With no Alex Ovechkin, who usually dominates the event (albeit with personality, not crazy dangles) let's take a look at who might be in the running to stand out at this year's Allstate Insurance NHL Breakaway Challenge. Here are your rosters:
For Team Alfredsson, Sean Couturier, John Tavares, and the reigning Mr. Irrelevant, Logan Couture. On Team Chara: Ryan Johansen, Patrick Kane, and Corey Perry.
This is a good group. Kane and Tavares have personality to give, not to mention crazy moves, and Logan Couture has really embraced the spirit of the weekend. Corey Perry can be a lot of fun too. But any one of these guys could be the standout.
Even the goalies. The netminders who will put their precious, precious groins on the line in the name of entertainment: Brian Elliott of the St. Louis Blues and Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens, for Teams Alfredsson and Chara, respectively.
Considering what happened to Rick DiPietro a few years back, if Price gets hurt, I think we should consider Zdeno Chara assigning him to this event a heinous act of sabotage. Habs fans might want to have their phones nearby, in case a 911 call is warranted.
Granted, the goaltenders aren't going to do too much stretching on saves. They're only there to make the shooters look good. Of course, if that's the case, then you wanted last year's Brian Elliott, not this year's.
Anyway. With the event still being relatively new, here's a summary of what it entails:
A test of the creativity a player can insert into a breakaway. three shooters (one rookie, two All-Stars) and one goaltender from each team will participate. Each skater will attempt three 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.
For example, in the lawless Breakaway challenge, the puck is allowed to come to a complete stop and even move backwards. That's not allowed in the shootout, although it usually is.