The NHL has announced the format for its 2016 Skills Competition, and unlike the game itself, there are no drastic changes.
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The competition, which will remain an East vs. West battle, starts on Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. ET and features the same six events featured last year.
They are as follows:
Four players from each team will face off against an opponent in a two-skater race around half the rink split lengthways. If a race ends in a tie, each of the teams will be awarded one point. The fastest skater in the head-to-head matchups will skate a full lap of the outside border of the rink in an attempt to break Mike Gartner’s record (13.386). If two skaters tie for the fastest overall time, both skaters will attempt to break the record.
Points Available: 6 – Each matchup is worth one point; the team with the fastest skater scores a bonus point; if the fastest skater breaks Mike Gartner’s record an additional point will be awarded.
While five spots will be determined by team captains, one guaranteed spot in this event will be determined by the fans. The eligible candidates are forwards Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche, Dylan Larkin of the Detroit Red Wings and Brandon Saad of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Fans can vote via Twitter by including – #NHLBreakawayDuchene, #NHLBreakawayLarkin or #NHLBreakawaySaad. Voting will open on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 12 p.m. ET and close on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 5 p.m. ET.
Each team will provide one goalie to participate in this challenge. Each shooter will attempt two shots, and teams will alternate after each shot. NHL penalty shot rules do not apply. As soon as the last competitor completes his routine, fans in the U.S. and Canada will get another opportunity to make their case by voting for the player of their choice on Twitter.
The shooter with the highest fan vote will be crowned the winner.
Points Available: 1 – The shooter with the highest percentage of fan votes scores one point.
Four shooters from each team will participate, with two additional players serving as passers. This event will consist of four head-to-head match-ups, with one shooter from each team per round. The goal is to hit four 15-inch diameter targets located in each corner of the net. The teams will be situated at opposite ends of the rink, and will alternate attempts. The first shooter to hit all four targets wins.
Points Available: 5 – The winner of each matchup scores one point; the player who hits all four targets in the fastest time scores the bonus point.
Skills Challenge Relay
This timed relay event – involving 14 skaters and two goalies from each team – will consist of four relays with five challenges each: One Timers, with three shooters and one passer per team; Passing, with one passer per team; Puck Control, with one skater per team; Stick-Handling, with one skater per team; and Goalie Goals, with one goalie per team. Each skill must be completed before moving on to the next challenge with the exception of one timers, passing and goalie goals in which a maximum of 45 seconds will be allocated.
Points Available: 3 – The team with the fastest time in each heat scores one point; the team with the fastest overall time scores one bonus point.
Four shooters from each team will test their slap shot skill in a head-to-head matchup. Each player will attempt two shots. Each shot will be calculated in miles per hour (mph), with the highest speed of their two shots recorded.
Points Available: 5 – The winner of each matchup scores one point; the team with the player who has the fastest speed scores one bonus point.
Eighteen skaters and three goaltenders from each team will participate in the three-round shootout. During each two-minute round, six skaters and one goalie from each team will take the ice. Teams will alternate after each shot with each player having 10 seconds to take a shot. Players one and three from each team will be Discover puck players. NHL shootout rules apply to each scoring attempt.
Points Available: 1 point for every goal scored; 2 points for every goal scored with a Discover puck.