The home crowd in Columbus, Ohio went home happy as Team Foligno defeated Team Toews 25-19 in the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition. Team Toews stormed back in the last round--the shootout--but ultimately could not overcome its insurmountable 15-4 deficit.
Let's break down exactly how Team Foligno won the Skills Competition.
Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater Competition™
Team Foligno swept this competition, earning all five points available.
To start off the entire Skills Competition, Tyler Seguin and Phil Kessel raced each other.
I knew Kessel was fast, but I honestly didn't know he was that fast. Kessel is deceptively fast.
I guess you can say Team Foligno won that trade.
Jonathan Drouin led all skaters with a time of 13.1 seconds around his half of the rink, giving Team Foligno the bonus point. Although, Mike Hoffman gave Drouin a run for his money with a time of 13.16 seconds.
Here is the fastest skater competition in its entirety.
Score: 5-0 Team Foligno.
Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge™
The Breakaway Challenge was enjoyable to watch.
Brian Elliott took a selfie during Vladimir Tarasenko's first shot to begin the Breakaway Challenge.
Later in the first round, Ryan Johansen unveiled an Ohio State Buckeyes football jersey under his Blue Jackets sweater.
That's one heck of a way to sway the fans' opinions. Given that Johansen was the player voted into the Breakaway Challenge by the fans--the other five were picked by the captains--you could safely bet Johansen winning was as close to a sure thing as you could get.
If you thought Johansen was done, you were wrong. In his second attempt, he stopped skating at the slot, grabbed a kid on the ice, and let the kid shoot it past Corey Crawford.
That kid is never going to forget that. Kudos to Johansen.
Jakub Voracek's response to Johansen's second attempt was priceless.
It was great to see Gaudreau play along, and it was definitely the funniest moment of the entire Skills Competition.
Speaking of Gaudreau, apparently he had a pyrotechnic-y plan for his breakaway challenge idea, but he wasn't allowed to go through with it.
Johnny Gaudreau told NHLN he was planning to set his stick on fire for the breakaway contest but was told not to because it's a fire hazard.— Scott McLaughlin (@smclaughlin9) January 24, 2015
I think that would have been awesome to see. But, I guess it makes sense to not potentially set people, or the building, on fire.
For his final trick, Johansen tapped into hockey fans' nostalgia and formed a Flying V, but he missed the shot so it lost some of its luster.
By the way, the fans voted for Johansen, so Team Foligno got the point in this round.
You can watch the whole Breakaway Challenge below.
Score: 6-0 Team Foligno.
DraftKings NHL Accuracy Shooting™
Team Toews finally got on the board when Ryan Getzlaf defeated Bobby Ryan in the first round of the Accuracy Shooting competition. However, it was the only point Team Toews would earn in this round.
Patrick Kane led the way by shooting all four targets in 13.59 seconds, although Nick Foligno came close to Kane with a time of 13.67 seconds.
Jonathan Toews couldn't beat Kane, hitting three posts in a row on his last target--the top right target--and Team Foligno won this round 4-1. Since Kane's time was the fastest, Team Foligno earned the bonus point available in this round.
Clearly, Team Toews needed Jamie Benn.
You can watch the entire Accuracy Competition below.
Score: Team Foligno 10-1.
Gatorade NHL Skills Challenge Relay™
Team Toews lost Heat 1 to Team Foligno 2:06 10 1:37. Anze Kopitar put on quite the show with his passing, shooting pucks in all four targets in roughly 20 seconds.
Team Toews won the second heat in 1:38. Ryan Getzlaf also put on a clinic with his passing, shooting pucks into all four nets in under 14 seconds.
Also extremely impressive in that heat was Vladimir Tarasenko's flawless puck control and Filip Forsberg's absolutely flawless stickhandling. What is really unfortunate is that they're both in the Central Division.
Team Foligno struggled in its second heat, finishing with a time of 2:19.
Since Team Foligno recorded the fastest relay time, it earned the bonus point.
Here is the Skills Challenge Relay.
Score: Team Foligno 12-2.
AMP NHL Hardest Shot™
I asked in the preview thread, "Who can shoot harder than Shea Weber?"
It turns out, only 2012 Zdeno Chara can.
There was speculation that perhaps Dustin Byfuglien could rival Weber's shot, but Byfuglien's hardest shot went 97.6 miles per hour.
In his second attempt, and the last shot of the competition, Weber unleashed a 108.5 mile-per-hour bomb of a slap shot. Even Captain Hammer wouldn't want to be in that shot's way.
It left everybody in awe.
(Side note: If Team Toews wants to win the All-Star Game tomorrow, the team should just have Weber shoot one-timers the entire game. Nobody is going to want to risk injury in an exhibition game standing in front of that.)
Alex Ovechkin came in second place when he registered a 101.4 mile-per-hour slap shot. Team Foligno won the overall contest 3-2, losing both the last round and the bonus point when Weber unleashed his second shot.
The Amp NHL Hardest Shot Competition can be viewed below.
Score: Team Foligno 15-4.
Discover NHL Shootout™
This is contest Team Toews excelled at, but it was too little too late.
Team Toews won the first round 5-2. Tyler Seguin scored with the Discover Card puck so he earned his team two points in the process with that goal. Mike Hoffman also pulled off a really nice move in his shootout goal.
After Round 1, Team Foligno led 17-9 over Team Toews.
Team Foligno won Round Two 6-3. The highlight of the round was not a goal, but a spectacular save by Roberto Luongo on Jiri Sekac.
After Round Two, the score was 23-13 in favor of Team Foligno.
In Round Three, Team Toews outscored Team Foligno 6-2, but it was not enough to come back in the overall contest. Filip Forsberg pulled off an amazing move on Carey Price. Scroll to 7:44 of the video below to watch it.
Here are all three rounds of the shootout.
Final score: Team Foligno 25, Team Toews 19.
That concludes this breakdown of the 2015 NHL Skills Competition. I enjoyed watching it. I'm sure many hockey fans did as well.
The All-Star Game will take place at 4:00 PM CST. NBCSN will carry it in the USA. CBC and TVA Sports will air it in Canada.