January 26, 2008
ATLANTA -- Alexander Ovechkin took two big swings and missed on both.
That pretty much summed up the NHL's newest gimmick to try and spark an otherwise difficult-to-watch annual event otherwise known as the SuperSkills competition. The breakaway challenge was the grand finale to Saturday night's competition between the East and West, won 9-6 by the host East. Players were scored based on creativity, which was as important as scoring a goal on a one-on-one breakaway against a goaltender.
Give Ovechkin credit. At least the Washington Capitals star got into the spirit of the event and tried to add a high degree of difficulty on most of his attempts, highlighted by puck-juggling on his stick capped with a baseball-style swing.
Runner-up Ryan Getzlaf hung with Ovechkin as long as he could, but even in the Anaheim Duck's final attempt he didn't reach into his bag of tricks.
"I was trying to score a goal; I hadn't had one yet," Getzlaf laughed.
When asked how he liked it overall, Getzlaf took the PC route, saying that "it was fun and exciting for the fans" and should be held again in the future.
We're thinking: Strike three, you're out!