All Star Saturday Nights always have a chance to be the best night of the weekend. That was certainly the case at Amalie Arena on Saturday night. The NHL’s best players let their hair down and just had some fun to determine who the most skillful player was. The night started with a musical performance from home-state boy, Flo Rida then the skills competitions got underway. Marc-Andre Fleury’s 14 straight saves and Alex Ovechkin’s shot of over 100 MPH were the highlights of an awesome night. The Western Conference got the better of the East by taking the 1st 4 events of the competition.
First up for the evening was the fastest skater competition. The Bolts were represented by Brayden Point who led things off with a time of 13.579 seconds. The favorite in the competition was clearly Connor McDavid from the Edmonton Oilers. Point held the lead in the competition all the way till the last skater which was McDavid. The Oiler showed why he was the favorite and beat Point’s time by just over a tenth of the second with 13.454 seconds. That victory made McDavid the 1st ever back-to-back winner of the fastest skater competition.
The next event was the 1st ever passing challenge at an NHL All Star Skills competition. Nikita Kucherov led off the competition and struggled being the 1st player to attempt the event. The players clearly got better as the competition went on and learned from their opponent’s mistakes. The class of the competition was Alex Pietrangelo of the St.Louis Blues. His time of 46.610 seconds was more than 8 seconds better than Eric Staal in 2nd place.
The save competition was a duel between 2 Western Conference goalies. Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators set the mark to beat at an amazing 13 stops in a row. Then it was time for the goaltender of the conference’s best team to take the stage. Marc-Andre Fleury came up big time too. He stopped shots from Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos on the way to a streak of 14 saves in a row. Andrei Vasilevskiy closed out the competition with a chance to earn the victory for the hometown team, but P.K. Subban ended those hopes and gave the victory to Fleury.
After a quick intermission it was time for the puck control relay. Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames set the pace at 24.650 seconds. The New York Islanders’ John Tavares came extremely close at topping the Flame, but at just over 28 seconds he couldn’t get it done. That kept the streak for the Western Conference going as they had won the first 4 events.
Then it was time to find out who had the hardest shot out of the All Stars. P.K. Subban, Steven Stamkos, and Alex Ovechkin headlined a star-studded field for the penultimate event of the night. The Eastern Conference finally got their 1st win of the night as Ovechkin’s 101.3 MPH topped Subban’s 98.7 MPH.
The marquee event of the night closed the evening. It was time to break some plates to find out who the most accurate shooter was. The big event resulted in an upset winner. Brock Boeser of the Vancouver Canucks bested players like Sidney Crosby and Brian Boyle in his 1st all star game with a time of 11.136 seconds.
After an entertaining Saturday night, it is now time to focus on the main event of the weekend. The All Star game will feature all of the NHL’s best in a 3-on-3 format. The game will also feature musical performances from country music superstar, Chase Rice and Kid Rock. You will hear the game right here on 620 WDAE starting with pregame coverage at 3:30 pm.
Full List of Winners
Enterprise NHL Fastest Skater - Connor McDavid - Edmonton Oilers
Dunkin’ Donuts NHL Passing Challenge - Alex Pietrangelo - St.Louis Blues
GEICO NHL Save Streak - Marc-Andre Fleury - Vegas Golden Knights
Gatorade NHL Puck Control Relay - Johnny Gaudreau - Calgary Flames
PPG NHL Hardest Shot - Alex Ovechkin - Washington Capitals
Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting - Brock Boeser - Vancouver Canucks