Over the weekend, the NHL’s best participated in the Skills Competition and the All-Star Game. The Predators β€” represented by P.K. Subban and Pekka Rinne β€” stood out amongst some of the best performances in Tampa.

The Skills Competition

Fastest Skater

Connor McDavid was the NHL’s won the fastest skater competition. That’s about as much of a surprise as finding out there’s peanut butter inside a Reese’s Cup.

Passing Relay

This one I liked a lot. It was a new addition and I really enjoyed it for the most part. Passing is a pretty underrated skill. Everyone loves the goals and the dangles and the saves. Passing is pretty easy to overlook, but it’s an art form.

Alex Pietrangelo of the St. Louis Blues won this one with a nearly flawless run. He only needed six passes to get through the elevated targets. He stumbled for a second on the bumper passing β€” my least favorite portion because any child could go through it and the players seemed less than enthused about it. He made up for that at the mini nets. He made passing the button into the nets for ants seem very easy. It is not (see: Nikita Kucherov’s run). Pietrangelo showed why he’s one of the best two-way defensemen in the league.

Save Streak

This was the lone event for the goalies and Pekka Rinne was one of the best. He got through the entire Metropolitan Division lineup without allowing a goal and then some. A handful of them looked like huge dinguses by trying to go high glove side on Rinne (ahem, Crosby). That’s about as smart as blocking a Shea Weber shot with your teeth. Rinne’s save streak got up to 13 before some bad luck ended it. Claude Giroux used the patented changeup via broken stick move to fool Rinne. It’s a classic deke.

Then, Marc-Andre Fleury stepped in and immediately bested Rinne. He did it with quite a bit of flair too (i.e. this save on Brayden Point).

With some help from the post, Flower was able to reach 14 saves in a row. That surpassed Rinne, and Fleury took home the title.

Puck Control Relay

This event was a snooze fest. There’s no two ways around it. Johnny Gaudreau took this one with a time of just under 25 seconds. He made it look like a breeze compared to everyone else who participated in it.

I’ll say this, Erik Karlsson was playing chess on this event while everyone else was playing checkers. Did the rules explicitly state you couldn’t use your hands? I don’t know. I didn’t read the rules, but it’s an All-Star Skills Competition so no one did. Karlsson took advantage of that ignorance with some innovation.

Hardest Shot

This was P.K. Subban’s event, and he had a pretty good showing. After registering “just” 95.5 mph with his first shot, he came back around the second time and smoked one at 98.7 mph. Not too shabby at all. Is it triple digits? No. Would I want to stand in front of it? No. I don’t have a death wish.

He fell to Alex Ovechkin, who hit 101.3 mph on the radar. Ovi was probably the favorite in this competition, and his famous clap bomb was on display for all to see. I’m convinced he’ll be firing bullets from the circle on the power play until he’s 50.

Accuracy Shooting

This has always been one of my favorite events. After a certain point, it can’t be taught. Elite accuracy is a God-given gift. Vancouver rookie Brock Boeser showed off a couple of his gifts from God. First, he won the accuracy shooting event with some lasers. Then, he flaunted his Fabio-esque locks in front of everybody.

Look at Boeser. He used double conditioner just to make Patrick Kane’s male pattern balding ass jealous.

Shoutout to Team USA Women’s star Hilary Knight for her performance in this event too. She participated and finished with a time of 11.64 seconds. That was good for third among the men, which beat Sidney Crosby, James Neal, Brad Marchand, Anze Kpoitar, and Steven Stamkos.

The All-Star Game

After Brett Young, um, sang… the anthem, the Central faced off against the Pacific in the first game. Thanks to Marc-Andre Fleury and Pekka Rinne, the first half of this one had to be the lowest scoring in the history of the All-Star Game. Fleury allowed one goal while Rinne pitched a shutout.

Rinne denied Connor McDavid several times while he was out there. One was maybe the save of the day on a breakaway. McDavid tried to go glove hand (lol idiot), and Rinne batted it out of the air. The puck fluttered onto his back and he knocked it off.

Connor, how do you feel about Rinne being replace by Connor Hellebuyck?

After Hellebuyck came in and BLEW IT, the Central was down 2-1. Then, it was P.K. Subban to the rescue. He got a breakaway, made a subtle move, and beat Mike Smith with a perfect shot before jumping into the bench.

Not long after, Boeser would snipe Hellebuck and regain the lead for the Pacific. They would net two more goals and the Central would be eliminated early for the 3rd year in a row.

The next game featured the two Eastern Conference teams, and it was the most entertaining game of the day. These two teams had plenty of fun. Nikita Kuckerov was the second biggest star of this game. He scored a hat trick on home ice and two of them were things of beauty. On his second of the game, two behind the back passes between he and Jack Eichel led to an open net.

His hat trick goal was filthier than a late-night infomercial on Comedy Central. Kucherov faked a deke, but just let the puck slide off his stick and through the wickets of Braden Holtby.

I say Kucherov was the second biggest star because referee Wes McCauley stole the damn show. When there was an offside challenged in the game, I initially rolled my eyes. Then, I realized McCauley would be making the call. As expected he left the people wanting more.

I highly encourage everyone to go down a YouTube rabbit hole of his best calls.

Auston Matthews and Jack Eichel connected on a goal with Eichel using Matthews’ goal celebration from last week in Toronto. All that did was make me furious those two wouldn’t be playing for Team USA in these Olympics. Kick rocks, IOC and Gary Bettman.

In another gorgeous sight for hockey fans across the continent, Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby found each other on a pair of goals. Ovi doesn’t have the pedigree that Crosby does, but they still have had epic battles over the years. It will never not be fun to see them play together.

The Pacific would go on to beat the Atlantic in the title game without too much excitement. Brock Boeser would complete a helluva weekend by winning $100,000 as his cut of the championship winnings and a new car as the All-Star Game MVP. Not bad for a rookie.

Other Notes

Erik Karlsson was a pirate in a past life. There is simply no convincing me otherwise. He’s right out of Assassin’s Creed Black Flag.

Brian Boyle, who was diagnosed with leukemia in the offseason, was an All-Star this weekend. Every time his name was announced or he was shown on the screen, Boyle received a raucous ovation as he should’ve.

Brad Marchand, on the other hand, was booed as loudly as humanly possible. He recently got suspended for a high elbow on the Devils’ Marcus Johansson, and is generally a rat bastard to his division opponents.

In what little credit I’ll give him, he played the heel as well as anyone could’ve. He waved to the crowd after goals, faked an injury after a trip, and generally antagonized on Twitter.

Overall, I though it was a fun event. It looked like a great atmosphere on TV, and I would’ve loved to be in Tampa drinking some pina coladas at Amalie Arena’s outdoor bar.

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