Sunday, January 25, 2009

SuperSkills Competition Thoughts and Observations

Well the exciting part of All-Star weekend took place last night, and the Panthers had a couple of representatives. Jay Bouwmeester ended up tied for 3rd in the all-too-exact fastest skater competition (apparently the electronic timer malfunctioned, leaving it up to a referee's stopwatch...).

In the YoungStars-Bright-Futures Rookies v. Sophomores game, Michael Frolik was there, and that pretty much sums up his night. His performance wasn't exactly memorable in a game that failed to live up to expectations.

The final event of the night saw all 36 skaters go through an elimination breakaway challenge. J-Bo was actually able to convert on his first attempt, picking the upper 90*, before being denied in round 2.

All in all, the Super Skills competition was a good night. A record setting slap shot from Zdeno Chara (105.4 mph!), an impressive 7 for 8 performance in the accuracy competition from Evgeny Malkin, and a breakaway challenge that saw the game's greatest entertainer come through, as Alex Ovechkin used fellow Russian Malkin and props to win the night (although I still think Alex Kovalev's stepping on the puck and pirouetting down the ice was the most impressive move of the night. I've stepped on the puck a few times in my playing career, and I've eaten ice every time. Very impressive). Even more interesting was Ovechkin's show because Ovie and Malkin are in the middle of a supposed feud that even has the Russian Hockey Federation concerned.

A fun night for the fans, but was it just me or did Versus completely butcher their broadcast? They probably missed 2 or 3 goals in the YoungStars game because they wanted to get as many replays in as they could. The elimination breakaway was unwatchable due to their infatuation with the on-ice camera perspective, which made it impossible to see what the shooter was actually doing, and there were countless other annoyances through the night, for me anyway. Hopefully tonight's big show comes off a little better. It's an actual game, so they should know how to pull it off.

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