Photo credit:Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
The skills competition could be ridiculous fun
By Ryan Pike2 years ago
Friends, it’s All-Star Weekend! The best and brightest of the National Hockey League, or at least those who aren’t injured or sick, head to scenic Las Vegas, Nevada for three days of revelry, schmoozing and marketing integration.
And no other All-Star event brings those three things together better than 2022 NHL All-Star Skills™ presented by DraftKings Sportsbook.
There are seven events, each with a fancy name – two of the events are brand-new this year, and the main reason to get excited.
- Verizon NHL Fastest Skater™
- Dunkin’ NHL Save Streak™
- Discover NHL Fountain Face-Off™
- EA SPORTS NHL Hardest Shot™
- adidas NHL Breakaway Challenge™
- Las Vegas NHL 21 in ’22™
- Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting™
Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau will take part in the Accuracy Shooting event. He joked to the Calgary media the other day that he doesn’t really like the Fastest Skater competition, which may explain why the NHL never, ever puts him into that event.
Among the notables taking part in the other events:
- Fastest Skater features Connor McDavid (EDM) and a bunch of guys who are probably less fast than him.
- Fountain Faceoff features three-time Olympic medalist Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, who’ll also be passer for Accuracy Shooting.
- Breakaway Challenge features legendary goalie Manon Rhéaume, the first female to play in an NHL pre-season game, and actor Wyatt Russell, a former player now best known for his appearances in Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
The new events
Two events are brand-new and arguably the reason to watch this year: the Discover NHL Fountain Face-Off™ and Las Vegas NHL 21 in ’22™. Both of them are fundamentally wacky variations on accuracy shooting: one involving targets outdoors on the famed Bellagio Fountains, and the other involving targets that are made up to look like playing cards where players basically engage in a game of blackjack.
The Discover NHL Fountain Face-Off™:
Competition takes place on the iconic Bellagio Fountains. Players will travel by boat to the “rink” and are required to successfully shoot pucks into five targets in the least amount of time. Qualifying players move to the head-to-head final. Fountain spray and the breeze off The Strip will add to the challenge of this unprecedented NHL All-Star Skills™ event.
Las Vegas NHL 21 in ’22™:
Shutting down part of Las Vegas Boulevard to hang a full deck of oversized cards on a rack puts a new twist on street hockey. 21 in ’22 is a game of chance, strategy and skill. The object of the game is to achieve a hand of 21 without going bust, in the least number of shots. The player who wins two rounds is crowned Puck Shark.
The skills competition is good, wacky fun, and the NHL appears to be fine with embracing the Vegas chaos this year. That should make the event worth watching.
2022 NHL All-Star Skills™ presented by DraftKings Sportsbook airs tonight at 5:30 p.m. MT on Sportsnet. The All-Star Game itself is Saturday night at 1 p.m. MT on Sportsnet.
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