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The 2012 NHL All-Star Skills Competition: Fan Breakdown
Out of all the major sports here in America - football, basketball, hockey, and baseball - I would have to say that some of the best All-Star festivities and events belong to the NHL. For me, it's the one All-Star program that really challenges its players to perform for the fans as well as showcase their skills as professionals—the NBA comes in at close second for me.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, the skills competition brings together six events - both individual and team events - that show fans just how difficult of a game hockey really is. Not to mention, that the teams are "drafted" by captains and not split by conference or any other zany format. It's like picking teams for dodge ball in middle school, but on ice - and no one is wearing a cast.
Without further ado, here's a breakdown of the NHL skills competition for 2012:
Event 1 - Fastest Skater
In this event five players from each team compete and the races are run two players at a time until they get down to the final two skaters. At that point, the fastest skaters from each team skate down to the end zone and back on the ice and then back to center ice to the finish line. The winner of each heat as well as the overall winner is awarded a point for their team.
Event 2 - Breakaway Challenge
In this event, three shooters and one goalie from each team participate. The players can start their possession anywhere in the offensive zone including behind the net. Penalty shot rules do not apply. Each player can attempt three shots. The object is to try to score a goal in the most impressive way possible. Player with the most votes gets a point for their team.
Event 3 - Accuracy Shooting
This event is probably my favorite because this takes a lot of skill and concentration. There are four foam targets, 15 inches in diameter, at the four corners of the goal. There are two players passing the puck alternatively to the shooter and the shooter who hits the four targets in the least amount of time advances. The two fastest from each team will face off for the title of the NHL's Most Accurate Shooter.
Event 4 - Skills Challenge Relay
In this event there are four separate relays that consist of the following: one timers, passing, puck control relay, stick handling, and shooting accuracy. Each skill must be completed before moving onto the next one. The team that finishes in the fastest time will be declared the winner.
Event 5 - Hardest Shot
This event is fairly self-explanatory, but is also one of my favorites. Often times in baseball, a pitcher is measured by how hard he can throw a baseball. Likewise, in this event, the hockey player who shoots the puck the hardest (recorded in MPH) and makes it through the matchups will be crowned the winner.
Event 6 - Elimination Shootout
This event is an exciting one because of the elimination factor based on the most basic tenant of how you win hockey games - scoring goals. It's very simple, score a goal against the goaltender and move on to the next round. You have one shot to make it to the next round and each goal is worth a point. If the final shooter's team is down in the overall competition, he will get to shoot until his misses.
For rules, demo videos, TV schedules and other NHL All-Star activities, you can visit the NHL All-Star Game homepage.
David is co-founder of wrapupp sports blog where they post fresh content daily and present sports blogs and sports opinions - all with a West Coast bias. Growing up in the Bay Area, David is a huge supporter of all the local sports teams; the Giants, Athletics, Warriors, Sharks, 49ers, and Raiders. His one fault, admittedly, as many of his friends and family would say, is his love for the Los Angeles Lakers. Growing up, Magic Johnson was his favorite basketball player and he fell in love with the team. He chalks it up to, "Not knowing any better". Now his love for sports has turned just as academic as it is intuitive and he follows most all sports all over the nation.
You can follow David on Twitter: @officialwrapupp
NHL.com. NHL Skills Competition 2012. NHL 2012.
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