The 2012 NHL All-Star game was hosted in the city of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada this year, and did they ever put on a show. For the second year in a row, the players who were voted into the game voted on a captain for each team. Zdeno Chara and Daniel Alfredsson were voted captains of their respective teams. Then, a lottery draft, by way of each captain choosing the players they wanted on their teams.
Pavel Datsyuk and Jimmy Howard both made the same team, and were the only Red Wings voted to the All-Star game. The game hasn’t been about the score, although usually high, it’s usually about the fans, and giving them a show of some of the greatest players to play the game of hockey.
This past weekend, All-Star fever was taking over Ottawa, and it captivated many of the fans. The Senators had four players on Team Alfredsson, including Alfredsson himself. The first part of the All-Star game was the NHL Skills Competition.
Team Alfredsson beat Team Chara 21-12 in the competition this past Saturday. The Skills Competition features the Fastest Skater, Breakaway Challenge, Accuracy Shooting, Skills Challenge Relay, Hardest Shot, and Elimination Shootout competitions.
The Fastest Skater pitted a player from each side to skate around the ice. Five players competed from each side. The first player had to skate backwards, and after that the rest had to skate forward. The second skater had to be a goaltender, followed by a rookie, and the final two just regular players. Jimmy Howard was in the competition but couldn’t beat out Jonathon Quick of the Los Angeles Kings. Colin Greening of Team Chara won in the final. Score: Team Alfredsson–4, Team Chara–2.
In the Breakaway Challenge, players took their most exotic shootout move and made it into something crazy for the fans. The fans voted for the winner, and each side had three shooters. Patrick Kane of the Team Alfredsson won. Score: Team Alfredsson–4, Team Chara–3.
The Accuracy Shooting competition required the shooter to hit four targets, in the shortest amount of time, one in each of the corners of the net. Matt Read of Team Alfredsson won the final contest. Score: Team Alfredsson–6, Team Chara–6.
The Skills Challenge Relay required players to do many things. Each team had eight skaters to do something different. The one-timer had to score at least three goals, three players, and three different spots. Next up was passing accuracy. The player had to shoot the puck into six very small nets, three on one side, and three on the other over a rubber stopper. Next was puck control, where the player had to skate around six cones with a puck and back. Stick handling came after and it was taking a puck back and forth through six different obstacles. Finally, the target shooter was where you had to basically do the accuracy shooting. Team Alfredsson won with a better time. Score: Team Alfredsson–9, Team Chara–6.
The Hardest Shot competition pitted four shooters, each side against each other, to see who had the hardest shot. ZdenoChara won the overall event with a 108.8 mph shot, breaking his own record twice during the event. Score: Team Alfredsson–11, Team Chara–9.
Finally came the Elimination Shootout. Out of each team, 12 skaters came in on the goalie, like a regular shootout during a game. Steven Stamkos won the overall event. Score: Team Alfredsson–21, Team Chara–12.
After all of the excitement of the skills competition, the All-Star game was a big highlight. This time, Team Chara had the last laugh. They won 12-9 over Team Alfredsson, and Marian Gaborik won the game’s MVP. There were 94 shots taken in the game, and it was just another big All-Star game for the fans. Datsyuk had three assists in the game, and Howard had 14 saves in his only action in the first period. Next year’s All-Star game will be hosted by the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.
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