By Joe Haggerty
RALEIGH, N.C. Zdeno Chara lost to Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber during their head-to-head competition in the opening rounds of thehardest shot competition, but Chara ultimately defended his title indramatic fashionduring the NHL Superskills competition.Not only that, but Chara took the final round of the hardest shot competition over Weber when hepounded outan NHL-record 105.9 mph slap shot withhis new model of Easton stickthat set a new league record in the competition that the Bruins defenseman has now won four consecutivetimes in his NHLcareer. Weber ramped it up past 104 mph -- as he did when he finished in second place to Chara last time as well -- but ultimately couldn't match the Slovakian Tower of Power once he got ramped up.Chara broke his own record of 105.4 mph set two years ago at the Bell Centre in Montreal during the 2009 All-Star game, and didn't dismiss 106 mph as a possibility when he's sure to suit up for another All-Star game in the future."The limit is always being pushed. It's just the nature of the business and records are always meant to be broken," said Chara. "It's really just knowledge of mistakes, and players getting bigger and stronger all the time. It's just a number, but who knows? Maybe it will last for a little while."I like to have fun with these things and enjoy it, but at the same time when it comes down to showing what I have then you have to sell it and compete. After not reaching even 104-mph during the preliminary round against Weber, Chara kicked it up to 105.9-mph and 105-mph in his final two shot attempts to capture the crown and wow the Carolina Hurricanes partisan crowd at the RBC Center. The B's Captain gave credit to the rest of his Bruins teammates in his own personal moment of glory, which is a testament to the team lessons that Chara has learned and preached over the years."I always try my best and play hard, and I always play up against top lines which makes it tough to do," said Chara. "Guys are gettingfaster and stronger, and it's tough to defend them.Obviously without your teammates you are nothing, and I owe everything to them."
By Joe Haggerty