2016 NHL Skills Competition: How To Watch and What To Watch For
There's a lot going on. We're here to help.
NHL Fastest Skater
Four players from each team will test their speed, facing off against an opponent in a two-skater race. The race track for the head-to-head match-ups is the border of the rink split in half lengthways. Timing devices will record each skater to determine the winner of each match. If a race ends in a tie, each of the teams will be awarded one point. The skater with the fastest time in the head-to-head match-ups will skate a full lap of the outside border of the rink, in the direction of their choosing, in an attempt to break Mike Gartner's record (13.386). If, at the completion of the event, two skaters are tied for the fastest overall time, both skaters will skate a full lap of the rink in an attempt to break the historical best record.
Points Available: 6 - The winner of each match-up scores one point; the team with the fastest skater scores a bonus point; if the fastest skater is successful in breaking Mike Gartner's record an additional bonus point will be awarded.
Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge
Fans will have two opportunities to exercise their vote in the Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge. While five spots will be determined by team captains, one guaranteed spot in this event will be determined by the fans, who will vote on Twitter as part of the Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge Fan Vote campaign.
The eligible candidates are forwards Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche, Dylan Larkin of the Detroit Red Wings and Brandon Saad of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Fans can vote via Twitter for their favorite eligible player by including his hashtag - #NHLBreakawayDuchene, #NHLBreakawayLarkin or #NHLBreakawaySaad. Voting will open on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 12 p.m. ET and close on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 5 p.m. ET.
Each team will provide one goalie to participate in this challenge. Each shooter will attempt two shots, and teams will alternate after each shot. Style, creativity, and flair are encouraged. NHL penalty shot rules do not apply.
As soon as the last competitor completes his routine, fans in-arena and watching on television in the U.S. and Canada will get another opportunity to make their case on Twitter by casting their vote using the hashtag that corresponds to the player of their choice. The shooter with the highest fan vote will be crowned the Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge winner and score one point for his team.
Points Available: 1 - The shooter with the highest percentage of fan votes scores one point.
DraftKings NHL Accuracy Shooting
Four shooters from each team will participate, with two additional players serving as passers. This event will consist of four head-to-head match-ups, with one shooter from each team per round. The goal is to hit four 15-inch diameter targets located in each corner of the net. The teams will be situated at opposite ends of the rink, and will alternate attempts. The first shooter to hit all four targets wins.
Points Available: 5 -The winner of each match-up scores one point; the player who hits all four targets in the fastest time scores the bonus point.
Gatorade NHL Skills Challenge Relay
This timed relay event - involving 14 skaters and two goalies from each team - will consist of four relays with five challenges each: One Timers, with three shooters and one passer per team; Passing, with one passer per team; Puck Control, with one skater per team; Stick-Handling, with one skater per team; and Goalie Goals, with one goalie per team.
Each skill must be completed before moving on to the next challenge with the exception of one timers, passing and goalie goals in which a maximum of forty-five seconds will be allocated. The goal is to finish all five challenges faster than the opponent.
Points Available: 3 - The team with the fastest time in each heat scores one point; the team with the fastest overall time scores one bonus point.
AMP Energy NHL Hardest Shot
Four shooters from each team will test their slap shot skill in a head-to-head match-up. Each player will attempt two shots, with teams alternating after each player. One puck will be placed 30 feet from the center of the net. Each shot will be calculated in miles per hour (mph), with the highest speed of their two shots recorded.
Points Available: 5 - The winner of each match-up scores one point; the team with the player who has the fastest speed scores one bonus point.
Discover NHL Shootout
18 skaters and three goaltenders from each team will participate in the three-round shootout. During each two-minute round, six skaters and one goalie from each team will take the ice. Teams will alternate after each shot with each player having a maximum of 10 seconds to take a shot. Players one and three from each team will be designated Discover puck players, each goal scored by these players will count as two points. NHL shootout rules apply to each scoring attempt.
Points Available: 1 point for every goal scored; 2 points for every goal scored with a Discover puck.
Obviously, Shea Weber will lay waste to the planet in the Hardest Shot. But there are some events where James Neal and Roman Josi can really shine. Neal should be swell at the one-timers, and Josi's speed will be on display.
Brandon Saad won the fan vote, so that's been settled. Check out the full list of competitors here.
WHEN: Tonight, at 6pm Central (Correct) Time.
WHERE: Bridgestone Arena, if you have a ticket. If not, it's on NBCSN and the NBC Sports Live Extra app.
Also if you're around the area, stop by The Bridge for our evening gathering. Casual attire is welcome. And we'll try to rope in some writers and bloggers from other teams and sites.