LOS ANGELES — The Atlantic Division are your winners of the 2017 NHL All-Star Skills Competition, coming from behind find their way into the shootout round at the end, then leaning on a two-point gimmick from a Metropolitan Division player (???) to win the overall event.
Confused? Yeah, the National Hockey League, everybody!
This thing was so friggin’ NHL. Through the five skill events, the Pacific had blown the Central out of the water on the Western Conference side, six points to three. But the Metropolitan Division had five points and the Atlantic Division had five points, so there was a tie to see which squad would represent the East in the deciding event, the shootout. Shea Weber of the Atlantic squad had won the fifth event, the Hardest Shot, and by virtue of that was awarded a bonus point that got Atlantic to five. But the tiebreaker was apparently also determined by the winner of the Hardest Shot, so that wound up being worth two bonus points.
Then, in the Shootout event, Sidney Crosby -- who of course plays for a Metropolitan Division team -- came off the bench and scored a two-point goal for the Atlantic. It was worth two points because it was the “Discover Puck”, because corporate sponsorship, you see? I don’t know, man. It’s just a Skills Competition so I’m not going to think about this anymore.
The Atlantic victory allowed them to choose who they will play in Sunday’s 3-on-3 All-Star tournament, and they chose to play the Metropolitan Division in the second semifinal. So we’ll see the Pacific Division face off against the Central Division at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, followed by the Metro vs. the Atlantic. The winners will face off in the final after that.
Below is a full rundown of tonight’s Skills Competition events.
Skills Challenge Relay: Metro gets two points, Central defeats Pacific.
Central: 1:44.03. Ryan Suter literally couldn’t lift a one timer off the ice and he hit the 30 second limit without scoring once. But Jonathan Toews picked him up with an excellent time in the passing accuracy portion, P.K. Subban nailed the puck control and Devan Dubnyk only needed a few cracks to hit the net from the opposite end of the ice. Maybe Dubynk should have taken Suter’s part.
Pacific: 2:03.12. Ryan Kesler handled one-timers fine and Cam Fowler handled the puck well. But Johnny Gaudreau messed up stick handling, Drew Doughty couldn’t hit the little passing accuracy net for his life, and Mike Smith couldn’t make up the difference with a quick goalie goal.
Atlantic: 1:39.69. Kyle Okposo hit the 30 second limit, but Frans Nielsen made up some time with an excellent shooting accuracy round. Nikita Kucherov was about flawless in the puck control section, but Auston Matthews messed up at least four times in the stick handling section. Carey Price, in all his brilliance, nailed the first attempt at the goalie goals to give the Atlantic the overall lead.
Metropolitan: 1:21.70. Flawless execution on the one-timers from Seth Jones, Alex Ovechkin and Wayne Simmonds. John Tavares had the fastest time on the passing. Justin Faulk nailed the puck control, and Sidney Crosby nailed stick handling. Braden Holtby was the weak link ... and even he wasn’t weak, scoring on maybe his fifth attempt. Bonus points, hooray!
The Wayne Train stops at nothing! pic.twitter.com/y6RwtrjhWE— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 29, 2017
Score after one event: Metropolitan 2, Central 1, Pacific 0, Atlantic 0.
The Four Line Challenge: Mike Smith nails 20 point shot, Simmonds scores for Metro.
Near blue line: Just one point here. Nikita Kucherov scored for the Atlantic Division, but Ryan McDonagh, Ryan Suter and Joe Pavelski all came up with goose eggs.
Center ice: Wayne Simmonds opened up with a goal in the lower corner, giving the Metropolitan their first point. Erik Karlsson hit the crossbar, but no points. Tyler Seguin missed. And Brent Burns sniped a top corner for three points to the Pacific.
The Train from center ice! pic.twitter.com/I2CuuLHjaM— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 29, 2017
Far blue line: Taylor Hall didn’t even hit the net. P.K. Subban attempt for a five point upper corner shot but juuuuust missed. Brad Marchand just barely missed on his two shots. Ryan Kesler missed his first shot and then let his kid shoot second. His kid is cute and all but ... yeah, he missed miserably.
Far goal line: Shea Weber missed and then subbed out for Carey Price. If goalies score, it’s worth 20 points instead of 10. But Price missed and the Atlantic ended with no pooints. Nathan MacKinnon missed, and then Corey Crawford subbed in and missed by about 5 inches. Bo Horvat hit the hole but it didn’t go in, but Mike Smith went five hole and won the competition for the Pacific with a 20 point shot.
Incredible. Mike Smith for 20 points! #NHLAllStar pic.twitter.com/DEL4gG7HHx— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 29, 2017
Braden Holtby needed two goals to win it for the Metro, and he hit the corner but it didn’t go. His second shot missed the net. Luckily, only one overall point is awarded for the event.
Score after two events: Metropolitan 2, Central 1, Pacific 1, Atlantic 0.
Accuracy Shooting: Sidney Crosby hits fastest time, bonus point.
- Kyle Okposo, Atlantic (15.97 seconds) def. John Tavares, Metropolitan (26.8)
- Connor McDavid, Pacific (15.64) def. Patrik Laine, Central (21.82)
- Sidney Crosby, Metropolitan (10.73*) def. Auston Matthews, Atlantic (12.28)
- Jeff Carter, Pacific (17.66) def Patrick Kane, Central (18.95)
Score after three events: Metropolitan 4, Pacific 3, Central 1, Atlantic 1.
Fastest Skater: Atlantic grabs two points; McDavid wins overall time.
- Nikita Kucherov, Atlantic (13.16) def. Cam Atkinson, Metropolitan (13.33)
- Patrik Laine, Central (13.42) def. Bo Horvat, Pacific (13.43)
- Vincent Trocheck, Atlantic (13.32) def. Wayne Simmonds, Metropolitan (13.65)
- Connor McDavid, Pacific (13.02) def. Nathan MacKinnon (13.62)
You'll get em next time, Train. pic.twitter.com/K3Rhl86hfB— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 29, 2017
McDavid had a chance to beat Dylan Larkin’s full-lap record of 13.172 from a year ago, but did it in 13.31 seconds. He still earned two points for the Pacific time by grabbing the overall fastest time, however.
Score after four events: Pacific 5, Metropolitan 4, Atlantic 3, Central 2.
Hardest Shot: Shea Weber wins again, because of course.
- Patrik Laine, Central (101.7, 101.5) def. Brent Burns, Pacific (96.1, 97.7)
- Seth Jones, Metropolitan (96.3, 98.1) def. Victor Hedman, Atlantic (miss, 94.2)
- Drew Doughty, Pacific (94.6, 92.7) def. Nathan MacKinnon, Central (92.3, 89.9)
- Shea Weber, Atlantic (102.8*, 99.4) def. Alex Ovechkin, Metropolitan (miss, 97.8)
Score after five events: Pacific 6, Metropolitan 5, Atlantic 5, Central 3.
Only the top team from each conference got to play in the shootout, and the Atlantic won some sort of tiebreaker against the Metro to get there. Apparently the tiebreaker was that Weber had the hardest shot ... which had already given the Atlantic a bonus point. So apparently that was worth two bonus points? The National Hockey League!
NHL Shootout: Atlantic scores thanks to a Metropolitan player, uhh OK?
- Brad Marchand, Atlantic scores vs. Mike Smith, Pacific
- Drew Doughty, Pacific does not score vs. Carey Price, Atlantic
- Nikita Kucherov, Atlantic hits post vs. Mike Smith, Pacific
- Joe Pavelski, Pacific does not score vs. Carey Price, Atlantic
- Victor Hedman, Atlantic does not score vs. Mike Smith, Pacific
- Bo Horvat, Pacific does not score vs. Carey Price, Atlantic
- Shea Weber, Atlantic scores (oh man it was pretty) vs. Mike Smith, Pacific
- Cam Fowler, Pacific does not score vs. Carey Price, Atlantic
- Frans Nielsen, Atlantic does not score vs. Mike Smith, Pacific
- Ryan Kesler’s Kid, Pacific scores (!) vs. Carey Price, Atlantic
- Erik Karlsson, Atlantic does not score vs. Martin Jones, Pacific
- Connor McDavid, Pacific does not score vs. Tuukka Rask, Atlantic
- Kyle Okposo, Atlantic misses high and wide vs. Martin Jones, Pacific
- South Jersey Native Johnny Gaudreau, Pacific misses vs. Tuukka Rask, Atlantic
- Sidney Crosby scores for the Atlantic Division and it’s worth two points because of a “Discover Puck” but he’s from the Metropolitan Division and nothing makes sense?
- Vincent Trocheck, Atlantic misses vs. Martin Jones, Pacific
- Brent Burns, Pacific goes through the legs but misses vs. Tuukka Rask, Atlantic
- Auston Matthews, Atlantic misses vs. Martin Jones, Pacific
- Jeff Carter, Pacific misses vs. Tuukka Rask, Atlantic
The Atlantic Division takes the 4-1 victory in the NHL Shootout and therefore the overall scoring. They are winners of the 2017 NHL All-Star Skills Competition.