Tonight is actually my favorite part of the All-Star festivities. As much as I love laughing at the professional athletes who are picked in the last rounds of the All-Star draft and as much as I love watching the Globetrotters-esque no-contact All-Star game itself, the Skills Competition has captured my imagination since I was a kid. I still remember Mark Messier going 4/4 in the accuracy shooting and going outside with my street hockey ball and some paper plates and trying to duplicate the process in my driveway.
The Skills Competition is a great chance to see the speed, creativity, and hands of some of the best players in the league. I also like to think of it as the day where goalies everywhere cry themselves to sleep. Want to face a never-ending avalanche of superior goalscorers on breakaways with almost no time to recover or catch your breath? Sounds like a good time, no?
This is a special night for the players and for hockey fans. It has that feel of what you do with your friends at the rink after playing a game and you decide to try things you'd never try in a game. We might get to see some truly ridiculous moments tonight, because we almost always do in the Skills Competition. So, what is this thing all about, anyway?
Each of the 48 All-Stars and Rookies will compete in at least one of the six rounds of skill-based contests. Fans can watch the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition™ live on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN in the U.S. and on CBC and TVA Sports in Canada.
The Six Events on the docket for tonight's Skills Competition:
• Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater™
• Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge™
• DraftKings NHL Accuracy Shooting™
• Gatorade NHL Skills Challenge Relay™
• AMP NHL Hardest Shot™
• Discover NHL Shootout™
Let's just hope that we get to enjoy an entertaining night with a lot of laughter, magic, and some special moments. Also, let's seriously hope that no one gets hurt. Which competition is your favorite? Who is your favorite to win each competition? Which New York Ranger(s) would you put in each competition? Am I the only one still bitter about each team needing to be represented in this thing?
Enjoy the Skills Competition guys and gals, let's go hockey. Go get 'em Nasher.