Detroit Red Wings’ All-Star Skills Competition


The NHL All-Star weekend begins tonight in Columbus, Ohio with the All-Star Skills Competition and since there are no Detroit Red Wings in attendance –Jimmy Howard was invited, but is injured and could not attend- for the All-Star weekend, we will be breaking down the Red Wings who would win each event against their teammates.

Skill Competition Events:

Fastest Skater: A pretty straightforward competition and the undisputed winner would be Darren Helm, without a doubt. Helm has the best wheels on the Red Wings and can blow by defensemen or catch almost any player in the NHL from behind. He will have a bit of competition when Andreas Athanasiou joins Detroit, but for now it is all Darren Helm.

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Breakaway Challenge: The closest thing the Detroit Red Wings have to a sure thing on a breakaway or during the shootout is Pavel Datsyuk. Datsyuk has beaten the best goaltenders of the past and present in the shootout and during an All-Star competition, he would be almost unstoppable. Since it is an All-Star competition, fans would likely be treated to some new moves that are only seen during practice, as well.

Accuracy Shooting: With four rounds, this could be an interesting competition for the Red Wings because the great shooters on the team. Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg would have a great chance at winning the competition as would Gustav Nyquist, but I am going to give this competition to Tomas Tatar. Tatar leads the Red Wings in goals this season and is able to find the small holes in order to beat the goaltender. Plus, I would love to see him all fired up after hitting all of the targets in four shots.

Skills Challenge Relay: A relay race that pins two teams’ skills against each other for the fastest time, but we will only make one relay team for the Detroit Red Wings.

The relay consists of five events:

  • One-TimersRiley Sheahan would be the perfect passer for this part of the relay and would be feeding Teemu Pulkkinen, Henrik Zetterberg, and Niklas Kronwall the puck. Each shooter has to score two goals before the relay could continue and all three of them should be able to finish this part in six shots.
  • Passing: Brendan Smith would take this part of the competition because he is accurate with the puck and is able to feed players with long breakout passes. But instead of players, Smith would be aiming saucer passes at four tiny nets placed at varying distances in the neutral zone.
  • Puck Control Relay: Stephen Weiss would take the puck control portion on the relay and would be navigating the puck around a series of cones.
  • Stick Handling: The Pavel Datsyuk Event is what this portion of the relay should be named. Datsyuk is one of, if not, the best stick handlers in the NHL and would deftly slide the puck around a series of pucks and would be able to do it quicker than anyone else would on Detroit.
  • Goalie Goals: Petr Mrazek would be up for this event because he barely missed an empty net against the USA in the World Juniors with the Czech Republic. Mrazek would only have to hit the empty net two times to end the relay and after scoring the second one, I would like to see him jump up against the glass.

Hardest Shot: Teemu Pulkkinen, Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall, and Jonathan Ericsson would be the four players from Detroit that would be competing in this competition. Ericsson might be a bit of a surprise to many, but he is a big strong defenseman and given the time to line-up and fire a slap shot, it should be hard. But ultimately, this competition goes to Teemu Pulkkinen; Pulkkinen has one of the hardest shot in the AHL and could be the next Brett Hull for Detroit.

Shootout: The participation award of the completion, as everyone is able to participate. Whichever team has to go against Petr Mrazek probably loses this round because Jimmy Howard has not done well in shootouts this season, while Petr Mrazek has picked up the Detroit Red Wings only two shootout victories this season.

And that is your Detroit Red Wings All-Star Skills Competition!