NHL Skills Competition Live Blog: Zdeno Chara Sets Hardest Shot Record, But Team Alfredsson Wins

NHL Skills Competition Live Blog: Zdeno Chara Sets Hardest Shot Record, But Team Alfredsson Wins

Final, Team Chara 12, Team Alfredsson 21: An impressive showing from Team Alfredsson in the Elimination Shootout pushes the hometown favorites to a victory that will end up looking a little more lopsided than it actually was.

The high point for the Bruins will obviously be Zdeno Chara defending his Hardest Shot title for the fifth straight year and once again setting a new record at 108.8 mph. That’s not a bad consolation prize.

The Ottawa crowd will head home happy and the All-Stars will have a chance to rest up before Sunday’s matinee main event. Tim Thomas, Tyler Seguin and the rest of Team Chara will have a chance to avenge this loss, but the bottom line is that they just go have some fun out there.

Team Chara 12, Team Alfredsson 21: Stamkos burns Thomas with the backhander but TT bears down to knock Tavares out.

Jimmy Howard rotates in against Pominville and makes the save, giving Steven Stamkos the crown.

Team Chara 12, Team Alfredsson 20: Pominville scores on Thomas but Kris Letang does not after a nice move to sneak it between Thomas’ legs wide. That leaves Pominville, Stamkos and Tavares as the last men standing.

Team Chara 12, Team Alfredsson 19: Iginla misses, so that leaves Kimmo Timonen as the only shooter for Team Chara. But he’s eliminated by a Lundqvist poke-check.

We’ll keep going to pour it on, but Team Alfredsson will be the winner here tonight.

Team Chara 12, Team Alfredsson 18: Lundqvist robs Malkin to open the second round and the shooters are dwindling for Team Chara. This could get ugly.

Stamkos pulls off a sweet 360 and Carey Price’s shootout woes continue tonight. I knew there was a reason we didn’t like this guy.

Team Chara 12, Team Alfredsson 17: Team Alfie blows the doors off of Team Chara in the first round of the shootout. Only three shooters score for Team Chara as the hometowners open up a sizeable lead with six goals.

Tim Thomas was strong, only letting up a goal to Daniel Alfredsson but saving the other three.

Tyler Seguin was stopped by Brian Elliott and eliminated. That wraps up a lackluster night for the young Bruins forward. He should have plenty more All-Star games in his future, so it’s nothing to sorry about.

Team Chara 9, Team Alfredsson 11: The Elimination Shootout will be the sixth and final event in Ottawa to determine the winner tonight.

The rules are simple. If you score, you remain. If you miss, you’re eliminated. Goalies will rotate every four shooters and 12 players from each side will get a turn.

Tyler Seguin will shoot for Team Chara and Tim Thomas will get his first action of the night where each goal scored is a point.

Team Chara 9, Team Alfredsson 11: Weber and Chara go again in the final round. Weber grabs a new stick and it doesn’t help.

Chara hits 106.9 on the radar gun and Weber only gets up to 106 mph. With nothing to lose on his final shot, the captain hits 107 flat, so his new record of 108.8 will stand.

Team Chara 8, Team Alfredsson 11: The heavyweights are up. Shea Weber goes 104.9 mph, Chara answers ramps it up to 106.2. On his second shot, Chara goes 108.8 mpg. That’s a new record in the event and Chara’s the man to beat.

There’s been some talk about a new stick for Chara, and it appears that it helped there. Wow.

Team Chara 7, Team Alfredsson 11: The Senators shoot the puck hard. Spezza breaks the 100 mph barrier while Team Chara’s assistant captain Phaneuf only hits 97.9 mph.

Team Chara 7, Team Alfredsson 10: The gaunlet has been thrown as team captain Daniel Alfredsson wows the crowd with a 101.3 mph blast. Wideman only gets it up as high as 95.3, so point Alfie.

Team Chara 7, Team Alfredsson 9: Justin Faulk and Luke Adam start us off, with Adam clocking in at 98.3 miles per hour to score a point.

Team Chara 6, Team Alfredsson 9: The Hardest Shot is up next and Zdeno Chara will have a chance to defend his title. Last year, he broke his own previous record with a 105.9 mph blast and has won the event four years running.

Once again, Shea Weber is expected to threaten for the crown in front of the Ottawa faithful.

Team Chara 6, Team Alfredsson 9: Team Alfredsson comes through with seconds to spare and they sweep the event’s three points with a time of 2:09.

Daniel Sedin hit the cameraman about fifteen times while passing and won’t be docked any points for cheating and shooting three pucks at once to start his shift.

Team Chara 6, Team Alfredsson 7: Chara goes three-for-three on his one-timers, but Kimmo Timonen struggles passing and the mercy rule is called.

Phil Kessel is booed lustily while target shooting, but shuts up the crowd while finishing strong for a 2:14 time for Team Chara.

Team Chara 6, Team Alfredsson 7: Team Alfie draws first blood in the relay race, thanks in large part to Henrik Sedin’s crisp passing into the small nets. Chara and the left-handed shooters are up now in the second heat.

Team Chara 6, Team Alfredsson 6: We’re underway with the Skills Relay Challenge. This one is tough.

Each team of eight players combine to get three pucks into the net from one-timers taken by three different shooters, pass a puck into each of six nets (including three via saucer pass), skate through an obstacle course of pylons, stick-handle through more pylons, and then hit four targets in each corner of the goal.

Team Chara 6, Team Alfredsson 6: Benn goes four for five to beat Read and tie the score up at six apiece for Teams Chara and Alfredsson. He says he’s “100 percent” after undergoing an emercency appendectomy recently.

The Skills Challenge Relay is next and Zdeno Chara will appear, taking left-handed one-timers for his squad.

Team Chara 5, Team Alfredsson 6: Seguin wasn’t the only one having some trouble with nerves. Steven Stamkos struggled pretty mightily as well, opening the door for Jamie Benn to snag a point for Team Chara.

Daniel Sedin lost to Marian Hossa, setting up a final between Jamie Benn and Matt Read for another point.

Team Chara 3, Team Alfredsson 6: Matt Read takes 14.011 seconds to nail all four targets, beating Cody Hodgson in the first heat and setting the bar high early.

Tyler Seguin got flustered early after a little confusion about who was passing to him, and he loses to Jason Spezza.

Team Chara 3, Team Alfredsson 4: Patrick Kane wins the Breakaway Challenge for his Superman goal with 47 percent of the fan vote. Corey Perry comes in second with 29 percent of the vote and Team Chara draws to within one point of Team Alfredsson.

The Accuracy Shooting contest is next.

Team Chara 2, Team Alfredsson 4: Corey Perry pulled a floor hockey goalie stick out of his pants and knocked it past Elliott for the goal. That will put him in contention along with Kane for this year’s title.

Team Chara 2, Team Alfredsson 4: Kane broke out a trick puck and shattered it into four pieces while shooting it.

“I just got too strong,” he tells the cameras.

Team Chara 2, Team Alfredsson 4: Price was facing the end boards and still managed to stop Coutourier while checking his reflection in the glass.

Patrick Kane’s up again.

Team Chara 2, Team Alfredsson 4: Instead of trying to make a save, Carey Price just Tebowed. That kind of makes it hard to hate him, at least for a night.

Team Chara 2, Team Alfredsson 4: Patrick Kane has taken the lead in this one. He put on a Superman cape, dove onto the ice, gloved the puck to himself and then one-handed it into the net. Neat.

Team Chara 2, Team Alfredsson 4: Corey Perry goes lacrosse-style right up until the end when he drops the puck at the last second. He half-heartedly backhands it in and scores.

The goalies are having as much fun as the shooters in this one. Carey Price spun and literally made a save standing on his head against Logan Couture.

Team Chara 2, Team Alfredsson 4: Ryan Johnasen is up first for Team Chara, followed by Patrick Kane shooting on Brian Elliott in net. Johansen misses high and Kane botches his first try.

Sean Coutourier and John Tavares go against Carey Price for Alfie and neither player scores.

Team Chara 2, Team Alfredsson 4: The Breakaway Challenge is next, the NHL’s answer to the dunk contest. Fans will vote to crown a new trick shot king, since defending champ Alex Ovechkin decided not to come this year.

Team Chara 2, Team Alfredsson 4: Karlsson dominates Hossa and Team Alfie jumps to an early lead.

After a second look at the Greening-Hagelin race, it’s awfully close on the replay. They race again in the final and this time Hagelin takes it easily with a 13.218 second time.

Team Chara 1, Team Alfredsson 3: Phil Kessel beats Keith Yendel for Team Chara’s first point. in the rookie race, Colin Greening bests Carl Hagelin while narrowly avoiding running into the tires set up as a barrier on the final turn.

Team Chara 0, Team Alfredsson 2: Jimmy Howard loses to Jonathan Quick. Insert pun about Jonathan’s last name here.

Team Chara 0, Team Alfredsson 1: We’ll begin with the Fastest Skater competition. Each winner gets one point and the fastest skater from each team will have a final race for an extra point at the end.

Also, this year is a little more of a complicated route instead of a straight shot around the ice.

Letang beats Campbell by a nose to claim the first lead of the night for Team Alfie.

7:25 p.m.: Both teams are introduced and we’re just about ready to go. Daniel Alfredsson, Erik Karlsson and the rest of the hometown Senators draw huge cheers as the last players introduced for Team Alfie.

Scott Hartnell and Claude Giroux also show a little team spirit during their introductions with Jaromir Jagr salutes at center ice.

7:15 p.m.: Team Chara is the first to be introduced, and they will clearly be the away team during the festivities in Ottawa judging by the boos from the crowd greeting the team.

In a nice touch, the league is showing youth hockey pictures of the pros as they are introduced. Four words: Tim Thomas. Bowl cut.

Also, just like last year, the players will be wearing their NHL team jerseys tonight and waiting until tomorrow afternoon’s All-Star game to don their respective Team Chara or Team Alfredsson sweaters.

7:05 p.m.: Tim Thomas just spoke to Pierre McGuire and discussed the dangers of participating in an event where he is expecting to get scored on. However, he is still keeping his competitive outlook.

“I want to win,” Thomas said when asked about his All-Star team.

7 p.m.: And we’re just about ready to start the competition. The Fastest Skater competition will be the first event after player introductions.

Bruins fans will be conflicted in this one. Phil Kessel will be skating for Team Chara, despite asking out of the event via text message to assistant captain Joffrey Lupul.

6:50 p.m.: Patrick Kane’s Spin-O-Rama assist to Marian Hossa takes play of the first half honors according to the pregame show.

Sidney Crosby’s first goal makes a cameo appearance as well, serving as a little reminder to everyone that the sport’s greatest star won’t be participating here on Saturday night. Get well soon, Sid.

6:45 p.m.: The NBC Sports Network just showed a first-half highlight reel with some top games from so far this season.

The Bruins were featured twice: their first game of the season against Philadelphia and their Stanley Cup Final rematch versus the Canucks. Nothing on the Ryan Miller hit, unfortunately. That replay never gets old, as far as I’m concerned.

6:25 p.m.: While the Skills Competition here does have a lot going on, that doesn’t mean it couldn’t use a little improvement.

There’s still no fighting competition for the various enforcers around the league who deserve a little love, for example, and the Canadian teams might appreciate a diving competition to hone their skills.

Head on over to today’s Fan Forum if you haven’t already to vote for the event you think the league should add to the Skills Competition.

6:00 p.m.: Here’s a look at how the two teams are expected to look when Team Chara and Team Alfredsson face off against each other in the six events.

Chara sat down with assistant captain Joffrey Lupul for nearly an hour to set the rosters for all the events, with each All-Star participating in at least two events. His rival team, captained by Alfredsson and Henrik Lundqvist, only took about 35 minutes to choose their squads, according to NHL.com.

Fastest Skater
Team Chara:
Brian Campbell (backwards), Jimmy Howard, Colin Greening (rookie), Phil Kessel, Marian Hossa
Team Alfredsson: Kris Letang (backwards), Jonathan Quick, Carl Hagelin (rookie), Keith Yandle, Erik Karlsson

Breakaway Challenge
Team Chara:
Ryan Johansen (rookie), Patrick Kane, Corey Perry, Carey Price (goalie)
Team Alfredsson:
Sean Couturier (rookie), John Tavares, Logan Couture, Brian Elliott (goalie)

Accuracy Shooting
Team Chara:
Cody Hodgson (rookie), Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Marian Hossa
Team Alfredsson: Matt Read (rookie), Jason Spezza, Steven Stamkos, Daniel Sedin

Skills Challenge Relay
Team Chara:
Ryan Suter, Dennis Wideman, Jarome Iginla, Joffrey Lupul, Patrick Kane, Pavel Datsyuk, Gabriel Landeskog, Marian Gaborik, Jordan Eberle, Dion Phaneuf, Zdeno Chara, Jamie Benn, Kimmo Timonen, Raphael Diaz, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel
Team Alfredsson:
Nick Johnson, Shea Weber, Kris Letang, Steven Stamkos, Henrik Sedin, Milan Michalek, Logan Couture, James Neal, Alex Edler, Keith Yandle, Scott Hartnell, John Tavares, Daniel Sedin, Craig Smith, Claude Giroux, Jason Pominville

Hardest Shot
Team Chara:
Luke Adam (rookie), Dennis Wideman, Dion Phaneuf, Zdeno Chara
Team Alfredsson:
Justin Faulk (rookie), Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, Shea Weber

Elimination Shootout
Team Chara:
Colin Greening (rookie), Pavel Datsyuk, Evgeni Malkin, Corey Perry, Tyler Seguin, Marian Gaborik, Patrick Kane, Jarome Iginla, Jamie Benn, Joffrey Lupul, Kimmo Timonen, Ryan Suter, Carey Price (goalie), Tim Thomas (goalie), Jimmy Howard (goalie)
Team Alfredsson:
Carl Hagelin(rookie), Steven Stamkos, John Tavares, Jason Spezza, Claude Giroux, Daniel Alfredsson, James Neal, Milan Michalek, Jason Pominville, Kris Letang, Erik Karlsson, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Lundqvist (goalie), Brian Elliott (goalie), Jonathan Quick (goalie)

5:00 p.m. EST: The rosters are set for Team Chara and Team Alfredsson, and all that’s left now is to start the All-Star festivities.

The two teams will go head-to-head in six events on Saturday night, hoping to score some bragging rights while having some fun competing against the league’s best.

Zdeno Chara drafted both Tyler Seguin and Tim Thomas to his team during Thursday’s All-Star fantasy draft, meaning that Boston fans will have no problems finding a team to lend their allegiance to during Saturday’s Skills Challenge and Sunday’s All-Star game.

Chara will try to defend his Hardest Shot title, while Seguin will appear in the Accuracy Shooting challenge and the Elimination Shootout. Thomas is also expected to play goalie for Team Chara during the shootout event, hoping to deny the likes of Claude Giroux and both Henrik and Daniel Sedin on Team Alfredsson.

The event gets under way at 7 p.m., so check back throughout the evening for more updates.

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