Montreal All-Star Weekend a Big Hit

On Saturday night history was made at the NHL Skills Competition in Montreal, when hulking Boston Bruins’ defenceman, Zdeno Chara, thrilled the Molson Centre crowd, by winning the hardest shot contest, at 105.4 miles per hour.

Chara, who came into the competition as the two time defending champion, broke former NHL defenceman, Al Iafrateʼs, 16-year record of hardest shot of all time. Ironically enough, Iafrate, who had the record at 105.2, set it in Montreal at The Forum.

In other Skills Competition results, Edmonton Oilers’ super sophomore, Andrew Cogliano, won the speed skating event. Cogliano, who was a favorite before the event, raced a lap around the ice in a time of 14.31 seconds; to better Philadelphia Flyers’ forward, Jeff Carter, who finished runner up – at 14.43. Also participating was Florida Panthersʼ, Jay Bouwmeester — Vancouver Canucksʼ, Mason Raymond — New Jersey Devilsʼ, Zach Parise and Chicago Blackhawksʼ Brian Campbell.

The boisterous fans then got to see six gifted scorers — Washington Capitalsʼ, Alex Ovechkin, Chicago Blackhawksʼ, Patrick Kane, Tampa Bay Lightning stars, Steven Stamkos, Marty St. Louis, Ryan Getzlaf — and crowd favorite, Alex Kovalev, compete in who could be the most creative in the breakaway challenge. In the end — Ovechkin was voted as the winner.

There was also the Young Guns showcase, where 10 of the NHLʼs best rookies and sophomores were picked to play in a 3 on 3 shinny game. The rookies, led by Boston Bruins’, Blake Wheelerʼs three goals, won the game 9-5.

Showing their pin-point accuracy in the target shooting competition were Pittsburgh Penguins’ star, and the NHLʼs leading scorer, Evgeni Malkin and Ottawa Senators’, Dany Heatley, who both hit four targets with only four shots. With that feat, they both became the fifth and sixth players to accomplish the feat. They join such names as, Boston Bruins’ defenceman, Ray Bourque (1992-93), New York Rangers’, Mark Messier (ʼ96), Philadelphia Flyers Jeremy Roenick (2004) and Toronto Maple Leafs’ defenseman, Tomas Kaberle, who accomplished the feat last year. Malkin beat Heatley in a tiebreaker, by hitting four out of four targets.

In the hardest shot competition, Nashville Predators’ blue liner, Shea Weber, finished second, with a 103.4 miles per hour shot. The other participant, to hit triple digits, was Edmonton Oilers’ blue liner, Sheldon Souray. Other shooters included Montreal Caandiens’, Mike Komisarek, New York Islanders’, Mark Streit and Tampa Bay Lightning captain, Vincent Lecavalier.

Winning in the elimination shootout competition was Phoenix Coyotes’ veteran, Shane Doan.



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