Sunday, January 25, 2009

SuperSkills Recap: Records, Chara-ty, Conspiracy, and funny hats.

It's a big weekend up in Montreal. Last night, they had the SuperSkills competition, consisting of a terrible musical intro, which was intercut with an awesome spinning organist.

Then they introduced the players. Tim Thomas had the biggest smile on his face when he got booed by the Montreal fans.

They did the fastest skater first, but with the nets pushed further back than before, no one beat the old record. Cogliano won that, but no one from the Bruins was in it, so I didn't really care too much.

Next up, they had the Trick Shot Circus. Alexander Ovechkin won that one, again.


Then there was the YoungStars game.

Blake Wheeler came up big for the rookies in that, but you wouldn't know it because they kept cutting away from the play in progress to show clips and other things. I had trouble following it sometimes, because the announcers would still be talking about the play while we'd be treated to a wonderful view of someone shooting the puck wide 2 minutes ago that we missed because they were showing a replay from even earlier, and so on.

The moral of the story is that Blake Wheeler got a hat trick, nobody really played defense, and carey price lost. Isn't that what it's all about?

Then we had the acuracy competition. Malkin won, Savard is not a sniper.

Then came the hardest shot competition. There was some buildup to this. Chara got in touch with all the other competitors and put a friendly wager for charity on the line. Each player put $1,000 into a pool, and the winner got to give it to a favorite charity. Then the teams of those players matched their amounts. Then the league threw in its own 6,000 dollars. During the competition, we found out that the player's association also matched. 24,000 dollars was going to somebody's favorite charity. The other story was that people thought Sheldon Souray might beat Chara at this one.

I'd go through it all, but basically Weber and Souray hit over 100 mph, then Chara came up last as 2-time defending champion. Chara put a reasonable number on the board, then with his second shot he broke Al Iafrate's long-held record by .2 miles per hour. Then he put on a silly hat with his favorite charity, Right to Play, on it. What a hustling fundraiser.

I said it, nobody wanted it, but I couldn't not.

Then there was the elimination shootout. The first three rounds got it down to Hejduk, Doan, and Savard, who was mic'd up. All three missed twice, then Doan scored and Hejduk missed. Savard now has to face Tim Thomas and score if he wants to keep going. Thomas doesn't spend a whole lot of effort on the save, and they high five afterwards.

Solid. Lundqvist poke-checks Savard to make Doan the winner.

Can't wait for real hockey to come back.