RALEIGH, N.C. – It might be a testament to the lack of drama in the SuperSkills competition on All-Star Saturday when the most talked about moment was a “do-over” Jonathan Toews was given against his Chicago Blackhawks teammate Patrick Sharp, in the shooting accuracy contest.
Toews said he didn’t hear the whistle to begin, and was still warming up, while Sharp started firing pucks. After the easy win by the Hawks leading scorer, Toews put up his hands like he had just been kicked out of a faceoff. Then he was given a second chance -- and won easily.
“It sucks for him and for me,” Toews joked afterwards. “I don’t feel great about it. Everyone is calling me a cry baby now because they gave me a rematch.”
Unfortunately -- save a couple other moments -- it may have been the most excitement of the night. Equipment delays and confusion on the ice was more the norm than the exception at the competition, though the players had a good time with each other. Patrick Kane even had a personal camera to record some memories.
“You want to soak them all in and enjoy everything,” he said. “I was right there with [Zdeno] Chara when he hit 105.9, that was pretty sweet. And then [Alexander] Ovechkin, after he missed one of the shots, he came up to the camera and said, ‘I’m terrible,’ so I got some pretty good things in there.”
Chara broke his own record by shooting a puck 105.9 miles per hour, which brought the crowd to its feet. They also got wild whenever a Carolina Hurricane competed, including an accuracy “heat” featuring Eric Staal and Kane. Kane heard the chants.
“Let’s go Canes, and my last name is Kane, so I kind of gave them a salute and thanked them for cheering me on against their home town boy,” he joked.
Kane and Toews were the only players from “Team Lidstrom” to win in the accuracy shooting event. Only Daniel Sedin knocked down his four targets quicker than the two Hawks.
“It goes to show you how much skill is out there,” Toews said. “I’m really happy I didn’t have to do the [trick shot] breakaways because I have no idea how to compete with those guys.”
Kane also opted out of the breakaways, saying maybe next year he’ll work on some shots and be ready.
In the end Team Staal beat Team Lidstrom but the players didn’t seem to care. For them, it’s a break from the seriousness of the regular season. And no one needs a break from serious more than the Hawks captain.
“It’s different because you’re not always answering the same questions about a win or a loss,” Toews said. “Here it’s just a lot of guys mixing it up and having funs with the media and fans.”