All Star weekend displays game’s best players in competition

Center+Austin+Mathews%2C+center+Nathan+MacKinnon%2C+left+wing+Alex+Ovechkin+and+center+Connor+McDavid%2C+were+chosen+as+captains+to+represent+each+division.
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All Star weekend displays game’s best players in competition

Center Austin Mathews, center Nathan MacKinnon, left wing Alex Ovechkin and center Connor McDavid, were chosen as captains to represent each division.

Center Austin Mathews, center Nathan MacKinnon, left wing Alex Ovechkin and center Connor McDavid, were chosen as captains to represent each division.

NHL.com

Center Austin Mathews, center Nathan MacKinnon, left wing Alex Ovechkin and center Connor McDavid, were chosen as captains to represent each division.

NHL.com

NHL.com

Center Austin Mathews, center Nathan MacKinnon, left wing Alex Ovechkin and center Connor McDavid, were chosen as captains to represent each division.

Zack Siegal, Staff Writer

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With the start of a new year came another exciting All Star Game and Skills Competition for the National Hockey League. Both are major spectator events for the NHL every year. Everyone loves to watch their favorite professional hockey players compete against each other and show off how good they really are. This year, San Jose hosted both events at the SAP Center on Jan. 25 and 26.

The All Star Game put the Central Division up against the Metropolitan Division to compete for the best combination of players in the NHL. The game was a three on three tournament, and each of the four divisions played two semifinal games before advancing to the finals. Before the tournament, the Atlantic Division and the Central Division were the only two teams that hadn’t won an All Star Game while it was in its current format. The Pacific Division had won twice, in 2016 and 2018, while the Metropolitan Division won the final game in 2017. 22 years ago, in 1997, the All Star Game was also hosted in San Jose. Then, the Eastern Conference defeated the Western Conference, with the final score being 11-7. 

“I think that it is going to be really cool to see the All Star Game hosted in San Jose again after over two decades,” said freshman Jasper Abrahams.  “The way that big spectator events like this are run has changed and it will be very interesting to see how different the games will feel from one another.”  

The All Star Tournament started out with the Central Division beating the Pacific Division 10-4 and the Metropolitan Division beating the Atlantic Division 7-4. These games allowed the Central Division and the Metropolitan Division to both move forward and play in the championship game. The Metropolitan All Stars included star players such as Sidney Crosby, Mathew Barzal, and goalie Henrik Lundqvist. The Central All Stars also had very talented players on their team like Mikko Rantanen and Ryan O’Reilly. At the end of the first period, the Metropolitan Division was leading 5-0 and by the end of the second, the score was 10-5, the Metropolitan All Stars still winning. No goals were scored in the third period, ending the game with a score of 10-5 in favor of the Metropolitan All Stars.

“My favorite part of the weekend is watching all the best players play together.” said Sophomore Isaac Goldstein, “It is interesting to see how all these players who dominate the league are able to play alongside one another.”

The Skills Competition, a competition between players instead of two teams, also took place in San Jose that weekend. Players complete challenges, and whoever does it in the lowest time wins. 

“I think that the Skills Competition is even cooler than the All Star Game because you get to see individual players show off their own skills and not have to rely on other players as well,” said freshman Kevin Taylor.

The competition included six main events: Fastest Skater, Puck Control, Save Streak, Premier Passer, Hardest Shot, Accuracy Shooting.  These all tested different skill sets of the best players to see who was ultimately the best player.

The goal of the Fastest Skater Contest is to skate one lap around the rink in the least amount of time possible. The winner of this competition was Connor McDavid from the Edmonton Oilers with an impressive time of 13.37 seconds. Meanwhile, in the Puck Control event, the player has to maneuver a puck through a course in the fastest time possible, and the winner was Calgary Flames’ Johnny Gaudreau with a time of 27.045 seconds.

In the Save Streak, goalies compete to make the most consecutive saves while in the goal. Unsurprisingly, Henrik Lundqvist from the New York Rangers won with 12 consecutive saves. Furthermore, the aim of the Premier Passer challenge is to pass to a group of targets in the shortest time possible, and Leon Draisaitl from the Edmonton Oilers won with a time of 1:09.08. 

In the Hardest Shot Contest, each player takes two shots and the speed is measured of them, and whoever has the top speed wins. The Washington Capitals’ John Carlson won with a shot speed of 102.8 miles per hour. Furthermore, the Accuracy Shooting event has players shoot at targets while being timed, with whoever hits all of the targets in the least amount of time wins. The winner of this contest was David Pastrnak from the Boston Bruins with a time of 11.30 seconds. Each event really shows each player’s individual strengths and that is a very cool part of the Skills Competition.

Both the All Star Game and The Skills Competition are awesome events to watch for hockey lovers and even those who aren’t necessarily interested in the sport. If you don’t love hockey, try to watch the best of the best play and your mind may be changed. Catch the All Star Game next year on Jan. 26 in St. Louis, Missouri.

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