Saturday, January 29, 2011

NHL Skills Competition 2011 to Continue All Star Momentum?

The NHL skills competition 2011 is playing second fiddle this weekend. Normally, the NHL skills competition 2011 would be the major event before the All Star Game tomorrow. However, the new All Star Draft idea has stolen the spotlight in Carolina this year. After Eric Stall and Nicklas Lidstrom selected their teams in last night's big show, it may be hard for the rest of the weekend to top it. Yet the NHL skills competition 2011 might have a better chance to do that than the All Star Game itself.

In All Star events, the events before the game generate the most interest. Baseball has the Home Run Derby, while basketball highlights their slam dunk contest. For hockey, they have a variety of exhibitions for their stars to shine in.

Starting at 7 pm, the NHL skills competition 2011 will contain six events, although the competitors aren't named in advance. It begins with the Fastest Skater event between two teams of six, including a final match race between their fastest men.

Second is the Breakaway Challenge, which Alex Ovechkin has won each of the last two years. Three shooters from a team will take four shots, with fan voting to determine a winner. Afterwards, the Accuracy Shooting event has six players on two teams trying to hit their styrofoam targets.

The second half of the NHL skills competition 2011 contains the Skills Challenge Relay, the Hardest Shot, and the Elimination Shootout. At some point, all of the All Stars will take part in at least one event, with some likely to be in multiple contests.

There's no one major event that dwarfs the whole night, like with the Home Run Derby and the Slam Dunk Contest. But these events are more inclusive than the others, since everyone has to take part in something. Baseball and basketball superstars often turn down their big All Star contests, which hasn't often helped them stay relevant.