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.

Bjork returns to Notre Dame after impressing at Bruins' development camp

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Bjork returns to Notre Dame after impressing at Bruins' development camp

Given that he’s a former fifth-round pick, he’s not a local guy with any Boston ties to speak of and that there isn’t a lot of fancy to his game, Anders Bjork might be a bit under the radar as far as Bruins prospects go right now. 

Still, the 19-year-old Notre Dame forward has been steadily rising among the ranks at the NCAA level and Bjork put on a pretty impressive show at B’s development camp right along with more hyped forwards like Danton Heinen and Jake DeBrusk.

Bjork showed great skating speed and a hard-nosed willingness to battle whether the puck was on or off his stick. Even better, he showed a finishing flourish with the puck whenever he was around the net. He was literally blowing by defenders with his speed throughout drills each and every day at camp, and it was hard not to notice. Time after time Bjork buried those chances earned through speed and tenacity and showed the offensive confidence that saw him lead Notre Dame in points (12 goals and 35 points in 35 games) last season as a sophomore.

“You can tell the guys that have been here. Grizzy [Matt Grzelcyk] has a great week and Anders [Bjork] has a great week because they’re just comfortable in what they’re doing,” said Bruins general manager Don Sweeney. “I mean they’ve played at the college hockey level for two, three, four years in some of these cases. They’re very comfortable in their own skin and in what they do.

"In Anders’ case he gained a tremendous amount of confidence in the World Juniors last year and you can tell he’s carrying that over offensively. He also plays in a very tight system at Notre Dame, so the habits away from the puck are really ingrained in him. Now he’s looking to explore his offensive side.”

The good news for the Bruins: Bjork wants to keep improving on the offensive end and pump up the goal-scoring numbers in his third season with the Fighting Irish. If the week spent at Ristuccia Arena is any indication, Bjork should be lighting it up in Hockey East next season after being a second team All-Hockey East selection last season.

“I’m just working on trying to contribute a little more offensively, and really work on my goal-scoring and offensive abilities like that,” said Bjork, who is a bit of a legacy at Notre Dame with his father, mother, siblings and cousin NHL forward Erik Condra all having matriculated in South Bend as well. “Working on the little things in areas like goal-scoring and playing on the wall are what I’ve been focused on. The feedback from the Bruins has been really good, and really helpful.

“Sometimes they’ll check in after a game or after a weekend of games, and give really helpful feedback. Sometimes it’s even different than what my coach said, so it’s nice to get my viewpoint and sometimes they see things that my coach doesn’t notice. Stuff like that has been really helpful, and has helped me develop as a player definitely.”

Bjork said the Bruins have stressed consistency and greater focus in his game from shift-to-shift and game-to-game and that’s something he clearly took to heart in a dominant week at development camp. Given the rising number of college hockey players that are foregoing the teams that drafted them and become free agents following their senior seasons, one would expect that next season will be Bjork’s last at Notre Dame before signing with the Bruins.

The way that the 6-foot, 188-pound Bjork is improving his game each and every season after being projected a couple of years ago as a possible third-line player in the NHL, the Bruins should be looking to bring him into the Black and Gold fold sooner rather than later. 
 

Tuesday, July 26: Daley’s surprise visit with the Cup

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Tuesday, July 26: Daley’s surprise visit with the Cup

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while never getting tired of the Bernie Sanders/Curb Your Enthusiasm parallels.

*PHT writer Cam Tucker has Trevor Daley making a surprise visit with the Stanley Cup and talking more about his emotional moment hoisting the Cup right after the win by the Penguins.

*Don Cherry and Ron MacLean get their just reward with a star on the Canada Walk of Fame after years of great hockey entertainment.

*Adam Larsson has heard the fan reaction in Edmonton after being traded for Taylor Hall, and he’s downplaying it all.

*A lack of a deal for RFA defenseman Jacob Trouba with the Winnipeg Jets doesn’t mean Trouba trouble quite yet. But it sure doesn’t sound like things are all ducky in Winnipeg.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Dan Rosen sits down with Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka to answer five questions about his new gig, and some big changes for the Desert Dogs.

*Scott Powers has Jimmy Vesey’s camp confirming that the Chicago Blackhawks will be one of the teams on Vesey’s “short list” when he speaks with teams on Aug. 15. Watch out for Stan Bowman and the Blackhawks, who have been out to see Vesey a couple of times in Foxboro over the last month.

*The Washington Capitals continue to build depth among their forward group, and have constructed a strong roster for next season.

*For something completely different: if you love baseball or have ever enjoyed some of the truly great Dan Shaughnessy columns over the years, you will enjoy this column from Shaughnessy about his Hall of Fame induction. Congrats to Dan, a true titan in our industry.