OTTAWA — During the Fastest Skater competition at the NHL All-Star Game, forward Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs and defenseman Keith Yandle of the Phoenix Coyotes were paired against each other.
To the displeasure of the Ottawa Senators fans in attendance, Kessel won the race at 13.203 seconds. Yandle crossed at 13.731 seconds, having lost his edge going around a turn. As Kessel pulled away, Yandle made was appeared to be a dastardly desperation move.
Did Yandle try to hook Phil Kessel during a skills competition skating exhibition?
"Absolutely," said Yandle after the Skills Competition. "That's what I was trying to do. Tryin' to do something right."
Yandle's justification for this attempted obstruction?
"I asked him if he'd 'Rock, Paper, Scissor' me for which side we'd go. But he was too scared, because he knows how good my 'Rock, Paper, Scissor' game is."
Yandle said Kessel wasn't willing to gamble on his competitive advantage. "Turning to my right isn't my specialty, so I stumbled out of there," he said.
Watch the full Fastest Skater competition here:
Despite falling short in the Fastest Skater competition, Yandle said the 2012 All-Star Game was a blast.
"It was awesome. It was fun. It was great to see everyone involved. It was a great experience," he said, appearing in his second straight All-Star Game. "When it's in Canada, the people are going to be so involved. It just makes it that more special."
His favorite highlights? Steve Stamkos lighting up the NHL Elimination Shootout and Corey Perry's mini-stick prop comedy in the Breakaway Challenge.
"Perry's was great. Especially because it was a goalie stick," he said.