On Tuesday afternoon, the NHL announced the format of this year’s All-Star Skills Competition, which will take place on Saturday night at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.
The contest will feature six different events, and will be decided with a head-to-head showdown between the team captained by Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews and the team headed by Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno.
The teams haven’t been decided yet, as the All-Star Fantasy Draft will take place on Friday night in Columbus, but the announcement of the format and structure of the event got us to thinking: which event would be conducive to which Blackhawks players? There are five of them heading to Columbus for the game, so we’ll assign each of them an event to participate in.
Corey Crawford: Skills Challenge Relay – Goalie Goals
We could just have Crawford participate in the Breakaway Challenge, but what fun is that? Having him try to score goals will be a way bigger challenge for him, and considering how often he likes to stray from the net to handle the puck anyway, he should feel right at home doing so.
Patrick Kane: Skills Challenge Relay – Stick-Handling
Not having Kane participate in the Breakaway Challenge feels like blasphemy, but if Team Foligno wants to guarantee themselves a quick time in the relay, having Kane run the gauntlet through a series of pucks seems like a way smarter idea. Besides, haven’t you always wanted to see if Kane could actually stick-handle like this on live television?
Duncan Keith: Skills Challenge Relay – One Timers
Keith is used to firing shots on goal during Blackhawks power plays, so he seems to be a good candidate for this part of the event. Keith may also try his hand (or his skates, if one is to use a more appropriate term) in the Fastest Skater competition, but he could thrive here.
Brent Seabrook: Hardest Shot
No one is going to beat Shea Weber, but Seabrook definitely has a slap shot that could make some noise in Columbus. His powerful right-handed shot could well travel at 90-95 MPH, which would be a respectable showing.
Jonathan Toews: Accuracy Shooting
Toews could end up as his team’s representative in the passing portion of the relay, but accuracy shooting could be his cup of tea as well. Hitting four targets in four different corners of the net in as little time as possible? The Blackhawks’ captain should be able to do that in his sleep.