Chara, Seguin in Hardest Shot Competition

Chara, Seguin in Hardest Shot Competition

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comRALEIGH, N.C. The roster have been set for the Toyota Superskills Challenge involving the NHL All-Stars at the RBC Center, and it appears both Zdeno Chara and Tyler Seguin will take part in the hardest shot competition.Eric Staal and his team captains sat down with NHL events coordinator Brendan Shanahan on Saturday afternoon, and came up with the rosters for the skills competitions set to take place tonight.Chara is the reigning champion with a slap shot of 105.4 miles per hour achieved on the Bell Centre ice in Montreal during the 2009 All-Star game, and is seen as the prohibitive favorite in the competition again this season. The 18-year-old Seguin will also compete for Team Staal along with Chara, and it should be interesting since Seguin isnt particularly renowned for a booming slapper.Chara will also take part in the Skills Challenge Relay, and both skaters will participate in the Elimination Shootout at the end of the skills competition. Tim Thomas will take part as one of the goalies involved, but yet again this season theres no real defining skill competition for the masked men.Here's a full rundown of the participants courtesy of NHL.com: Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater - Order determined on the iceTeam Staal
Michael Grabner New York Islanders
Mike Green Washington Capitals
Patrick Sharp Chicago Blackhawks
Ryan Kesler Vancouver Canucks
Marc Staal New York Rangers
Kris Letang Pittsburgh Penguins Team Lidstrom
Duncan Keith Chicago Blackhawks
Taylor Hall Edmonton Oilers
Matt Duchene Colorado Avalanche
Martin St. Louis Tampa Bay Lightning
Steven Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning
Keith Yandle Phoenix CoyotesThe 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. To watch an EA Sports video on this skill, click here: http:bit.lyeEOay4BlackBerry NHL Breakaway ChallengeTeam Staal
P.K. Subban Montreal Canadiens
Corey Perry Anaheim Ducks
Alex Ovechkin Washington Capitals

Team Lidstrom
Evgeny Dadonov Florida Panthers
Anze Kopitar Los Angeles Kings
Henrik Sedin Vancouver CanucksThe 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.To watch an EA Sports video on this skill, click here.McDonald's NHL Accuracy Shooting - Order determined on the iceTeam Staal
Rick Nash Columbus Blue Jackets
Daniel Sedin Vancouver Canucks
Eric Staal Carolina Hurricanes
Logan Couture San Jose Sharks
Patrik Elias New Jersey Devils
Ryan Kesler Vancouver Canucks
Passer: Dan Boyle San Jose Sharks
Passer: Paul Stastny Colorado Avalanche Team Lidstrom
Brad Richards Dallas Stars
Phil Kessel Toronto Maple Leafs
Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks
Jonathan Toews Chicago Blackhawks
Martin Havlat Minnesota Wild
Derek Stepan New York Rangers
Passer: Nicklas Lidstrom Red Wings
Passer: Danny Briere Philadelphia FlyersFrom 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. To watch an EA Sports video on this skill, click here.G Series NHL Skills Challenge RelayTeam Staal
Group 1
Zdeno Chara Boston Bruins
Eric Staal Carolina Hurricanes
Daniel Sedin Vancouver Canucks
Erik Karlsson Ottawa Senators
Dan Boyle San Jose Sharks
Tyler Ennis Buffalo Sabres
Paul Stastny Colorado Avalanche
Corey Perry Anaheim Ducks Group 2
Kris Letang Pittsburgh Penguins
Mike Green Washington Capitals
Claude Giroux Philadelphia Flyers
Patrik Elias New Jersey Devils
Jamie McBain Carolina Hurricanes
David Backes St. Louis Blues
Marc Staal New York Rangers
Jeff Skinner Carolina Hurricanes Team Lidstrom
Group 1
Nicklas Lidstrom Detroit Red Wings
Brad Richards Dallas Stars
Loui Eriksson Dallas Stars
Oliver Ekman-Larsson Phoenix Coyotes
Henrik Sedin Vancouver Canucks
Martin St. Louis Tampa Bay Lightning
Matt Duchene Colorado Avalanche
Jonathan Toews Chicago BlackhawksGroup 2
Shea Weber Nashville Predators
Dustin Byfuglien Atlanta Thrashers
Phil Kessel Toronto Maple Leafs
Keith Yandle Phoenix Coyotes
Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks
Martin Havlat Minnesota Wild
Kevin Shattenkirk Colorado Avalanche
Danny Briere Philadelphia FlyersThis 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.To watch an EA Sports video on this skill, click here.XM NHL Hardest Shot - Order determined on the iceTeam Staal
Zdeno Chara Boston Bruins
Alex Ovechkin Washington Capitals
David Backes St. Louis Blues
Tyler Seguin Boston Bruins
Rick Nash Columbus Blue Jackets
Patrick Sharp Chicago Blackhawks Team Lidstrom
Anze Kopitar Los Angeles Kings
Steven Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning
Dustin Byfuglien Atlanta Thrashers
Brent Burns - Minnesota Wild
Shea Weber Nashville Predators
Cam Fowler Anaheim DucksBruins 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.To watch an EA Sports video on this skill, click here.Discover NHL Elimination ShootoutThe 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.

Bruins don't poll well in latest New England Sports survey

Bruins don't poll well in latest New England Sports survey

It’s no secret Bruins fans are getting fed up with a hockey team in decline, one that’s missed the playoffs each of the last two years. Now there are numbers to prove it.

Channel Media and Market Research, Inc. came out with its annual New England Sports survey,  tabulating responses from over 14,600 polled, and, according to the numbers, the Bruins are dropping in popularity, fan support and faith in the current management group.

The B’s are holding somewhat steady with 16 percent of voters listing them as their “favorite sports team” behind the Patriots (46 percent) and Red Sox (29 percent) while ahead of the Celtics and Revolution. Claude Julien also ranked ahead of John Farrell among the big four teams in the “coaches/manages most admired” category.

But after sitting at a relative high of ranking at 27 percent for “ownership performance” in 2014 -- they year after their trip to the Cup Finals against the Blackhawks -- the Bruins now rank dead last in that category at 2 percent, behind the Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and even the Revolution. Ouch, babe.

Also sitting at a lowly 2 percent is Bruins president Cam Neely in the “leadership performance” category. In "management performance," Neely has dropped from a solid 49 percent in 2014 to just 16 percent in this summer’s survey.

So B’s fans are clearly upset with a team that traded away Tyler Seguin, Johnny Boychuk, Milan Lucic and Dougie Hamilton, and has featured a decimated defense corps for each of the last two seasons. But do the B’s fans think that things are getting any better with prospects coming down the pipeline?

Not really.

In the “which team has done the best job making its product better.” category, the Patriots (35 percent) and Red Sox (31 percent) were resting at the top, with the Celtics (27 percent) a respectable third. The Bruins limped in at just 4 percent with a fan base that very clearly sees that, on paper, this upcoming season’s club doesn’t appear to be much better than last year's.

On top of that, only 13 percent of those surveyed believe the Bruins have gotten better over the last year, and 52 percent believe they’ve just gotten worse. A lowly 3 percent of those surveyed think the Bruins have the best chance of the five teams to bring a world championship back to Boston; the Patriots (79 percent), Red Sox (11 percent) and Celtics (5 percent) all ranked higher.

Finally, Zdeno Chara, Tuukka Rask and Jimmy Hayes were at the top of the list of the Boston athletes “who did not meet expectations” last season. None of that is a surprise, given the state of Boston’s defense along with Hayes’ subpar season.

The good news for the Bruins: They still have a passionate fan base. But they need to start reversing course immediately before they do lasting damage to the B’s brand.

Wednesday, August 24: B's dealing with post-Vesey aftermath

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Wednesday, August 24: B's dealing with post-Vesey aftermath

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading with the Olympics coming to a close . . .
 
-- FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kirk Luedeke sorts through the aftermath for the Bruins after losing out on Jimmy Vesey

-- Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland gave an interview where he said the Red Wings aren’t Stanley Cup contenders this season. 

-- Related to Holland’s comments, some of the media in Detroit aren’t taking the dose of reality all that well

-- It’s a big season for New Jersey Devils forward Kyle Palmieri, who will be starring for Team USA on the World Cup team. 

 -- PHT writer Cam Tucker says the Buffalo Sabres still have a strong group of forwards even without Jimmy Vesey.

-- Jamie Benn is giving everything to his Dallas Stars team, and that means that the World Cup of Hockey is taking a backseat
 
-- The Colorado Avalanche are nearing the end of their head coaching search as they look for their replacement for Patrick Roy.
 
-- For something completely different: NBC is making the argument that millenials watched the Olympics, but just not on the traditional formats