beat Jimmy Howard in the final round to take home the victory. Tyler Seguin was eliminated in the early rounds on an outstanding save by St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott.

Morning Skate: No surprise cheap-shot artists are running wild


Morning Skate: No surprise cheap-shot artists are running wild

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while hoping everybody on this Memorial Day takes some time to appreciate all of those that made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom. We should also take a moment to say thanks to people like the three heroes in Oregon that stood up to a hateful bigot earlier this week, and in doing so reaffirmed what the majority of people living in the US believe we are all about while trying to live up to that ideal every day.
-- A number of NHL legends are shaking their heads at the dirty play that we’re seeing in these playoffs, particularly those plays targeting the superstars that people pay big money to see in the postseason. Why should anybody be shocked by this? The rooting out of enforcers, and fighting, has taken accountability out of the game for the cheap-shot artists and dirty players, and leaves little real deterrant for players looking to take out opponents with dangerous plays. I wrote about this a couple of years ago when the NHL threw the book at Shawn Thornton for going after Brooks Orpik, and in doing so chose to protect somebody trying to hurt opponents (Orpik) and punish somebody trying to protect his teammates (Thornton). It was a sea change for the league, and something players didn’t forget as more and more enforcers were quickly weeded out of the NHL. This is what the rule-makers and legislators wanted, and now it’s what they’re getting just a couple of years later with dangerous stick-work, cheap shots and a general lack of respect for fellow players.
-- Here's why the Tampa Bay Lightning would consider trading a player like Jonathan Drouin, and the major impact that could have on the offseason trade market.
-- Down Goes Brown has a Stanley Cup Final rooting guide for the other 28 other fan bases now that Nashville and Pittsburgh are in the final series.

-- So which goaltender has the edge in the Stanley Cup Final: Nashville's Pekka Rinne, or Pittsburgh's two-headed monster of Matt Murray and Marc-Andre Fleury?
-- Scotty Bowman says winning back-to-back Stanley Cup titles has become monumentally difficult since the advent of the salary cap.
-- Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are pushing each other to be betters, and showing exactly how a team should be led by its superstars in the salary-cap era for the league.
-- For something completely different: We can confirm through this report that a lot of hot dogs are eaten in the summertime. So glad we have people to research these kinds of things.

Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation


Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wishing everybody a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend. 

*Apparently Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette has yet to try Nashville’s hot chicken despite his time behind the Preds bench. It’s okay, I have yet to try it either in my handful of visits to Music City. 

*Good stuff from PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough. Apparently it wasn’t so easy to make Wayne Gretzky’s head bleed when it came time for director Doug Liman to cut Swingers together

*Sidney Crosby cares about the history and the issues of the game, and has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation despite the hate that always comes with such responsibility. 

*Puck Daddy examines Crosby’s performance in the playoffs, and the odds of him winning another Conn Smythe Trophy. 

*The Penguins have made it to the Stanley Cup Final without Kris Letang for their playoff run, and that’s an amazing accomplishment. 

*Erik Karlsson said that he will be tending to his injured foot next week, and expects a full recovery for next season after a brilliant run with his Ottawa Senators

*Larry Brooks again rails against the Stanley Cup playoff structure and it’s relation to an “absurd regular season.” Say what you will, but the fact the Penguins are there for a second straight season shoots down some of the absurdity stuff in my mind. The best team from the East is where they should be and they did it without Kris Letang to boot. 

*Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex Debrincat is confident his abilities will translate to the NHL despite his size after taking home honors as the best player in junior hockey this season. 

*For something completely different: Apparently there’s a hard core comic book geek gripe that “The Flash” is burning through bad guys too quickly. This would make sense if they couldn’t revisit these bad guys at any point, but they absolutely can go back to a big bad like Grodd anytime they want.