NHL Skills Preview

If you missed my post on the NFL skills preview check it out here! Are you done reading that yet? Good, lets get into the competitions for the NHL. Again I am only speculating as to who will be competing in the events. I also tried to include everyone so some of the picks may seem a little odd.

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  • Date: Friday, Jan. 25
  • Time: 9 p.m. ET
  • Location: SAP Center, San Jose, CA
  • Channel: NBCSN (US), Sportsnet, CBC and TVA Sports (for all you Canadians out there)

*All Competition descriptions are directly from nhl.com.

*Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater™
Eight players will compete in the Enterprise NHL Fastest Skater™. Each skater will be timed for one full lap around the rink. The skater may choose the direction of their lap and can be positioned a maximum of three feet behind the start line located on the penalty box side of the center red line. The skater must start on the referee’s whistle and the timing clock will start when the skater crosses the start line. In the event of a clock malfunction, the official time will be recorded by the referee’s stopwatch. The skater with the fastest time is the winner of the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater™, and if there is a tie for the fastest time, the tied players will skate another lap to determine the winner.

Juice’s Thought’s: There is 8 competitors in this so lets assume they use 2 from each team (that would be just too convenient right?)

Atlantic: Jack Eichel and Nikita Kucherov

Central: Mark Scheifele and Nathan Mackinnon

Met: Cam Atkinson and Matthew Barzal

Pacific: Conor McDavid and Johnny Hockey

I think it has to be McDavid with a three peat here.

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*Enterprise NHL Premier Passer™
Eight players will compete in the Enterprise NHL Premier Passer™, which consists of three skills over one round, including (1) Breakout Pass, where each player is given 10 pucks to attempt to make a pass to three “players”; (2) Mini Nets, where each player must complete a pass over a barricade and into each of four mini nets; and (3) Target Passing, where each player must complete successful passes to all targets that randomly light up every three seconds. The referee’s whistle signals completion of each skill. The player to complete all three skills in the fastest time is deemed the winner of the Enterprise NHL Premier Passer™, and if there is a tie for the fastest time, the tied players will compete again to determine the winner.

Juice’s Thoughts: There is nothing sleeker than a smooth and saucy pass from a hockey stick. It is so hard and so precise that it takes the best of the best to get it done. We have some incredible passers in this years competition, so it makes it very hard to choose.

Atlantic: Auston Matthews and John Tavares

Central: Mikko Rantanen and Ryan O’Reilly

Met: Claude Giroux and Kris Letang

Pacific: Joe Pavelski and Drew Doughty

This is an incredibly tough race but if these are the competitors I am going to go with Old Faithful Joe Pavelski.

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*Ticketmaster NHL Save Streak™
A minimum of four goalies and all 36 skaters will participate in the Ticketmaster NHL Save Streak™, a shootout grouped by division where goalies compete to make the most consecutive saves. Each goalie will face one opposing division and a minimum of nine scoring attempts. Each scoring attempt is officiated in accordance with NHL shootout rules and begins on the referee’s whistle. Players from each division will shoot in numerical order, lowest to highest, with the divisional captain shooting ninth. A goalie’s round at the Ticketmaster NHL Save Streak™ cannot end with a save – if the divisional captain’s shot is saved, the goalie will continue to face shooters until a goal is scored. If the goalie makes a save on the divisional captain’s shot, the order of shooters to follow is the same as the original order. The goalie with the longest consecutive save streak during his time in net is the winner of the Ticketmaster NHL Save Streak ™. If at the completion of the event there is a tie for the longest “save streak” the winning goalie will be determined by the total number of saves made in their round. If two or more goalies remain tied based on the total number of saves made then the tied goalies will compete in a sudden death round of “Goalie Goals.”

Juice’s Thoughts: All the goalies in the tournament are great, there does not seem to be much separating them stat wise so it will come down to who steps up on Friday.

Atlantic: Jimmy Howard (.916 save %)

Central: Devan Dubnyk (.913 save %)

Met: Henrik Lundqvist (.908 save %)

Pacific: Marc Andre Fleury (.911 save %)

I am gonna go with Mr. Hank because his career is close to ending but he still has enough to get this done. Plus find me a bigger Man Rocket than this guy.

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*Gatorade NHL Puck Control™
Eight players will compete in the Gatorade NHL Puck Control™, a timed single-round event that includes three skills: (1) Stickhandling, where a skater controls a puck through a series of ten pucks in a straight line; (2) Cone Control, where a skater controls a puck through a series of eight cones in a zig-zag formation; and (3) Gates, where a skater approaches each gate and is required to shoot or otherwise guide the puck through the lit rung of the gate. Following the gates, time stops when the puck is shot into the game net. Each skill must be completed before moving on to the next skill. The referee’s whistles will signal completion of each skill and the player to complete the three skills in the fastest time is deemed the winner of the Gatorade NHL Puck Control™. If there is a tie for the fastest time, the tied players will compete again to determine the winner.

Juice’s Thoughts: Who has the slickest hands in the league? This is an awesome competition to show off the incredible skills of NHL players. You have to be very well rounded and very skilled to win this one.

Atlantic: Thomas Chabot and Keith Yandle

Central: Patrick Kane and Meiro Heiskanen

Met: Sebastian Aho and Kyle Palmieri

Pacific: Erik Karlsson and Elias Pettersson

This is a great crew and I think it comes down to Kane and Karlsson (both have incredible hair) but how do you pick against the Kaner.

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*Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting™
Eight players will compete in the Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting™, a timed event where a shooter is positioned 25 feet from the goal line and shoots pucks at five LED targets located in the net. On the referee’s whistle, one of the five LED targets will randomly light up for three seconds and the player will attempt to hit the lit target. Hit targets will be taken out of the random sequencing and if the target is not hit within three seconds, the next target will light up. The clock stops when the player has successfully hit all five targets, the player that hits all five targets in the fastest time will be crowned the winner of the Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting™. If there is a tie for the fastest time, the tied players will compete again to determine the winner.

Juice’s Thoughts: Always a fun competition, but it does go incredibly quick so you really have to be fast and of course Accurate.

Atlantic: Jeff Skinner and David Pastrnak

Central: Blake Wheeler and Gabriel Landeskog

Met:  Sidney Crosby and John Carlson

Pacific: Clayton Keller and Leon Draisaitl

If these are the competitors with this you have to go with the Greatest of the generation and that is still Sid the god damn Kid.

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 *SAP NHL Hardest Shot
Four players will compete in the SAP NHL Hardest Shot™. Over two rounds, each player will attempt two shots measured in miles per hour (mph), with the highest speed of their two shots recorded. After each player’s first attempt, the order of shots for second attempts will be based on the speed recorded in the first round, slowest to fastest. For each attempt, a single puck is positioned on the ice 30 feet from the center of the goal. Starting no further than the nearest blue line, the shooter may skate towards the puck and shoot it from its positioned spot into the goal. Shots must be on goal to be calculated and all shots are recorded by radar in miles per hour. If a puck enters the goal uncalculated due to a malfunction of the radar equipment, the shooter will be allowed an additional attempt. If a player breaks his stick he will be given another attempt. The player who records the fastest speed is the winner of the SAP NHL Hardest Shot™. If there is a tie for the fastest speed, the tied players will shoot again to determine the winner.

Juice’s Thoughts: This is always the firecracker of the night and usually has big Defenders taking the shots. This year as always has some really fun competitors.

Atlantic: Steven Stamkos

Central: Roman Josi

Met: Seth Jones

Pacific: Brent Burns

I think the Hometown Guy Burnsie takes it. Have to post this anytime you talk Burns.

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This should be a great night and I hope everyone enjoys!

*If you enjoy make sure to follow the blog over on the right side!

 

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