Saturday, January 24, 2009

Habs Superskills

Not An Impressive Bunch Over The Years

The NHL Skills (or Superskills as it is now known) has not been kind to Montreal Canadiens players over the years. With Kovalev, Komisarek, Markov and Price in play is that about to change?

Breakaway Challenge
The premier event with Ovechkin in it. He is pitted against Alexei Kovalev and some other dudes who should have fun watching (Getzlaf, Kane and Crosby's replacement).

Historical winners
2008 Alexander Ovechkin and no one else, after he swung and missed at a puck lasts season.

Hardest shot
An event with some historical pedigree, this is the 100m of the skills competition. The NHL is billing Souray vs. Chara (both previous winners. But Mike Komisarek (entered) could have a shout so long as someone tells him to aim 15 feet to the right of the net. Habs heartthrobs Lecavalier and Streit (who we know shoots straighter than Komi), as well as Shea Weber are also in this one.

Historical winners
2008 Zdeno Chara 103.1 mph
2007 Zdeno Chara 100.4 mph
2004 Sheldon Souray/Adrian Aucoin 102.2 mph
2003 Al MacInnis 98.9 mph
2002 Sergei Fedorov 101.5 mph
2001 Fredrik Modin 102.1 mph
2000 Al MacInnis 100.1 mph
1999 Al MacInnis 98.5 mph
1998 Al MacInnis 100.4 mph
1997 Al MacInnis 98.9 mph
1996 Dave Manson 98.0 mph
1994 Al Iafrate 102.7 mph
1993 Al Iafrate 105.2 mph
1992 Al MacInnis 93.0 mph
1991 Al MacInnis 94.0 mph
1990 Al Iafrate 96.0 mph

Fastest skater
Jeff Carter, Zach Parise, Brian Campbell and Jay Bouwmeester compete here. I think Carey Price could do well trying to get away from these four who score against him a t will sometimes...

Historical winners
2008 Shawn Horcoff (elimination races)
2007 Andy McDonald 14.03 seconds
2004 Scott Niedermayer 13.783 seconds
2003 Marian Gaborik 13.713 seconds
2002 Sami Kapanen 14.039 seconds
2001 Bill Guerin 13.690 seconds
2000 Sami Kapanen 13.649 seconds
1999 Peter Bondra 14.640 seconds
1998 Scott Niedermayer 13.560 seconds
1997 Peter Bondra 13.610 seconds
1996 Mike Gartner 13.386 seconds
1994 Sergei Fedorov 13.525 seconds
1993 Mike Gartner 13.510 seconds
1992 Sergei Fedorov 14.363 seconds

Shooting Accuracy
Here we have defending champ Tomas Kaberle facing those who don't have other events: Jonathan Toews, Ilya Kovalchuk, Jarome Iginla, Dany Heatley, Marc Savard, Mike Modano and Evgeni Malkin. Conspicuous in his absence is Andrei Markov - I guess they didn't want the fans at the event to get too excited and interested in goings on...

Historical winners
2008 Tomas Kaberle 8 hits, 9 shots (new format)
2007 Marian Hossa, Eric Staal 4 hits, 5 shots
2004 Jeremy Roenick 4 hits, 4 shots
2003 Jeremy Roenick 4 hits, 6 shots
2002 Jarome Iginla, Markus Naslund 4 hits, 6 shots
2001 Ray Bourque 4 hits, 6 shots
2000 Ray Bourque, Viktor Kozlov 4 hits, 5 shots
1999 Ray Bourque, Jeremy Roenick, Keith Tkachuk 4 hits, 6 shots
1998 Ray Bourque, Peter Forsberg, Brendan Shanahan 4 hits, 6 shots
1997 Ray Bourque 4 hits, 7 shots
1996 Mark Messier 4 hits, 4 shots
1994 Brendan Shanahan 4 hits, 5 shots
1993 Ray Bourque 4 hits, 4 shots
1992 Ray Bourque 4 hits, 4 shots
1991 Mark Messier 4 hits, 6 shots
1990 Ray Bourque 4 hits, 7 shots

The now defunct puck control relay (where an individual showdown was held) was one other event a Hab had won, with Pierre Turgeon taking it in 1996. Other winners mostly included Paul Kariya.

Of course, Patrick Roy won the goalie standings a couple of times with the Habs too. but somehow tying with Vanbiesbrouck for 12 of 16 saves, doesn't seem superskillish to me. Compound that with Roy's most GAA in the all-star game and it's not something I'm blowing the horn about.

Records to fall
Some records cannot fall, such as most wins at hardest shot (MacInnis - 7) and shooting accuracy (Bourque - 8) for some time. But the absolute records could:

The hardest shot ever, for example: 105.2 mph (Al Iafrate)
The fastest lap: 13.386 (Mike Gartner)

Or most goals scored by the winner of the Breakaway challenge: 0 (Alexander Ovechkin)

Have fun, and root for those Habs. there's years of futility to be set straight, and who knows if they'll let us vote the whole team in again...

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